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Criminology Prostitution
by
Melissa Hope Ditmore

Introduction

Prostitution is usually understood as a sexual exchange for gain. The term “sex work” was coined to avoid the stigma associated with prostitution and to emphasize the fact that sexual commerce generates income, like other work. Sexual exchange is depicted in classical art and literature and has been a topic of scholarship. Scholarship on sex work has traditionally been dominated by discussions of the topic as a social problem, deviance, or vector of disease. However, more recent scholarship innovatively addresses burnout and coping, in addition to a small but widely cited number of articles addressing trauma. There is a growing body of work produced by sex workers, starting with prostitutes’ memoirs but now including sex workers on research teams and producing magazines and informational websites. Far more literature exists, even when limited to the very best examples, than can be included in this bibliography. Therefore, it is recommended that this bibliography be seen as a starting point rather than a complete list of worthwhile reading on a topic that intersects every sector of every society. Items that merit more attention and newer work expanding scholarship in new directions have been prioritized. Most of the selections feature citations offering additional material for more in-depth investigation. Each item is listed only once, but because prostitution and sex work are not discrete but instead overlap with every sector of society and form microcosms within many social concerns, many selections could be placed in more than one section. These have been included in the best-fitting section, although in some cases other decisions regarding classification could well have been justified.

General Overviews

These books describe and analyze a variety of venues for prostitution and sex work. Some offer an in-depth focus on a particular place or gender, such as De Becker 1971 on Japan, Friedman 2003 with its focus on American men, and Ditmore 2011, a textbook of American history. Others include chapters or entries covering wider geography and topics, such as Ditmore 2006, an encyclopedia featuring more than three hundred entries, Roberts 1992, a historical survey by a sex worker and feminist historian, and the anthologies Weitzer 2010 and Ditmore, et al. 2010.

  • Ditmore, Melissa Hope, ed. 2006. Encyclopedia of prostitution and sex work. Westport, CT: Greenwood.

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    A–Z reference work including extensive front matter and 342 entries on cultural, legal, and social phenomena and concepts of prostitution and sex work.

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  • De Becker, J. E. 1971. The nightless city, or the history of the Yoshiwara Yukwaku. Rutland, VT and Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle.

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    Description of the red light districts of Tokyo, including all strata of establishments from the lowest and cheapest to geisha houses featuring women who might be “kept” by an exclusive patron. Originally published in 1899.

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  • Ditmore, Melissa Hope. 2011. Prostitution and sex work. Historical Guides to Controversial Issues in America. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood.

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    Historical guide to prostitution and sex work in the United States, including history of regulation, widespread criminalization in the 20th century, and morality, syphilis, and “white slavery” panics.

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  • Ditmore, Melissa, Antonia Levy, and Alys Willman, eds. 2010. Sex work matters: Power, money and intimacy in the sex trade. London: Zed.

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    Anthology with chapters about Asia, Europe, and North America, including sections addressing research frameworks, the roles sex workers play outside work, economics and money, government approaches to sex work, and organizing within the sex industry.

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  • Friedman, Mack. 2003. Strapped for cash: A history of American hustler culture. Los Angeles: Alyson.

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    Historical overview and cultural history of male prostitution in the United States, including references to transvestite prostitution, from the colonial era through the 20th century.

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  • Roberts, Nickie. 1992. Whores in history: Prostitution in Western society. London: HarperCollins.

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    Sex worker and feminist historian reclaims the word “whore” in a historical survey of famous and noteworthy citizens of the demimonde.

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  • Weitzer, Ronald John, ed. 2010. Sex for sale, 2d ed. New York and London: Routledge.

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    Anthology including a broad array of topics related to sex, including research methods, political agendas, and strong essays comparing sex workers across genders and venues. First ed. 2000.

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Careers

Research into the career trajectories of sex workers addresses the job trajectories within sex work and moving out of sex work. Careers within sex work can include movement from various venues and strata within the sex industry (see Quan 2001). Some, such as Murphy and Venkatesh 2006, include increasing levels of professionalization, while others address the temporary but sometimes repeating nature of sex work as something relied on when other options are not available or as well-paying. O’Neill and Campbell 2010 sees sex work as this type of income-generating activity. Bernstein 2007 describes the appeal of self-employment in sex work to middle-class and college-educated women. Sanders 2007 studies motivations for transitioning out of sex work. Analyses of efforts to move sex workers into more conventional work are cited in Social Work and Helping Industries.

  • Bernstein, Elizabeth. 2007. Sex work for the middle classes. Sexualities 10:473–488.

    DOI: 10.1177/1363460707080984Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Describes the appeal of self-employment in sex work to middle-class and college-educated women who used the Internet rather than third parties to meet clients, sometimes using how-to manuals that appear as sex work undergoes “professionalization.”

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  • Murphy, Alexandra K., and Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh. 2006. Vice careers: The changing contours of sex work in New York City. Qualitative Sociology 29.2: 129–154.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11133-006-9012-2Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Documents “professionalization” among sex workers in New York City who move to indoor venues, seeing sex work as a career rather than as a short-term way to make ends meet.

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  • O’Neill, Maggie, and Rosie Campbell. 2010. Desistence from sex work: Feminist cultural criminology and intersectionality—the complexities of moving in and out of sex work. In Theorizing intersectionality and sexuality. Edited by Y. Taylor, S. Hines, and M. Casey, 163–192. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

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    Uses framework of intersectionality to challenge the conception that being a prostitute defines who a woman is—in other words, that prostitution is not a lifelong and full-time identity but rather an income-generating activity that “has a deep impact on relationships, relationalities and sets limits on opportunities to exit.”

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  • Quan, Tracy. 2001. Diary of a Manhattan call girl. New York: Crown.

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    This novel offers an accurate if fictional depiction of stratification within prostitution and mobility within and across these strata. For these reasons, this and the author’s other books have been used in classes about the sex industry. Also features gentle satire of the sex workers’ rights movement.

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  • Sanders, Teela. 2007. Becoming an ex-sex worker: Making transitions out of a deviant career. Feminist Criminology 2.1: 1–22.

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    Typologizes paths of transitioning out of sex work as reactionary, gradual planning, natural progression and “yo-yoing,” arguing that structural, political, cultural, and legal factors are stronger influences on transition than compulsory rehabilitation or emotional commitment.

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Social Work and Helping Industries

The history of social work and helping industries addressing prostitution reflects a gendered approach in which the industry is conceptualized as offering assistance to women and children. Agustín 2004 and Agustín 2005 clarify this gendered approach. For example, male prostitutes (see Men Who Sell Sex) have not been the focus of helping industries or efforts to prevent forced prostitution. Wahab 2006 addresses punitive measures that include men conceptualized as Clients Of Sex Workers. Cusick, et al. 2009 highlights the need for a more nuanced approach, based on evidence rather than questionable assumptions about needs and numbers of people who would welcome services.

Legal History and Analysis

Few notable or scholarly investigations of prostitution exist prior to the its legal regimentation. This is due in part to the fact that, outside newspaper accounts of police activities and court proceedings, little information exists about sexual commerce, prior to 20th-century scholarly investigation of prostitution and Victorian-era hysteria about “the traffic in women.” Prostitution has been the subject of legislation for more than a century, and legal regimes and changes during this time have been analyzed by historians, legal scholars, and sociologists. The legal frameworks used to address prostitution are usually classified as regulation, prohibition, and decriminalization. Self 2003 studies the legal history and background of regulation in the United Kingdom, while Scoular and Sanders 2010 traces links between marketing of commercial sex and legal efforts to restrict it. More recently, a spate of laws has criminalized the purchase of sexual services. However, these categories are not often reflected in the experiences of those affected by or targeted by specific laws. Scoular 2010, Scoular, et al. 2009, and Sullivan 2010 address the progression of laws addressing the sex industry and the effects of their implementation. Information and analysis about the criminalization of the purchase of sex is included in Clients Of Sex Workers; information about the regulation of the sex industry is included in Regulation and Brothels and Other Indoor Settings. Additional legal analysis of documents addressing trafficking in persons is included in Trafficking.

  • Scoular, Jane. 2010. What’s law got to do with it? How and why law matters in the regulation of sex work. Journal of Law and Society 37.1: 12–39.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6478.2010.00493.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Descriptions of the ways law inhabits ideologies and produces norms and authorities, and delineates physical spaces related to sex work.

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  • Scoular, Jane, and Teela Sanders. 2010. Introduction: The changing legal context of sexual commerce: Why regulation matters. Journal of Law and Society 37.1: 1–11.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6478.2010.00492.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Traces links and historical co-occurrence of wider marketing of commercial sex and sexuality and late-20th- and early-21st-century legal efforts to control or restrict commercial sex. International examples from the United Kingdom, the United States, and India are highlighted.

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  • Scoular, Jane, J. Pitcher, R. Campbell, P. Hubbard, and M. O’Neill. 2009. What’s anti-social about sex work? Governance through the changing representation of prostitution’s incivility. In Regulating sex for sale: Prostitution, policy reform and the UK. Edited by Joanna Phoenix. Bristol, UK: Policy.

