Sex Ratios and Risky Sexual Behavior

35 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2008

See all articles by Christopher Cornwell

Christopher Cornwell

University of Georgia, C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry College of Business, Department of Economics

Scott Cunningham

Baylor University

Date Written: September 10, 2008

Abstract

Epidemiologists have suggested that racial disparities in sexually transmitted infections are due to more concurrency in Black sexual networks. We argue that a relative shortage of Black males, caused by higher Black incarceration, increases concurrency. We test this hypothesis using data from the 2000 Census and National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (1997). Because incarceration does not affect sex ratios until early adulthood, we focus on males from adolescent to adulthood, and use variation in an age-, race-, and state-level sex ratio to identify its effect on risky sexual behavior. Our evidence suggests that changes in the sex ratio causes Blacks to have between 1.2 - 2.0 additional partners a year, whereas its effect on condom-use is unclear.

Keywords: sex ratios, STI, concurrency, mating market

JEL Classification: I18, I31, J15

Suggested Citation

Cornwell, Christopher Mark and Cunningham, Scott, Sex Ratios and Risky Sexual Behavior (September 10, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1266357 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1266357

Christopher Mark Cornwell

University of Georgia, C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry College of Business, Department of Economics ( email )

Terry College of Business
U of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602
United States
706-542-3670 (Phone)
706-542-3376 (Fax)

Scott Cunningham (Contact Author)

Baylor University ( email )

One Bear Place #98003
Waco, TX 76798
United States
254-710-4753 (Phone)
254-710-6142 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.scunning.com

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