China's prostitutes are better-trusted than its politicians and scientists, according to an online survey published by Insight China magazine.
The survey found that 7.9% of respondents considered sex workers to be trustworthy, placing them third behind farmers and religious workers.
"A list like this is at the same time surprising and embarrassing," said an editorial in the state-run China Daily.
Politicians were far down the list, closer to scientists and teachers.
Insight China polled 3,376 Chinese citizens in June and July this year.
"The sex workers' unexpected prominence on this list of honour... is indeed unusual," said the China Daily editorial.
"At least [the scientists and officials] have not slid into the least credible category which consists of real estate developers, secretaries, agents, entertainers and directors," the editorial said.
Soldiers came in fourth place.