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Sex Work working title
Transcript of Sex Work working title
Stigma affects the biases of the researchers
Privilege of researchers
Race, predominantly white people
Sex Work: An Expansive look at Capitalism, Patriarchy, Legal Implications and Stigma
Sex Work Definition
Sex work is defined as a complex, multifaceted relationship between individuals with a specific undertone of exchanging some type of sex-related service for a range of compensations (Escoffier, 2007; Sangera, 1999)
A system where trade and industry are privately controlled for monetary benefit (Goffman, 2004).
In the context of sex work this means a trade of service within the sexual realm in exchange for compensation.
Lots of Limitations
19 Legal Brothels
80% off street work
Consequences for violating the law include arrests, fines, and risk of police brutality.
In a 2011 study by O’Doherty, sex workers in British Columbia talked about victimization.
33% threatened with violence
16% with a weapon
33% had been burglarized
36% had clients refuse to pay predetermined amount
(At least once)
A system where cis-gender males are advantaged and everyone else is subordinate in this power structure (Hartman, 1976).
Within the lines of sex work this is an important factor to consider when analyzing the dynamics of sex work.
Legal Sex work
A 2012 study by Begum et al. in Melbourne, Australia where sex work is legal.
Lower STI rates than sex workers in the illegal sector.
As well as more likely to use latex barriers
Economics of sex work
Stigma and Sex work
Patriarchy and sex work
Can be defined as being shamed with a particular situation, person or trait (Goffman, 2004).
In the study on sex workers in Hong Kong, the workers feared being “outed” as a sex worker and to become a target for violence or harassment by their community (Wong et al. 2010)
Difficult to leave occupation as a sex worker because of the stigma of using sex work on a resume
As well as no prior job experience
Although found in other studies, some did find getting work in their field more probable
Ex: graphic designing, advertising, and hostessing for their brothel (Begum et al. 2013).
Acknowledging Our Privilege
"The sex industry is one of the most diversified, sophisticated, and specialized. It offers a vast array of services, caters to a spectacular range of customer demands, offers specialized venues for sex entertainment in different countries of the world, [and] caters to every need in terms of price range in the consumer market..."(Sangera, 1999)
In a 1999 study by Weinberg & Williams
It was found that
were the most likely compared to transgender individuals and men in regards to losing status from being involved in sex work
Depicts social dichotomization of women as either pure or dirty
Transgender sex work
Abel, G. M. (2011). Different stage, different performance: The protective strategy of role play on emotional health in sex work. Social Science & Medicine, 72, 1177-1184. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.01.021
Begum, S., Hocking, J. S., Groves, J., Fairley, C. K., & Keogh, L. A. (2013). Sex workers talk about sex work: Six contradictory characteristics of legalised sex work in Melbourne, Australia. Culture, Health, and Sexuality. 15, 85-100. doi:10.1080/13691058.2012.743187
Goffman, E. (2004). Stigma: Notes on the management of a spoiled identity (Simon and Schuster/Touchstone Books). Original work published in 1960.
Hartmann, H. (1976). Capitalism, patriarchy, and job segregation by sex. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 1, 137-169. doi:10.1086/493283
O’Doherty, T. (2011). Victimization in off-street sex industry work. Violence Against Women,
17, 954-963. doi:10.1177/1077801211412917
Sangera, J. (1999) In the Belly of the Beast: Sex Trade, Prostitution and Globalization. A Discussion Paper for South Asia Regional Consultation on Prostitution, February, Bangkok, Thailand. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/Organizations/healthnet/SAsia/repro2/issue2.htm.
Shaver, F. M., Lewis, J., & Maticka-Tyndale, E. (2011). Rising to the challenge: Addressing the concerns of people working in the sex industry. Canadian Review of Sociology, 48, 47-65. doi:10.1111/j.1755-618X.2011.01249.x
Weinberg, M. S., Shaver, F. M., & Williams, C. J. (1999). Gendered sex work in the San Francisco tenderloin. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 28, 503-521. doi:10.0004-0002/99/
Wong, W. C. W., Holroyd, E., & Bingham, A. (2010). Stigma and sex work from the perspective of female sex workers in Hong Kong. Sociology of Health and Illness, 33(1), 50-65. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9566.2010.01276.x
Nicole C. Conroy, Alyssa J. Gawronski, Erika E. Givens, Marylou Mendez, Ashley T. Parent, & Astin N. Williams
Take out your phone!!
When you think of sex work what do you think of? and why?
Let's review the answers!
The authors of this paper would like to acknowledge that we hold privilege by being:
Students in the U.S.
Able to choose the work we want, or lack thereof
Able to comment on the lived experience of others
Living With Stigma in the Sex Work Industry
Many sex workers employ protective strategies to combat the negative effects of stigma and shame, involving an adoption of two life “roles”: as a self-defined sex worker in their work lives, and the construction of a private identity of “normalcy” that fits within the normative views of society in their personal lives (Goffman, 2004).
Negative social attitudes were found to be a big contributor to emotional damages that sex workers experience (Weinberg & Williams, 1999).
Give sex workers a respected voice in the public sphere (Sangera, 1999).
Lessening the stigma of sex work is important to ensure that these individuals can live a more mentally and emotionally healthy life without fear of law enforcement and with their human rights intact.
Protective strategies to combat the negative effects of stigma
Sex Work as a Career
Having control over where and when they were able to adjust their lives is one of the rarest control factors of any job and one of the most enjoyable factors of working in the sex industry for those who reported this (Shaver et al. 2011).
The Retrogressive Dynamic
This dynamic as defined by Escoffier (2007), examines the negative correlation between the audience’s desire for the porn actor and the porn actor’s exposure and visibility within their movies
Thus Gay Porn Actors turn to other avenues within the sex industry
Apparent when sex work is legal and illegal.
Suffer mental, physical, and legal ramifications they otherwise would not have to deal with.
Prevents them from having full access to health and legal services, which consequently makes them vulnerable to violence and exploitation (Abel, 2011).