Are Drinkers Prone to Engage in Risky Sexual Behaviors?
Sexually transmitted diseases pose an important public health problem around the world. Although many studies have explored the link between alcohol use and risky sexual practices, the unobserved differences among individuals make it difficult to assess whether the associations are casual in nature. In order to overcome these difficulties, we have obtained data from the Spanish Health and Sexual Behavior Survey (2003) in order to analyze risky sexual behaviors using four alternative methodologies: controlling results with a rich set of variables; identifying the impact of alcohol use while assuming there is an identical selection outcome for observed and unobserved variables; estimating alcohol consumption and risky sexual behaviors simultaneously based on instrumental variables; and using reduced-form equations to analyze the impact of alcohol prices and other alcohol policies on the likelihood of risky intercourse. We provide empirical evidence that alcohol abuse might increase the probability of risky sex and, more importantly, different alcohol policies are not only effective tools for reducing alcohol demand but also for controlling risky sexual behaviors.
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