Sexual Life and Self-Assessed Health: Is There a Link? A Study on Chinese Adults

Yingying Zhou, University of Washington

There are many studies on the effects of marriage or partnership on mortality or morbidity, but not many have ascertained the relationship between the couple’s sexual life and their self-assessed health. This topic is especially new for China, where understanding of adults’ sexual lives is even more limited. Using the recent published China Health and Family Life Survey, this paper attempts to examine determinants of self-assessed health status, focusing on the effects of one’s partnership relationship and sexual life. It is expected that one’s sexual life and interactions with the partner influence one’s emotional state and mental health, which in turn affect self-rated health either directly or through some risk-taking behaviors. However, the preliminary analysis presents stronger effects of sociodemographic factors rather than marital or sexual life factors. The latter are found to be conducive to explaining good and excellent health conditions, but are not very predictive of poor health conditions.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Aging, Life Course, Health, Mortality, and Health Care