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    Contextualizes contemporary policy including UK Anti-Social Behaviour Orders within the wider history of control and governance in order to show that the alleged antithesis of sex work to community safety owes as much to the ideological operation of law as to any inherent feature of commercial sex. The authors outline some of the dangers of policy frameworks and techniques of control that continue to situate sex work as antithetical to the cultivation of community safety.

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  • Self, Helen. 2003. Prostitution, women, and misuse of the law: The fallen daughters of Eve. London: Frank Cass.

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    Legal history and background of the present-day system of regulation of prostitution in the United Kingdom. Includes detailed analysis of the Wolfenden Report and 1959 Street Offences Act.

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  • Sullivan, Barbara. 2010. When (some) prostitution is legal: The impact of law reform on sex work in Australia. Journal of Law and Society 37.1: 85–104.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6478.2010.00496.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Analyzes effects of different legal regimes in Australia on sex workers, concluding that law reform has been conceived in order to promote the regulation of social problems including police corruption, rather than promoting individual rights including the rights of sex workers.

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Research and Methodology

Sex work has become a bona fide area of academic inquiry, moving beyond earlier frameworks limited to criminology and deviance to economic analysis, participatory methods, cultural studies, and so on. All the articles described below offer different perspectives on the challenges and opportunities of investigating the sex industry. Sanders, et al. 2009, Shaver 2005, Weitzer 2010, and Weitzer 2005 review current literature. Chancer 1993, Lewis and Maticka-Tyndale 2000, and Sanders 2006 discuss the challenges faced in conducting research on sex work. O’Neill 2010 proposes new methodologies to expand exploration of sex work, and Agustín 2005 argues for an expansion of the level of analysis in the study of commercial sex.

  • Agustín, Laura. 2005. The cultural study of commercial sex. Sexualities 8:621–634.

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    Argues for the expansion of the level of analysis to include the business proprietors, supporting industries, cultural context of sexual commerce, the impact of migration patterns and policy, and the ways in which sex work is situated within the tourism and leisure industries.

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  • Chancer, Lynn Sharon. 1993. Prostitution, feminist theory, and ambivalence: Notes from the social underground. Social Text 11.4: 143–171.

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    Describes difficulty of conducting research on sex work, particularly participant observation, including ridicule by colleagues, stigmatization within academia, and ethical issues that would not arise when studying occupations that are not morally and sexually charged.

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  • Lewis, J., and E. Maticka-Tyndale. 2000. Methodological challenges conducting research related to sex work. In Escort services in a border town: Transmission dynamics of STDs within and between communities. Ottawa: Division of STD Prevention and Control, Laboratory Centres for Disease Control, Health Canada.

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    Describes the methodological issues that arise because of the way that the stigmatized and legally marginalized position of sex workers in society contributes to sex workers being a hidden population.

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  • O’Neill, Maggie. 2010. Cultural criminology and sex work: Resisting regulation through radical democracy and participatory action research (PAR). Journal of Law and Society 37.1: 210–232.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6478.2010.00502.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Proposes using innovative methodologies to expand exploration of sex work beyond criminological and deviance models, with examples of the ways participatory research can and has transformed findings by expanding frameworks of analysis.

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  • Sanders, Teela. 2006. Sexing up the subject: Methodological nuances in the female sex industry. Sexualities 9.4: 471–490.

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    Discussion of practical research issues including ethics, collaborations, positioning with regard to research subjects, and the ways methods have influenced political debates, using examples from an ethnography of adult British citizens in sex work in the United Kingdom.

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  • Sanders, Teela, Maggie O’Neill, and Jane Pitcher. 2009. Prostitution: Sex work, policy and politics. London: Sage.

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    This textbook is also interesting to readers outside the classroom. Begins with a discussion of the ways criminological, philosophical, sociological, and other literature about sex work reflects the local and global politics of the time, as well as the importance of understanding the culture of sex work in any context that is being investigated and analyzed.

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  • Shaver, Frances M. 2005. Sex work research: Methodological and ethical challenges. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 20:296–319.

    DOI: 10.1177/0886260504274340Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Describes the effects of the fact that street prostitution is over-represented in research, at the expense of men, transgender people, and women in other sex work venues being underrepresented, and particular issues and obstacles to expanding scholarship on sex work.

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  • Weitzer, Ronald John. 2005. Flawed theory and method in studies of prostitution. Violence against Women 11.7: 934–939.

    DOI: 10.1177/1077801205276986Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Describes the ideological bases of particular scholarship on sex work, scholarship which has been adopted as the basis for government policies owing to its shared ideology, without evaluation of methodologies.

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  • Weitzer, Ronald John. 2010. The mythology of prostitution: Advocacy research and public policy. Sex Research and Social Policy 7:15–29.

    DOI: 10.1007/s13178-010-0002-5Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Criticizes use of an oppression paradigm in studies of prostitution for ideological rather than evidence-based methodologies.

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Neglected Parties

Particular parties have been under-represented in the literature and scholarship about sex work and prostitution. Most research into sexual transactions addresses women as sellers of sex. Therefore, this section addresses Men Who Sell Sex, Transgender Sex Workers, and Clients Of Sex Workers.

Men Who Sell Sex

The prevention of sexually transmitted infections at first focused on men as soldiers and women as prostitutes. Gay men’s activism brought HIV prevention programs for men to the fore, some of which reach more men who sell sex than do HIV prevention programs targeting brothels where women work. Men have sold sex throughout history, albeit with a lower level of attention from researchers and law enforcement than experienced by women who sold sex, as reported by Marlowe 1997, Marlowe 2006, and Whowell 2010. Kaye 2003 describes male prostitution through history. Items below highlight the ways the exclusion of men has influenced the gendered nature of policies on sex work, and some, such as Inciardi 1997, study the ways men in sex work have been affected and sometimes neglected by services for sex workers. Parsons, et al. 2007 describes how gay and bisexual male sex workers feel they could best be served, and Kaye 2010 studies representations of men who sell sex. Allman 1999 reviews research on prostitutes, clients, and health. Examples of literature addressing men are not limited to this section; other items are under General Overviews, Research and Methodology, venues, and Health.

  • Allman, Dan. 1999. M is for mutual, A is for acts: Male sex work and AIDS in Canada. Ottawa: Canadian Public Health Association/Health Canada.

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    Reviews twenty-five years of research on prostitutes, clients, and health, including HIV, and analyzes the ways social, political, and economic structures impede access to sex workers and education about HIV/AIDS.

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  • Inciardi, J. A. 1997. Male transvestite sex workers and HIV in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Journal of Drug Issues 27.1: 135–139.

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    Describes stigmatization of medical and social service professionals who work with sex workers of all genders: “Doctors who work with street people, prostitutes, and transvestites in Rio de Janeiro, for example, report hostile reactions on the part of their medical colleagues as they themselves, apparently through guilt by association, come to be seen as sources of contagion and risk” (p. 137), contributing to difficulties for stigmatized people to gain access to health care.

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  • Kaye, Kerwin. 2003. Male prostitution in the twentieth century: Pseudo-homosexuals, hoodlum homosexuals, and exploited teens. Journal of Homosexuality 46.1/2: 1–77.

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    Description of the changing forms and venues for male prostitution throughout the 20th century, including the effects of national and global phenomena such as the Great Depression and the changes in the conception of homosexuality.

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  • Kaye, Kerwin. Sex and the unspoken in male street prostitution. In Sex work matters: Exploring money, power, and intimacy in the sex industry. 2010. Edited by Melissa Ditmore, Antonia Levy, and Alys Willman, 85–116. London: Zed.

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    Ethnography of drug-involved men selling sex, comparing representations of men who sell sex with the diversity of experiences among men selling sex on the street.

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  • Marlowe, Julian. 1997. It’s different for boys. In Whores and other feminists. Edited by Jill Nagle, 141–144. New York: Routledge.

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    Points out the ways that men in the sex industry are excluded in feminist critiques that focus on dominance, asking “Whose erect penis represents the ‘weaker sex’?” (p. 142)

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  • Marlowe, Julian. 2006. Thinking outside the box: Men in the sex industry. In Prostitution and pornography: Philosophical debate about the sex industry. Edited by Jessica Spector, 349–357. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press.

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    Discusses the limitations of feminist discussions of the sex industry that neglect male sex workers and clients entirely.

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  • Parsons, Jeffrey T., Juline A. Koken, and David S. Bimbi. 2007. Looking beyond HIV: Eliciting community and individual needs of male escorts. Journal of Homosexuality 53:219–240.

    DOI: 10.1300/J082v53n01_10Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This paper describes the perspectives of gay and bisexual male escorts when asked what needs they have (mainly services) and how they feel male escorts could best be served. One of the most commonly expressed desires was for financial, tax, and legal assistance.

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  • Whowell, Mary. 2010. Male sex work: Exploring regulation in England and Wales. Journal of Law and Society 37.1: 125–144.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6478.2010.00498.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Describes the ways gender infuses sex work policy, using examples of policy’s effects on male sex workers, who were not considered when policies were drafted, highlighting the need for policy to be informed by in-depth local knowledge.

