World Health & Population

World Health & Population 13(4) June 2012 : 15-27.doi:10.12927/whp.2012.22923

Pro-Alcohol-Use Social Environment and Alcohol Use among Female Sex Workers in China: Beyond the Effects of Serving Alcohol

Chen Zhang, Xiaoming Li, Yan Hong, Bonita Stanton, Yiyun Chen, Yuejiao Zhou and Wei Liu

The current study was designed to fill the literature gap by examining the roles of the pro-alcohol social environment in alcohol use among female sex workers (FSWs) in China. In this study, a total of 1,022 FSWs were recruited through community outreach from both alcohol-serving and nonalcohol-serving commercial sex venues in Guangxi, China. The pro-alcohol social environment was measured in four areas: institutional norms, institutional practices, risk perceptions and peer norms. The measures of the pro-alcohol social environment were significantly associated with the venues' alcohol-serving practices, with FSWs from those venues reporting a more positive pro-alcohol social environment than their counterparts from nonalcohol-serving venues. However, these pro-alcohol social environment measures were independently predictive of alcohol use after controlling for venues' alcohol-serving practices and other demographic characteristics. Public health interventions need to target environmental–structural factors through altering pro-alcohol-use social norms and practices at both institutional and individual levels among FSWs in China.

 

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