Coping with Risk: The Effects of Shocks on Reproductive Health and Transactional Sex in Rural Tanzania

36 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Damien de Walque

Damien de Walque

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG); World Bank

William Dow

University of California, Berkeley - School of Public Health

Erick Gong

Middlebury College

Date Written: January 1, 2014

Abstract

Transactional sex is believed to be an important risk-coping mechanism for women in Sub-Saharan Africa and a leading contributor to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This paper uses data from a panel of women in rural Tanzania whose primary occupation is agriculture. The analysis finds that following a negative shock (such as food insecurity), unmarried women are about three times more likely to have been paid for sex. Regardless of marital status, after a shock women have more unprotected sex and are 36 percent more likely to have a sexually transmitted infection. These empirical findings support the claims that transactional sex is not confined to commercial sex workers and that frequently experienced shocks, such as food insecurity, may lead women to engage in transactional sex as a risk-coping behavior.

Keywords: Population Policies, Health Monitoring & Evaluation, Gender and Health, Adolescent Health, Gender and Law

Suggested Citation

de Walque, Damien and Dow, William and Gong, Erick, Coping with Risk: The Effects of Shocks on Reproductive Health and Transactional Sex in Rural Tanzania (January 1, 2014). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 6751, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2383630

Damien De Walque (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

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World Bank ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/ddewalque

William Dow

University of California, Berkeley - School of Public Health ( email )

50 University Hall #7360
Berkeley, CA 94720-7360
United States

Erick Gong

Middlebury College ( email )

Middlebury, VT 05753
United States

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