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Transgender Sex Workers

Transgender people experience a different gender identity from what is assigned to them at birth. Transgender people often turn to sex work because employment discrimination prevents many from finding other work that pays a living wage. Transgender sex workers face multiple difficulties, including increased stigmatization and marginalization within already marginalized populations that experience high levels of discrimination (for example, among sex workers, gay people, ethnic and racial minorities). Literature included below indicates that transgender people suffer extremely high rates of HIV, and this is one reason most of the publications below address HIV. At the same time, the HIV epidemic experienced by transgender people is difficult to discern because transgender people are usually classified under their sex at birth rather than as transgender, making it difficult to analyze health statistics collected by governments and international agencies.

US Studies

Boles and Elifson 1994 and Elifson, et al. 1993 study transgender prostitution in Atlanta; Clements-Nolle, et al. 2001, Kellogg, et al. 2001, and Nemoto, et al. 2004 study transgender prostitution in San Francisco; and Morse, et al. 1991 studies transgender prostitution in New Orleans. Reitmeijer, et al. 1999 and Simon, et al. 2000 report the prevalence of HIV among transgender sex workers in Long Beach and Los Angeles. Reback, et al. 2003 studies factors relating to HIV seroprevalence.

  • Boles, J., and K. Elifson. 1994. The social organization of transvestite prostitution and AIDS. Social Science and Medicine 39.1: 85–93.

    DOI: 10.1016/0277-9536(94)90168-6Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Compares two areas where male-to-female transgender people sell sex in Atlanta, both with extremely high but very different rates of HIV, 81.1 and 37.5 percent. Further analysis indicated that transgender sex workers, especially people of color, represent “an oppressed minority within an oppressed minority.”

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  • Clements-Nolle, K., R. Marx, R. Guzman, and M. Katz. 2001. HIV prevalence, risk behaviors, health care use, and mental health status of transgender persons: Implications for public health intervention. American Journal of Public Health 91:915–921.

    DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.91.6.915Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Large study of 392 male-to-female transgender people in San Francisco, utilizing interviews and focus groups. Researchers classified an astounding 80 percent of participants as having engaged in “sex work or survival sex,” and 40 percent of the sample self-reported being HIV-positive. Significant predictors for sex workers being HIV-positive included intravenous drug use unrelated to hormone therapy and having more than two hundred lifetime sex partners, and that “many male-to-female transgender persons turn to sex work because they face severe employment discrimination” (p. 381).

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  • Elifson, K., J. Boles, E. Posey, M. Sweat, W. Darrow, and W. Elsea. 1993. Male transvestite prostitutes and HIV risk. American Journal of Public Health 83.2: 260–262.

    DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.83.2.260Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Snowball sampling and ethnographic mapping were used to recruit fifty-three male-to-female transgender sex workers from the streets of Atlanta, for interviews and testing for sexually transmitted infections. Ages ranged from seventeen to forty-three, and 68 percent of those recruited tested HIV-positive.

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  • Kellogg, T., K. Clements-Nolle, J. Dilley, M. Katz, and W. McFarland. 2001. Incidence of human immunodeficiency virus among male-to-female transgendered persons in San Francisco. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome 28.4: 380–384.

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    Incidence study of male-to-female transgender people established extraordinarily high rate of new HIV infections, at 17.5 per 100 person years.

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  • Morse, E., P. Simon, H. Osofsky, P. Balson, and H. Gaumer. 1991. The male street prostitute: A vector for transmission of HIV infection into the heterosexual world. Social Science and Medicine 32.5: 535–539.

    DOI: 10.1016/0277-9536(91)90287-MSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    HIV prevalence among male street-based sex workers in New Orleans was found to be 18 percent in this study.

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  • Nemoto, T., D. Operario, J. Keatley, L. Han, and T. Soma. 2004. HIV risk behaviors among male-to-female transgender persons of color in San Francisco. American Journal of Public Health 94.7: 1193–1199.

    DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.94.7.1193Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Needs-assessment-driven study using community-based staff to reach 332 male-to-female transgender sex workers of color in San Francisco, 26 percent of whom tested positive for HIV.

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  • Reback, C. J., E. Lombardi, P. Simon, and D. Frye. 2003. HIV seroprevalence and risk behaviors among transgendered women who exchange sex in comparison with those who do not. Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality 17.1–2: 5–22.

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    Among 224 male-to-female transgender people, 121 of whom reported sex work as their main source of income, it was found that being African American increased the odds of a person’s being HIV-positive more than selling sex did. “Exchange sex was not directly associated with HIV infection, but it was likely that it was associated with the other factors that related to HIV seroprevalence” (p. 20).

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  • Reitmeijer, C., R. Wolitski, M. Fishbein, N. Corby, and D. Cohn. 1999. Sex hustling, injection drug use, and non-gay identification by men who have sex with men: Associations with high-risk sexual behaviors and condom use. Sexually Transmitted Diseases 26.2: 93–94.

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    Male sex workers in Long Beach, California, were found to have an HIV prevalence of 12 percent.

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  • Simon, P., C. J. Reback, and C. Bemis. 2000. HIV prevalence and incidence among male-to-female transsexuals receiving HIV prevention services in Los Angeles County. AIDS 14.18: 2953–2955.

    DOI: 10.1097/00002030-200012220-00024Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Study of 224 male-to-female transgender people reached by outreach workers in Los Angeles, 121 of whom reported sex work as their main source of income. Among these 121, 26 percent were HIV-positive.

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International Studies

Reports of drug-using men who hired katoey for sex in Thailand are found in Beyrer, et al. 2005. Galli 1991 compares HIV rates among transgender sex workers in Milan, Gattari, et al. 1992 studies rates in Rome, and Pisani, et al. 2004 studies rates in Jakarta, Indonesia. Kulick 1998 studies motivations and structures of sex work in Brazil. Leuridan, et al. 2005, Nag 1995, and Russi, et al. 2003 estimate the numbers of transgender sex workers in Antwerp, India, and Montevideo, respectively.

  • Beyrer, C., T. Sripaipan, S. Tovanabutra, J. Jittiwutikarn, V. Suriyanon, T. Vongchak, et al. 2005. High HIV, hepatitis C and sexual risks among drug-using men who have sex with men in northern Thailand. AIDS 19.14: 1535–1540.

    DOI: 10.1097/01.aids.0000183122.01583.c7Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Drug-using men in this study often reported that they hired katoey (male-to-female transgender people) for sex, and that “Although HIV and sexual health research may have overlooked Katoey, the sex and tourism industries have not” (p. 1538).

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  • Galli, M., R. Esposito, S. Antinori, M. Cernuschi, M. Moroni, F. Giannelli, et al. 1991. HIV-1 infection, tuberculosis, and syphilis in male transsexual prostitutes in Milan, Italy. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome 4.10: 1006–1007.

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    Transgender sex workers in Milan were found to have disparate rates of HIV depending upon their origins: 76 percent of South American immigrants were found to be HIV-positive, in comparison to 38 percent of their Italian counterparts. Researchers estimated a minimum of five hundred male-to-female transgender sex workers in Milan during their study.

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  • Gattari, P., L. Spizzichino, C. Valenzi, M. Zaccarelli, and G. Rezza. 1992. Behavioural patterns and HIV infection among drug using transvestites practising prostitution in Rome. AIDS Care 4.1: 83–87.

    DOI: 10.1080/09540129208251622Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Transgender sex workers in Rome were tested for HIV, and it was found that while 60 percent of Italians tested positive, 78 percent of Brazilians did.

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  • Kulick, Don. 1998. Travesti: Sex, gender, and culture among Brazilian transgendered prostitutes. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    Ethnography of transgender women in Brazil, including detailed descriptions of motivations and structures of sex work.

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  • Leuridan, E., K. Wouters, M. Stalpaert, and P. Van Damme. 2005. Male sex workers in Antwerp, Belgium: A descriptive study. International Journal of STD & AIDS 16.11: 744–748.

    DOI: 10.1258/095646205774763072Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Estimation of two thousand sex workers total in the city of Antwerp, extrapolated from a sample including female, male, and transgender sex workers.

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  • Nag, M. 1995. Sexual behavior in India with risk of HIV/AIDS transmission. Health Transition Review 5 Supplement: 293–305.

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    Estimates between 46 and 467 hijra (a cultural role for male-to-female transgender people) selling sex, based on 1.1 billion people in India.

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  • Pisani, E., P. Girault, M. Gultom, N. Sukartini, J. Kumalawati, S. Jazan, et al. 2004. HIV, syphilis infection, and sexual practices among transgenders, male sex workers, and other men who have sex with men in Jakarta, Indonesia. Sexually Transmitted Infections 80.6: 536–540.

    DOI: 10.1136/sti.2003.007500Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Epidemiological study finding that transgender sex workers have higher rates of HIV than male sex workers and far higher rates than female sex workers in a concentrated epidemic, as the epidemic was growing into a generalized epidemic.

