Kerwin Kaye, “Sex and the unspoken in male street prostitution”. Journal of Homosexuality (2007) 53(1-2):37-73.

Abstract:

Although the overwhelming majority of male prostitutes work through agencies or by placing their own ads, most studies of male prostitution focus upon young men who work on the street. Remarkably, these studies seldom identify the dynamics of poverty and street-level violence as important elements of their examination. Investigations of male sex work-few though they are-focus almost exclusively upon sexual aspects of “the life.” Despite the importance of these networks in shaping the contours of street life, and often in enabling one’s very survival, the primary research focus has remained on questions of sexual identity, sexual practices with clients, and sexual abuse as a causative factor. Meanwhile, studies that do examine the dynamics of male street life typically do not examine questions of prostitution or other issues related to sexuality. A dominant theme within this literature consists of specifying the social mores of the most aggressive and socially problematic participants within street society, particularly gang members and drug dealers. The dissimilar nature of these images relates directly to the political projects of the dominant culture, which, in a very general way, seeks to “rescue” (reintegrate) deviant white youth, while controlling and excluding deviant youth of color. The political aim of reintegrating runaways into middle-class trajectories has the effect of authorizing certain discourses regarding their behavior on the streets, while marginalizing or completely disallowing others. This article seeks to examine and challenge these trends of representation.

Full text available here.

Abstract

Despite the significant emphasis given to the trafficking of Brazilians to the sex industry of the Iberian Peninsula, the concepts of “victim of trafficking for sexual exploitation” used in these three countries vary. This article analyses the positions of Brazil, Spain and Portugal regarding the conceptualisation of “trafficking victim,” focusing on their legislation and policies, as well as on relevant narratives which show how these policies are being applied. It showcases how the incompatible definitions being used compromise genuine anti-trafficking actions and may be an indicator that stopping trafficking may not be the primary concern of the policies developed by these governments.

Kerwin Kaye, “Naked but Unseen: Sex and Labor Conflict in San Francisco’s Adult Entertainment Theaters” Sexuality and Culture Vol 3 (1999) p.39

Abstract:

San Francisco has been the site of an ongoing labor struggle in the city’s strip clubs. During the past few years, management at several clubs has dramatically altered the terms under which dancers work, imposing strict daily quotas and appropriating greater quantities of cash from the dancers for the “privilege” of working. Several clubs have simultaneously built secluded back rooms, introducing a place in the theaters where prostitution can occur. At the same time, police in San Francisco has stepped up its harassment of prostitutes working in other venues or on the streets, pushing many women directly into the clubs. Facing increasingly sexual competition, many dancers now feel compelled to either “put out” or quit the only well-paying job accessible to them. While some dancers have resisted the situation, many newly-hired workers have chosen to embrace the possibilities for larger sums of money available through prostitution. The intent of this essay is to document the nature and causes of these recent changes occurring within the industry. Conflicts between women working in the clubs is also examined to allow a more detailed characterization of the shifting working conditions.

Full text available here.

Abstract

Several studies have cited economic hardships or poverty as the main reason for women’s entry into sex work in India. While this may be true, it is still a vague reason. For better understanding and to develop meaningful intervention, we need to dig deeper and find more specific reasons for women’s entry into sex work. In addition, while most studies conducted among sex workers in India rely on survey-based approaches to explore women’s reasons for entry into sex work, there have been no studies to date which have used cultural biography to examine how sex work becomes a livelihood option for women in Indian society. Based on the analysis of the 46 short-life portraits and three life-history interviews collected from ‘flying’ or mobile female sex workers over a period of 7 months (December 2009–July 2010) in Kolkata, India, this paper examines the socio-cultural and economic factors that influence women’s decisions to enter into sex work. This study found that women choose sex work vis-à-vis other employment opportunities because it provides them with more freedom and autonomy over their bodies, higher earnings, flexible hours of work, and much flexibility to manage their dual responsibilities of a nurturer and provider. Because of this complex structure of causation, HIV prevention programs must address the larger issues of workplace sexual harassment, minimum living wage and child day care policy to disincentivize women’s entry into the sex industry.

Abstract—Humanitarian efforts have spurred a visual culture that portrays suffering victims in order to elicit concern in audiences across the world. The humanitarian efforts of Western nations have come under considerable scrutiny in recent years. This paper analyzes the response of a sex workers organization in the Asia-Pacific region to the efforts of anti-human trafficking activists. It focuses on two visual images that are used to challenge this humanitarian regime and situates this campaign within the context of other humanitarian criticism.

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Gabryszewska, Maria (2014) “Sex Work and Class,” Class, Race and Corporate Power: Vol. 2: Iss. 3, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/classracecorporatepower/vol2/iss3/4

Abstract

Prostitution scandals stigmatize workers for their entire lives, but the politician involved is marred for only one news cycle. “White knight” feminists shame women for sexually catering to the patriarchy but talk from a place of economic privilege. Religious organizations engage in misguided attempts to “save” women who use the industry as a job. Exploitive policies aimed at curtailing sex work hurt the individuals who wish to practice safe sex for their own protection. In the guise of aiding sex workers, or saving them from themselves, those that would advocate for more restrictive policies ignore the ramifications of what these laws would entail.

Susann Huschke, Peter Shirlow, Dirk Schubotz, Eilís Ward, Ursula Probst and Caoimhe Ní Dhónaill, “Research into Prostitution in Northern Ireland: Commissioned from Queen’s University Belfast by the Department of Justice” (October 2014).

No abstract available. Opening text:

“At present in Northern Ireland practices related to prostitution, such as soliciting or loitering for purposes of prostitution, organising or advertising prostitution and brothel keeping (defined as more than one person selling sexual services in a given location) constitute criminal offences under the Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008. This cultural and legal context has produced particularly hidden forms of prostitution with the internet becoming a major platform for advertising sexual services and setting up meetings in hotels or apartments. Despite the legal context and alternative discourses concerning prostitution in Northern Ireland there has been a paucity of research on social issues that relate to prostitution, such as migration, trafficking and the nature of prostitution.

Limited research evidence is available with regard to the size and composition of the sex worker population in Northern Ireland. It can be deduced from the few available government and NGO publications that sex workers operating in Northern Ireland include locals and people from other parts of the UK, the Republic of Ireland, as well as sex workers from Europe and from across the world, e.g. Nigeria, Colombia and Brazil. Northern Ireland, and particularly its largest city Belfast seems to be a destination for mobile sex worker. Although some sex workers may sell sex only in one place, most appear to be mobile, moving between different cities across Ireland and the UK, as well as across the continent (e.g. Spain, Italy, Germany). This generally mirrors the practice of sex workers across Europe.

While these reports and studies provide some insight into the lives of sex workers and their clients, the evidence is patchy, largely unsystematic and not as extensive as the evidence available in other parts of the UK and the Republic of Ireland. So far, reliable academic studies based on interview or survey data from those who sell and buy sexual services in Northern Ireland have generally been unavailable. However, the issue of prostitution has received considerable interest in Northern Ireland over the last year, due mainly to the proposal within Lord Morrow’s Private Member’s Bill (Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Further Provisions and Support for Victims) Bill) to criminalise paying for sexual services. This study commissioned by the Department of Justice aims to fill some of the existing research gaps by conducting a mixed methods study of prostitution in Northern Ireland.”

Full text available here.

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