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  • Russi, J., M. Serra, J. Vinoles, M. Perez, D. Ruchansky, G. Alonso, et al. 2003. Sexual transmission of hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infections among male transvestite commercial sex workers in Montevideo, Uruguay. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 68.6: 716–720.

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    Researchers estimated that “approximately 2000 transvestite men are estimated to be engaged in commercial sex in the city of Montevideo alone,” in Uruguay, where sex work by people of any gender is legal under a registration system, contributing to validity of this estimation.

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Clients of Sex Workers

Clients of sex workers, also called “clients” or “johns” in the United States, have been nearly invisible in research and analysis of prostitution and sex work. Recent attention has been drawn to clients after discussion of a legal and regulatory model based upon the criminalization of the purchase of sex. Brooks-Gordon 2010 provides a short legal history of movements to criminalize clients of sex workers, and Kulick 2005 analyzes the emergence of these laws in Sweden. These laws and policies offer an opportunity for analysis of criminal justice approaches to clients. However, these approaches have conceived of clients as men and sex workers as women, exposing a gendered perception that does not hold up to scrutiny and neglects male and transgender sex workers and women who pay for sex. Brewer, et al. 2007 uses arrest data to estimate the prevalence of men who solicit prostitutes, and Brennan 2004 analyzes motivations for selling and buying sex. Sanders 2007 examines facets for and against sex work as part of a strategy to promote the sexual rights of the disabled, including sex surrogates and sex facilitators. Wortley, et al. 2002 is an evaluation of a “john school” for men arrested for soliciting prostitutes.

  • Brennan, Denise. 2004. What’s love got to do with it?: Transnational desires and sex tourism in the Dominican Republic. Durham, NC: Duke Univ. Press.

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    Includes analysis of motivations for selling and buying sex and analysis of gender dynamics with female and male tourist clients of sex workers in the Dominican Republic.

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  • Brewer, Devon D., John J. Potterat, Stephen Q. Muth, John M. Roberts, Jr., Jonathan A. Dudek, and Donald E. Woodhouse. 2007. Clients of prostitute women: Deterrence, prevalence, characteristics, and violence.

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    Uses capture-recapture method and extrapolation from arrest data from six metropolitan areas and comparison with arrests in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to estimate a 3.5 percent prevalence of men who solicit prostitutes. Documents a lack of recidivism among men arrested for patronizing prostitutes in Colorado Springs.

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  • Brooks-Gordon, Belinda. 2010. Bellwether citizens: The regulation of male clients of sex workers. Journal of Law and Society 37.1: 145–170.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6478.2010.00499.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Short legal history tracing movements to criminalize clients of sex workers from being seen as a nuisance to exploiters, and the divergent ideologies viewing clients as either consumers or exploiters, with an eye to understanding motivations and possible effects of current policy initiatives.

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  • Kulick, Don. 2005. Four hundred thousand Swedish perverts. Gay and Lesbian Quarterly 11.2: 205–235.

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    Analysis of the emergence of Swedish law criminalizing patronizing sex workers, alongside government survey results that 187 of 2,810 respondents reported paying for sex, which was extrapolated to the “four hundred thousand Swedish perverts” of the title, people who would not have been viewed legally as “perverted” before this law was enacted.

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  • Sanders, Teela. 2007. The politics of sexual citizenship: Commercial sex and disability. Disability and Society 22.5: 439–455.

    DOI: 10.1080/09687590701427479Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Some see promoting engagement with sex workers as promoting marginalization, and possibly further marginalizing discussion of women’s sexual rights, which are not addressed. Disability activists have an educational and social role in such work because disabled people in many cases have specific requirements that many sex workers are unprepared to meet.

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  • Wortley, S., B. Fischer, and C. Webster. 2002. Vice lessons: A survey of prostitution offenders enrolled in the Toronto John School Diversion Program. Canadian Journal of Criminology 3:227–248.

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    First published evaluation of a “john school” for men arrested for soliciting prostitutes, stating that while participants became more aware of “victims” of prostitution and dangers of commercial sex, behavior change was less likely and therefore the program was less successful.

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Health

Some of the most exciting investigations into health and sex work include innovative research addressing the health of sex workers themselves, including general health and wellbeing, often with specific attention to resilience. Such studies can be found in Romans, et al. 2001, Vanwesenbeeck 1994, and Vanwesenbeeck 2005. Coping Strategies includes work on the ways sex workers confront burnout, stigma, and other adverse issues related to sex work. However, most attention to the health of sex workers has not focused upon the health of people who sell sex but rather upon the perceived protection of men who pay for sexual services and their innocent wives and children. Some literature about health issues is included in other sections of this bibliography: violence against sex workers in Violence, and examples addressing abuse in Feminism. A significant proportion of the articles included in Transgender Sex Workers address HIV.

  • Romans, S. E., K. Potter, J. Martin, and P. Herbison. 2001. The mental and physical health of female sex workers: A comparative study. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 35:75–80.

    DOI: 10.1046/j.1440-1614.2001.00857.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Standard psychological measures of a sample of twenty-nine female sex workers from an advocacy group in New Zealand found that sex workers are not more traumatized at work than are people in other fields, but rather that circumstances attributed to the stigmatization and marginalization of sex workers and of the poor contributed to dangers to mental health. Some sex workers appeared to have been more vulnerable to violence outside work, from partners and strangers, similarly to other women.

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  • Vanwesenbeeck, Ine. 1994. Prostitutes’ well being and risk. Amsterdam: Vrei Univ. Press.

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    Presents the findings from two snowball sampling studies of 187 female sex workers in the Netherlands who worked in a diverse array of settings, from the street to upscale brothels. Wellbeing and job satisfaction were found to be related to historic, personal, and contextual factors, and people with the lowest scores of wellbeing worked in the worst-paid and most violent working conditions.

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  • Vanwesenbeeck, Ine. 2005. Burnout among indoor female sex workers. Archives of Sexual Behavior 34:627–639.

    DOI: 10.1007/s10508-005-7912-ySave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Uses comparison groups to assess differences in burnout between sex workers and two other groups in the Netherlands. Sex workers did not differ from health workers and were far more positive than people seeking treatment for work-related burnout with regard to emotional exhaustion and personal competence. However, sex workers scored higher than healthcare workers for depersonalization, related to violence, lack of autonomy, and perception of stigma in personal life.

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Coping Strategies

The articles presented below highlight what is known about the coping strategies sex workers use when they face stress in the workplace and in other situations as a result of the stigmatization of sex work. Emotional work (Sanders 2005) such as maintaining physical and psychological boundaries (Brewis and Linstead, 2000, Sanders 2002, Sanders 2004a) and managing stigma (Koken, et al. 2004) features prominently (Sanders 2004b).

  • Brewis, Joanna, and Stephen Linstead. 2000. ‘The worst thing is the screwing’ (1): Consumption and the management of identity in sex work. Gender, Work and Organization 7:84–97.

    DOI: 10.1111/1468-0432.00096Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Two-part article, continued in Gender, Work and Organization 7:168–180, based on interviews with sex workers from a variety of venues in the United Kingdom, describing efforts and techniques used by sex workers to maintain psychological boundaries while performing activities with clients that involve a combination of physical intimacy and emotional distancing.

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  • Koken, Juline A., David S. Bimbi, Jeffrey T. Parsons, and Perry N. Halkitis. 2004. The experience of stigma in the lives of male internet escorts. Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality 16:13–32.

    DOI: 10.1300/J056v16n01_02Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This paper describes the coping strategies used by internet-based gay and bisexual male escorts to manage sex work-related stigma. Information management strategies originated by Goffman (passing, covering) as well as “coming out” were common techniques.

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  • Sanders, Teela. 2002. The condom as a psychological barrier: Female sex workers and emotional management. Feminism and Psychology 12:561–566.

    DOI: 10.1177/0959353502012004016Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Ethnography of adult British citizens in sex work in the United Kingdom, using condoms as physical but also psychological barriers to prevent “the client entering their minds, stealing their thoughts and affecting their personal relationships” (p. 562). The use of the condom as a barrier to mark work is related to not using condoms in personal relationships.

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  • Sanders, Teela. 2004a. A continuum of risk? The management of health, physical and emotional risks by female sex workers. Sociology of Health and Illness 2.5: 557–574.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.0141-9889.2004.00405.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Ethnography of adult British citizens in sex work in the United Kingdom, most of whom did not identify as ever having been abused, countering theories of child sexual abuse leading to prostitution, and who used a variety of strategies to address and mitigate risk in sex work.

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  • Sanders, Teela. 2004b. Controllable laughter: Managing sex work through humour. Sociology 38:273–291.

    DOI: 10.1177/0038038504040864Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Ethnography of adult British citizens in sex work in the United Kingdom, emphasizing the use of humor, particularly jokes of which the client was unaware, to maintain distance from the client.

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  • Sanders, Teela. 2005. “It’s just acting”: Sex workers’ strategies for capitalizing on sexuality. Gender, Work and Organization 12:319–342.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0432.2005.00276.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Describes the management of emotions as a business strategy implemented by sex workers in order to attract the most desirable clients, using ethnographic data from adult British citizens in sex work in the United Kingdom. Places sex work on a continuum of other traditionally female work involving emotional presentation, along with waitresses, nurses, and flight attendants.

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Regulation

Regulatory schemes typically address sex workers as potential vectors of diseases and do not include health concerns beyond the gynecological. Schemes for the regulation of prostitution overwhelmingly address female prostitution, exposing a gendered perception and social tendency to seek to control female sexuality more than male sexuality. Courbin 1990 and Harsin 1985 offer descriptions of brothels and regulatory schemes alongside analysis of the effects of the way the business has been organized and addressed in policy. Kilmarx, et al. 1999, Loff, et al. 2003, and Lowe 2003 study mandatory condom use in brothels in Thailand and Cambodia.

  • Corbin, Alain. 1990. Women for hire: Prostitution and sexuality in France after 1850. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

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    Analysis of regulatory scheme implemented by police, positing that the brothel was analogous to the factory, increasing and concentrating profit in the hands of owners rather than workers, and the ways the demise of the regulatory system transformed prostitution.

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  • Harsin, Jill. 1985. Policing prostitution in nineteenth-century Paris. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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    Describes unlegislated regulation of prostitutes by police, involving registration, medical examination, and periodic detention of working-class prostitutes, and the ways this system deprived prostitutes and all women who worked of civil rights.

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  • Kilmarx, Peter H., Thanit Palanuvej, Khanchit Limpakarnjanarat, Anupong Chitvarakorn, Michael E. St. Louis, and Timothy D. Mastro. 1999. Seroprevalence of HIV among female sex workers in Bangkok: Evidence of ongoing infection risk after the “100% Condom Program” was implemented. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 21.4: 313.

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    Mandatory condom use in brothels was implemented in 1991 in Thailand, seeming to contribute to lower rates of HIV among young men, but the program did not protect sex workers. Women who began working in the brothels after condom use became mandatory had similar rates of HIV to those who worked in brothels prior to the implementation of this policy.

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  • Loff, Bebe, Cheryl Overs, and Paulo Longo. 2003. Can health programmes lead to mistreatment of sex workers? The Lancet 361.9373: 1982–1983.

    DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(03)13595-7Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Describes abuses of sex workers committed in Cambodia under the implementation of the 100% Condom Use Program. The program authorized police inspection of prostitutes, which created a situation in which bribery and abuse flourished.

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  • Lowe, David. 2003. Perceptions of the Cambodian 100% Condom Use Program: Documenting the experiences of sex workers. Washington, DC: Policy Project.

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    Describes abuses of sex workers committed in Cambodia under the implementation of the 100% Condom Use Program. The report recommends NGO rather than police and military involvement in sex work programs because police inspection of prostitutes created a situation in which bribery and abuse flourished and diminished effectiveness.

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Youth

These selections distinguish between adolescents and children, and therefore avoid emotive reactions to child prostitution when discussing adolescents in the late teens. Exactly this conflation has been used by some to promote particular criminal justice and prohibitionist agendas. While no one is in favor of prostitution by minors, children and adolescents require specific age and culturally appropriate responses to their involvement in sexual transactions. Curtis, et al. 2008 and Montgomery 1998 study adolescents and preadolescents, respectively. New developments include activism and advocacy by sex workers’ offspring in order to promote sex workers’ rights. Sampada Grameen Mahila Sanstha and Veshya Anyay Mukti Parishad 2008 includes stories from children of sex workers.

  • Curtis, Ric, Karen Terry, Meredith Dank, Kirk Dombrowski, Bilal Khan Amy Muslim, Melissa Labriola, and Michael Rempel. 2008. The commercial sexual exploitation of children in New York City. New York: John Jay College and the Center for Court Innovation.

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    Respondent-driven sampling study of adolescents engaging in sexual exchange in New York City. One of the most salient findings was the high proporation of males involved. Authors extrapolate from their sample of 249 that there were 3,946 minors selling sex in New York City.

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  • Montgomery, Heather. 1998. Children, prostitution, and identity: A case study from a tourist resort in Thailand. In Global sex workers: Rights, resistance and redefinition. Edited by Kamala Kempadoo and Jo Doezema, 139–150. London and New York: Routledge.

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    Description of self-perception of young preadolescent children who sell sex to foreign tourists in order to support their families in Asia. These children do not identify as sex workers, nor do they express dislike or hatred for the people who pay them, but they do express dislike for having to sell sex, for impoverishment and the stigma they experience because of their involvement selling sex.

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  • Sampada Grameen Mahila Sanstha and Veshya Anyay Mukti Parishad. 2008. Brothel born and bred: Children of sex workers speak. Sangli, India: Center for Advocacy on Stigma and Marginalization. Delhi, India: Center for Stigma and Marginalization.

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    Personal stories from children of sex workers in a small city in central India.

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Feminism

Feminist scholarship on prostitution and sex work has undergone significant recent changes. Feminists critiqued the historical tendency to view prostitution as a social problem to be contained in order to contain the spread of disease and disorder but also fell into two camps on prostitution: abolitionists, who believe that any toleration or regulation of prostitution must be abolished as a form of slavery and violence against women, and those who did not believe that abuses within sex work rendered the sex industry as a whole a form of abuse. Some feminists went further and celebrated prostitutes as renegades and freedom fighters for pushing the limits of sexual and social boundaries (Califia 1988). Feminists who did not promote abolition were frequently attacked for their views that sex work could be a legitimate form of work. Dworkin 1997, Barry 1995, and Farley and Barkan 1998 describe prostitution as a form of violence against women. This schism is described in Fawkes 2005. Koken 2010 shows how these stances shaped research on female sex work. However, scholarship has moved on greatly (see Scoular 2004), and current thinking has moved away from this dichotomy toward far more nuanced understandings and explorations, including coping strategies developed by sex workers and greater acknowledgment of men and transgender people in sex work, and what this diversity of gender represents. See also Abramovich 2005, Chapkins 1997, Farley, et al. 1998. and Kotiswaran 2010. A great deal of feminist scholarship is also included under other categories, such as Gender and Health.

  • Abramovich, E. 2005 Childhood sexual abuse as a risk factor for subsequent involvement in sex work: A review of empirical findings. Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality 17:131–146.

    DOI: 10.1300/J056v17n01_08Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Retroactive investigation of child sexual abuse theorizing that prostitution may be viewed as negative sequelae of such abuse.

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  • Barry, Kathleen. 1995. The prostitution of sexuality. New York: New York Univ. Press.

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    Describes prostitution as inherently violence against women. Criticized for repeating unsubstantiated rumors of slave auctions of women in Africa.

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  • Califia, Pat. 1988. Macho sluts. Los Angeles: Alyson.

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    Presents prostitutes as the epitome and embodiment of sexual agency.

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  • Chapkis, Wendy. 1997. Live sex acts: Women performing erotic labor. London and New York: Routledge.

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    Moves beyond feminist “sex wars” with advanced analysis of emotional labor as performed in sex work and interviews with fifty sex workers, trafficked women, and law enforcement officers.

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  • Dworkin, Andrea. 1997. Prostitution and male supremacy. In Life and death. Edited by Andrea Dworkin, 139–151. New York: Free Press.

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    Presents prostitutes as the epitome and embodiment of sexual objectification of women.

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  • Farley, M., and H. Barkan. 1998. Prostitution, violence, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Women and Health 27:37–49.

    DOI: 10.1300/J013v27n03_03Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Describes prostitution as a form of violence against women, resulting in stress disorders akin to rape trauma syndrome, and a “repetition compulsion” after experiences of child sexual abuse. Criticized for describing post-traumatic stress as both a cause and effect of prostitution.

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  • Farley, M., I. Baral, M. Kiremire, and U. Sezgin. 1998. Prostitution in five countries: Violence and post-traumatic stress disorder. Feminism and Psychology 8:415–426.

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    Uses interviews with 475 mostly street-based, nearly all female, sex workers, to document post-traumatic stress disorder among sex workers. Methodological criticisms have included lack of consistency in data collection methods and the fact that sex workers who did not conform to ideological views of the researchers were excluded.

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  • Fawkes, Janelle. 2005. Sex working feminists and the politics of exclusion. Social Alternatives 24:22–23.

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    Describes feminist schism about sex work leading to the “active exclusion of sex workers and their positive experiences of sex work from feminist spaces” (p. 22).

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  • Koken, Juline. 2010. The meaning of the whore. In Sex work matters: Power, money and intimacy in the sex trade. Edited by Melissa Ditmore, Antonia Levy, and Alys Willman, 28–64. London: Zed.

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    Critical review of the literature addressing prostitution and sex work in the social sciences, with emphasis on psychology, presenting theoretical feminist stances on sex work and how they shaped research on female sex work from the 1990s onward.

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  • Kotiswaran, Prabha. 2010. Labors in vice or virtue? Neo-liberalism, sexual commerce and Indian bar dancing. Journal of Law and Society 37.1: 105–124.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6478.2010.00497.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Cites feminist support of a ban on bar dancing (a sex work venue) as detrimental to women and argues the need for a materialist feminist lens for the evaluation of sexual commerce. Includes descriptions of working conditions at bars and meeting places for sex work clients.

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  • Scoular, Jane. 2004. The “subject” of prostitution: Interpreting the discursive, symbolic and material position of sex/work in feminist theory. Feminist Theory 5:343–355.

    DOI: 10.1177/1464700104046983Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Effort to move beyond dichotomy of forced prostitution versus sex work in feminist discussion, recognizing that while sex work challenges norms of female sexual behavior, it “may also be an activity which reinforces the dominant norms of heterosexuality and femininity” (p. 348).

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Media by Sex Workers

The most widely available media by sex workers include memoirs, which additionally offer insight into the social mores and sex industry at various times and geographic locations. A selection of memoirs is included in Memoirs below. Additionally, sex workers have written and circulated newsletters among themselves, including Whorezine, which produced the most issues, PONY eXpress, and COYOTE Howls. However, these can be difficult to find. More recent examples given below, such as $pread magazine and danzine, include items intended to offer sex workers information relevant to their work. Additionally, some sex workers have undertaken efforts to represent themselves in media including magazines, websites (Scarlet Alliance and Research for Sex Work) and video (Taking the pledge and Sex workers present) rather than being the subject of media made by others. Delacoste and Alexander 1987 includes writings by women in the sex industry.

Memoirs

These memoirs were selected to offer information and insight about a variety of time periods and locations. Madeleine (Anonymous 1986) addresses the 19th-century United States and Canada in the context of Western expansion. Pinzer 1977 writes about her experiences in the first half of the 20th century. Hollander 2002, The happy hooker, tells a very unhappy personal story starting in Japanese-run concentration camps and ending with the author’s arrest and deportation from the United States in the 1970s. Sterry 2002 offers a unique memoir of a youth selling sex to women. Jamila 2007 tells the story of her life as a sex worker in contemporary India.

Violence

Violence is often cited by sex workers as their prime issue to address. Sex workers face levels of violence that are far higher than those risked by other people (Potterat, et al. 2004), in part because sex workers are a rational target for violence and robbery and other crimes because they may not report crimes to law enforcement, especially in places where sex work is criminalized or sex workers treated as criminals (Lewis, et al. 2005, Vanwesenbeeck 2001). The papers, reports, and books cited below document and analyze the conditions that contribute to this high level of violence. Raphael 2004 provides a case study. Kinnell 2008 presents research into violence against sex workers in the United Kingdom, and Jenkins, et al. 2006 surveys incidence of rape among sex workers in Phnom Penh. Sanders and Campbell 2007 offers suggestions on how to reduce violence against sex workers.

  • Jenkins, Carol, Cambodian Prostitutes’ Union, Women’s Network for Unity, and Candice Sainsbury. 2006. Violence and exposure to HIV among sex workers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Washington, DC: USAID.

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    Respondent-driven sampling survey of more than 970 sex workers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, over 95 percent of whom reported having been raped in the previous year.

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  • Kinnell, Hilary. 2008. Violence and sex workers in Britain. Cullompton, UK, and Portland, OR: Willan.

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    In-depth research into contemporary violence against sex workers in the United Kingdom, including rationale and justifications by perpetrators of violence. One key finding is that people who commit violence against sex workers do not see themselves as clients of sex workers, although they use the client relationship to gain access to their victims.

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  • Lewis, J., E. Maticka-Tyndale, F. Shaver, and H. Schramm. 2005. Managing risk and safety on the job: The experiences of Canadian sex workers. Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality 17:147–167.

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    Offers evidence that criminalization of sex work fosters working conditions which are often exploitative and unsafe.

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  • Potterat, John S., Devon D. Brewer, Stephen Q. Muth, R. B. Rothenburg, D. E. Woodhoouse, J. B. Muth, et al. 2004. Mortality in a long-term open cohort of prostitute women. American Journal of Epidemiology 159:778–785.

    DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwh110Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Documents that prostitute women face the highest rates of violence ever recorded among any population.

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  • Raphael, Jody. 2004. Listening to Olivia: Violence, poverty, and prostitution. Boston: Northeastern Univ. Press.

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    Pathway analysis of one woman from early childhood experiences of victimization to adult offending. This case study is framed by recent research on gender, race, and class to violence, victimizations, and criminal behavior.

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  • Sanders, Teela, and Rosie Campbell. 2007. Designing out violence, building in respect: Violence, safety and sex work policy. British Journal of Sociology 58.1: 1–18.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-4446.2007.00136.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Compares violence experienced by sex workers in indoor venues and on the street, and highlights strategies of sex workers in off-street venues to avoid violence. Offers suggestions about ways to incorporate respect for sex workers into policy in order to reduce violence against them.

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  • Vanwesenbeeck, Ine. 2001. Another decade of social scientific work on sex work: A review of research 1990–2000. Annual Review of Sex Research 12:242–289.

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    Review of research on sex work published in the 1990s, including HIV/AIDS research. Takes sex work as a form of work but acknowledges that stigma and illegal status contribute to violence against sex workers and to rights violations.

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Money

Despite prostitution and sex work being at the nexus of sex and money, the financial aspects of sex work have been underrepresented in the significant body of literature addressing prostitution (see Weldon 2010). This section highlights investigation of the financial motivations and relationships in sex work. Bernstein 2007 describes what she calls “postindustrial sexual commerce,” and Escoffier 2006 discusses earnings over a sex worker’s career. Funding research and programming for sex workers is highly political in the United States, the world’s largest donor to research and HIV programming, affecting individuals and organizations the world over. Lim 1998 analyzes the economics of the sex industry in Southeast Asia. Journalistic, academic, and “gray” literature accounts in Politics of Funding offer examples of the ways investigation and programming have been affected.

  • Bernstein, Elizabeth. 2007. In Love and globalization: Transformations of intimacy in the contemporary world. Buying and selling the “girlfriend experience.” Edited by Mark B. Padilla et al., 186–203. Nashville: Vanderbilt Univ. Press.

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    Describes marketing intimacy in the form of erotic and emotional labor, known as the “girlfriend experience” or GFE, and the show of caring, affection, sexual pleasure, and even love in “postindustrial sexual commerce.”

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  • Escoffier, Jeffrey. 2006. Retrogressive dynamic. In Encyclopedia of prostitution and sex work, vol. 2. Edited by Melissa Ditmore, 400–402. Westport, CT: Greenwood.

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    Explains the phenomenon of declining earnings over a sex worker’s career, rather than more typical increasing earnings over the lifetime found in conventional work. Responses include moving into other aspects of entertainment and sex work and increasing services offered.

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  • Lim, Lin Lean. 1998. The sex sector: The economic and social bases of prostitution in Southeast Asia. Geneva, Switzerland: International Labour Organisation.

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    Economic analysis of the role of the sex industry in four Southeast Asian nations (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand), concluding that sex work contributes between 2 and 14 percent of gross national product in these countries, making it economically significant.

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  • Weldon, Jo. 2010. Show me the money. In Sex work matters: Power, money, and intimacy in the sex industry. Edited by Melissa Ditmore, Antonia Levy, and Alys Willman, 147–154. London: Zed.

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    First-person account highlighting the absence of research into financial aspects of sex work, and noting that only sex work offers women the ability to get a job and earn enough to meet an immediate expense that same day.

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Politics of Funding

The moral underpinnings of US government have been reflected in funding restrictions applied to aid money for HIV/AIDS programs and work with trafficked persons, as well as in federally funded research. Such an approach has had wide results. Goode 2003, Kaiser 2003, and Russell 2003 describe the chilling effect of a moral agenda imposed on research, which had previously enjoyed a higher degree of intellectual freedom insulated to some degree from particular religious agendas, implemented using bureaucratic methods such as punitive audits of sex work and other sex-related research. HIV/AIDS and antitrafficking programs in the United States and abroad are subject to a requirement that partners adopt a policy against sex trafficking and against advocating for the legalization of sex work. Busza 2006 describes what happened to a project that lost funding as the United States introduced these particular restrictions, even though her project did not advocate for any particular legal approach to sex work. Ditmore 2007 and Masenior and Beyrer 2007 address these effects more generally, with more detail about the mechanisms used to restrict funding opportunities for work with sex workers.

  • Busza, Joanna. 2006. Having the rug pulled from under your feet: One project’s experience of the US policy reversal on sex work. Health Policy and Planning 21.4: 329–332.

    DOI: 10.1093/heapol/czl016Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Firsthand description of the effects of US policy restricting use of funds to organizations and programs that have an overt policy against prostitution and trafficking on a project for sex workers, resulting in the closure of an HIV prevention program in Cambodia.

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  • Ditmore, Melissa. 2007. Sex work, trafficking and HIV: How development is compromising sex workers’ rights. In Development with a body: Making connections between sexuality, human rights and development. Edited by Andrea Cornwall, Sonia Correa, and Susie Jolly, 54–66. London and New York: Zed.

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    Delineates deleterious effects that specific policies requiring funded organizations to adopt official policies against prostitution and trafficking have had on sex workers, including isolation from organizational partners and exclusion from services.

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  • Goode, Erica. 2003. Certain words can trip up AIDS grants, scientists say New York Times (April 18).

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    Journalist’s description of warnings from government funding bodies making federal grants to researchers not to use terms including “commercial sex worker” and “transgender.”

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  • Kaiser, Jocelyn. 2003. Studies of gay men, prostitutes come under scrutiny. Science 300:403.

    DOI: 10.1126/science.300.5618.403Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Describes sentiment that political agendas contributed to decisions to investigate and audit federally funded research, but also that there was a lack of evidence for these feelings of persecution despite large amounts of circumstantial evidence.

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  • Masenior, N. F., and C. Beyrer. 2007. The US anti-prostitution pledge: First Amendment challenges and public health priorities. Public Library of Science Medicine 4:207.

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    Analyzes court case ruling on the argument that US policy requiring federal grant recipients to adopt a policy against prostitution is unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds, but explains that despite this ruling, the policy still applies to most organizations with US funding, and that great confusion remains over what exactly is permitted, and that it has resulted in diminished HIV prevention programming for sex workers.

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  • Russell, S. 2003. AIDS, sex scientists on federal list fear their research is in jeopardy. San Francisco Chronicle (October 28): A3.

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    Journalist’s description of US federal audits targeting research unpopular with social and religious conservative blocs, particularly addressing sexuality and including but not limited to sex work.

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Venues

A variety of venues are sites for prostitution and sex work. Brothels may be the first sex work venues imagined when considering the topic, and therefore Brothels and Other Indoor Settings is included here. Early uses of technological innovations have historically been used to disseminate sexual content. Digital media have also been put to use by sex workers and their clients, and items addressing the use of new technology as a venue for sex work are included here in New Technology. The most visible venue for sex work is the street, but in most places it is not the most prevalent form of sex work. Visibility contributes to law enforcement efforts to contain street-based sex work and to what some believe to be the overrepresentation of street-based prostitution in research. Literature analyzing street-based sex work is included in Street-based Prostitution. Examples were selected for innovation in approach and analysis of this well-researched facet of sex work.

Brothels and Other Indoor Settings

Brothels are typically structured environments in which sex work occurs, but many other off-street environments exist, and the structure of particular venues and individual brothels may vary widely. Kelly 2008 describes a large state-run and regulated brothel in southern Mexico. Brents and Hausbeck 2007, Hausbeck and Brents 2002, and Hausbeck, et al. 2005 describe how government-regulated licensed prostitution in Nevada has responded to contemporary business trends such as standardization and branding, and parallels to other service industries. Steinfatt 2002 and Sanders 2005 describe other indoor venues, specifically bars in Thailand and saunas in the United Kingdom. Thukral, et al. 2005 describes issues faced by sex workers in indoor venues from gang clubhouses to independent escorts, reflecting many of the parallels cited by Hausbeck, et al. 2005.

  • Brents, Barbara G., and Kathryn Hausbeck. 2007. Marketing sex: U.S. legal brothels and late capitalist consumption. Sexualities 10.4: 425–439.

    DOI: 10.1177/1363460707080976Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Frames sex work as a “leisure activity” in terms of late capitalist consumption. Describes relatively middle-class sex workers in a licensed context, in contrast to the historic focus on street-based sex work by poor people or people who use drugs.

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  • Hausbeck, Kathryn, and Barbara G. Brents. 2002. McDonaldization of the sex industries? The business of sex. In McDonaldization: The reader. Edited by G. Ritzer, 91–106. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge.

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    Analysis of standardization, including branding, use of logos, and market research, in sexual transactions including those in strip clubs and regulated brothels.

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  • Hausbeck, Kathryn, Barbara G. Brents, and C. Jackson. 2005. Sex industry and sex workers in Nevada. In Social health of Nevada 2006. Edited by D. Shalin. Las Vegas: Center for Democratic Culture, Univ. of Nevada.

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    Uses illustration of local patterns to demonstrate larger patterns of commercial sexual culture, with Las Vegas and southern Nevada as the prime example, including the exceptional regulated brothel system, which is presented as offering a variety of working conditions analogous to modern structures within the service industry. Conclusions advocate a labor rights approach to sex work in Nevada and elsewhere.

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  • Kelly, Patty. 2008. Lydia’s open door: Inside Mexico’s most modern brothel. Berkeley, CA: Univ. of California Press.

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    This ethnography of a state-run and regulated brothel in southern Mexico highlights structural issues including implementation of regulation that stratifies sex workers and contributes to exploitative conditions even while creating a safer workplace than the streets.

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  • Sanders, Teela. 2005. Sex work: A risky business. Cullompton, UK and Portland, OR: Willan.

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    Ethnography of adult British citizens in indoor sex work in the United Kingdom, with particular attention paid to everyday life and strategies implemented to mitigate risks, including violence, but also maintaining sanity in a stigmatized profession.

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  • Steinfatt, Thomas M. 2002. Working at the bar: Sex work and health communication in Thailand. Westport, CT: Ablex.

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    Empirical study of bar-based female sex workers geared toward foreign tourists in Thailand, with attention to economy, public health issues including HIV/AIDS, and social issues.

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  • Thukral, Juhu, Melissa Ditmore, and Alexandra Murphy. 2005. Behind closed doors: An analysis of indoor sex work in New York City. New York: Urban Justice Center.

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    Analysis of interviews with fifty indoor sex workers in New York City, documenting hesitance and refusal to report violence because the illegal status of prostitution leads sex workers to believe that they will not be assisted by the police. Also documents economic motivations of sex workers in a variety of establishments.

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New Technology

Emerging technologies have typically been used to distribute sexually explicit or sex-related material early in their history, and the internet is no exception. Ray 2007 and Parsons, et al. 2004 offer concrete examples of clients and sex workers using the internet to find each other. Ray 2007 additionally describes the ways new media have made it easier and faster for activists to communicate and network with each other. When sex workers and clients adapted the internet to their uses, law enforcement also followed suit, but as yet there is no scholarship to offer on law enforcement efforts to use the Internet.

  • Parsons, Jeffrey T., Juline A. Koken, and David S. Bimbi. 2004. The use of the internet by gay and bisexual male escorts: Sex workers as sex educators. AIDS Care 10:1021–1035.

    DOI: 10.1080/09540120412331292405Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This paper describes the efforts of Internet-based gay and bisexual male escorts to educate their clients about safer sex and HIV prevention, often in the face of client pressure to engage in unsafe practices.

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  • Ray, Audacia. 2007. Naked on the internet: Hookups, downloads and cashing in on internet sexploration. Emeryville, CA: Seal.

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    Includes a chapter based on interviews with sex workers and activists about their use of the Internet to meet and screen clients as well as to network with other sex workers for social purposes and social causes.

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Street-Based Prostitution

Street-based prostitution is overrepresented in scholarship about the sale of sex, perhaps because of its high visibility in comparison to off-street venues. Law enforcement and policy approaches similarly disproportionately address highly visible street-based sex work, and this is reflected in the literature. O’Neill, et al. 2008, Pitcher, et al. 2008, and Scoular, et al. 2007 discuss particular law enforcement and policy approaches used in the United Kingdom and their effects on community members who sell sex. Efforts to address street-based sex work may reflect larger but unacknowledged issues, including changes in property values, gentrification, and class (Bernstein 2004). These larger social issues may be reinforced by the tendency to view sex workers as somehow less human than others (O’Neill, et al. 2008). Drug-using sex workers may the easiest among sex workers to demonize and punish rather than addressing significant health and social issues (Sterk 2000, Thukral and Ditmore 2003), sometimes in the service of political and economic agendas (Bernstein 2004).

  • Bernstein, Elizabeth. 2004. Desire, demand and the commerce of sex. In Regulating sex: Sexual freedom and the politics of intimacy. Edited by Elizabeth Bernstein and Laurie Schaffner, 101–125. New York: Routledge.

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    Links increased policing of public places including known strolls for street-based sex work to the proliferation of off-street sex work, resulting in a gentrified space offering little variation in race or class.

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  • O’Neill, Maggie, Rosie Campbell, Phil Hubbard, Jane Pitcher, and Jane Scoular. 2008. Living with the other: Street sex work, contingent communities and degrees of tolerance. Crime, Media, Culture 4.1: 73–93.

    DOI: 10.1177/1741659007087274Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Considering the current surveillance culture of urban spaces in the United Kingdom, it is surprising that attention to the “quality of the street spaces in residential neighbourhoods” has had far less attention. This article proposes community consultation to address fears of crime and difference, including worries related to prostitution and based on xenophobia.

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  • Pitcher, Jane, Rosie Campbell, Phil Hubbard, Maggie O’Neill, and Jane Scoular. 2008. Diverse community responses to controversial urban issues: The contribution of qualitative research to policy development. In Qualitative urban analysis: An international perspective. Edited by P. J. Maginn, S. Thompson, and M. Tonts. Oxford: Elsevier.

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    The study explored how five urban neighborhoods characterized as areas of female street sex work in England and Scotland were used and shared. While the research study explored the perspectives of residents and sex workers in each of the case study areas, this chapter focuses particularly on the need to elicit and understand the diversity of community views and the ways in which this is relevant to policy formation.

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  • Scoular, Jane, J. Pitcher, Rosie Campbell, Phil Hubbard, and Maggie O’Neill. 2007. What’s anti-social about sex work? The changing representation of prostitution’s incivility. Community Safety Journal 6.1: 2007.

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    Recent reforms of prostitution policy in the United Kingdom have been increasingly abolitionist in tone, with concerns about community safety and violence against women encouraging zero-tolerance strategies. Offering a critical historical analysis of prostitution policy, this paper situates contemporary policy within the wider history of control and governance and argues that recent constructions of street sex work as a form of antisocial behavior must be viewed as merely the latest attempt to construct the street sex worker as a social “other” arising as much from the ideological operation of law as from any inherent feature of commercial sex.

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  • Sterk, Claire E. 2000. Tricking and tripping: Prostitution in the era of AIDS. Putnam Valley, NY: Social Change.

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    Ethnography of drug-using street-based sex workers in 1990s New York City, by a nurse working with a health outreach and HIV prevention program.

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  • Thukral, Juhu, and Melissa Ditmore. 2003. Revolving door: An analysis of street-based prostitution in New York City. New York: Sex Workers Project at the New York: Urban Justice Center.

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    Analysis of interviews with thirty street-based sex workers in New York City, documenting violence, police harassment, and economic hardship often compounded because of stigma.

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Sex Workers’ Rights

The contemporary sex workers’ rights movement dates to the riots at the Stonewall Inn in New York and Compton’s Cafeteria in California in the late 1960s (see Jenness 1993). These are landmarks of the gay rights movement, but they involved a large number of male and transgender sex workers. Later landmarks include the occupation of St. Nizier church in Lyons, France; the establishment of the Wages for Housework campaign in the United Kingdom; the founding of Prostitutes of New York (PONY) and Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics (COYOTE); and the pioneering labor rights advocacy model in Australia. The sex workers’ rights movement is strongest today in Asia. Books and articles cited below cover historical events such as the World Whores’ Congress (Pheterson 1989) and analyze the achievements of the movement in organizational and first-person accounts (Weitzer 1991, Nagle 1997, and Leigh 1997). Kempadoo and Coezema 1998 and Kempadoo 1999 provide international perspectives.

  • Jenness, Valerie. 1993. Making it work: The prostitute’s rights movement in perspective. New York: Aldine de Gruyter.

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    First chronicle of the contemporary sex workers’ rights movement, particularly the evolution of the sex workers’ organization COYOTE.

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  • Kempadoo, Kamala, and Jo Doezema, eds. 1998. Global sex workers: Rights, resistance and redefinition. London and New York: Routledge.

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    International anthology highlighting sex workers’ organizations and rights, migration, tourism, human trafficking, and health programming, including pieces written by authors from sex workers’ organizations in South America, Asia, and Europe.

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  • Kempadoo, Kamala, ed. 1999. Sun, sex and gold. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

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    International anthology highlighting sex workers’ organizations and rights, migration, and tourism, throughout the Caribbean.

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  • Leigh, Carol. 1997. Inventing sex work. In Whores and other feminists. Edited by Jill Nagle, 223-231 London and New York: Routledge.

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    A first-person account of coining the term “sex work” to emphasize the income-generating nature and motivation of work, in contrast to the stigmatizing word “prostitution,” at a feminist conference. The term “sex work” is now standard in scholarship.

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  • Nagle, Jill, ed. 1997. Whores and other feminists. London and New York: Routledge.

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    Anthology featuring essays and personal narratives by self-declared feminist sex workers, highlighting micro-level sex work practices and local industry structures to move beyond ideological presentations of sex work as oppression.

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  • Pheterson, Gail, ed. 1989. A vindication of the rights of whores: The international movements for prostitutes’ rights. Seattle: Seal.

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    Collected writings and spoken interventions during the International World Whores’ Congress. The title refers to Mary Wollstonecraft’s feminist classic A vindication of the rights of women and seeks to assert that sex workers merit the same rights sought by women in struggles that predate the modern-day movement for the rights of sex workers.

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  • Weitzer, Ronald. 1991. Prostitutes’ rights in the United States: The failure of a movement. Sociological Quarterly 32.1: 23–41.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1533-8525.1991.tb00343.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Analysis of the movement for the decriminalization of prostitution in the United States. Prostitution is a criminal act in most of the country, and so by that criterion the movement has failed, but Weitzer highlights accomplishments, despite a paucity of resources.

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Trafficking

The late 20th and early 21st centuries have replicated Victorian-era concern over forced prostitution, now conflated under the term “trafficking in persons,” and particularly involving youth and migrants. Extensive literature addresses the parallel concerns of these two periods. Berman 2003 discusses the xenophobia underlying some efforts to address and limit migration via policies on human trafficking. Agustín 2005 questions actors’ agendas in discussions of trafficking, and Doezema 2010 argues that the current concern is a manifestation of the myth of white slavery. Doezema 1998 argues that the binary of free will and forced prostitution does not allow for the complex choices made by any individual. “Trafficking in persons” is now applied using human rights law to violations of force, fraud, and coercion in any workplace, but the concept remains wedded to prostitution in the popular imagination. Ditmore 2008, Kempadoo, et al. 2005, Steinfatt 2003, and Weitzer and Ditmore 2009 tease apart sex work and sex trafficking, with attention to how moral panics and policies have been used and how they have affected sex workers and migrants in a variety of places and fields of employment. Ditmore 2007 describes a successful anti-trafficking program in Calcutta.

  • Agustín, Laura. 2005. Migrants in the mistress’s house: Other voices in the “trafficking” debate. Social Politics 12.1: 96–117.

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    Highlights the absence of voices of the people most affected by discussions of trafficking to question actors’ agendas in these discussions.

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  • Berman, Jacqueline. 2003. (Un)popular strangers and crises (un)bounded: Discourses of sex-trafficking, the European political community and the panicked state of the modern state. European Journal on International Relations 9.1: 37–86.

    DOI: 10.1177/1354066103009001157Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Well-written examination of the implications of trafficking, the uses of the term to address state-level concerns about migration from newly independent states in Europe, and inherent xenophobia and control of women underlying the term.

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  • Ditmore, Melissa. 2007. In Calcutta, sex workers are organizing. In The affective turn. Edited by Patricia Clough and Jean Halley, 170–186. Durham, NC: Duke Univ. Press.

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    Description of a successful antitrafficking program undertaken by Durbar Mahila Sonagachi Project, a sex workers’ organization with fifty thousand members. Success is attributed to range of services offered beyond those directly related to sex work and health but rather driven by the needs articulated by members.

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  • Ditmore, Melissa. 2008. Sex work, trafficking: Understanding the difference.

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    Short piece on the website Reproductive Health Reality Check, explaining sex work as a form of work and trafficking as a human rights violation, and that equating the two neither does justice to people who suffer grievous rights violations nor improves working conditions in the sex industry.

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  • Doezema, Jo. 2010. Sex slaves and discourse masters: The construction of trafficking. London and New York: Zed.

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    Argues that the current concern with trafficking in women is a manifestation of the myth of white slavery, using historical analysis and contemporary investigation. This valuable resource incorporates many of the ideas presented in Doezema’s numerous journal publications.

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  • Doezema, Jo. 1998. Forced to choose: Beyond the free v. forced prostitution dichotomy. In Global sex workers: Rights, resistance and redefinition. Edited by Kamala Kempadoo and Jo Doezema, 34-50. London and New York: Routledge.

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    Argues that the binary of free will and forced prostitution does not allow for the complex choices made from within the limited options available to any individual.

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  • Kempadoo, Kamala, Bandana Pattanaik, and Jyoti Sanghera. 2005. Trafficking and prostitution reconsidered. Boulder, CO: Paradigm.

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    International anthology analyzing and explaining the difference between sex work and trafficking, and the effects anti-trafficking efforts have had, including efforts by and efforts against sex workers, using examples from Asia.

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  • Steinfatt, Thomas M. 2003. Measuring the number of trafficked women and children in Cambodia: A direct observation field study. Phnom Penh: USAID.

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    Part 3 of a series. Innovative direct-observation methodology was used to estimate approximately twenty thousand people selling sex in Cambodia, among whom under 10 percent may be trafficked.

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  • Weitzer, Ronald, and Melissa Ditmore. 2009. Sex trafficking: Fact and fiction. In Sex for sale, 2d ed. Edited by Ronald Weitzer, 325-351. New York and London: Routledge.

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    Counters ideologically driven claims about human trafficking into the sex industry, using data from trafficking cases across the United States.

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LAST MODIFIED: 04/14/2011

DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195396607-0113

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