Gheorghiu, I. & Ham, J. (2022). Biographical work and the production of credibility in sex work interviews. The British Journal of Criminology,


This article explores the concept of biographical work as a sustained pursuit during interviews with persons engaging in stigmatized and criminalized work. Based on interviews with women engaging in sex work and intimate economies in Hong Kong, the article examines the research interview as an interactional and institutional encounter where interviewer and interviewee jointly create meaning and articulate experiences to produce credibility. Relying on the sex workers’ rights framework and its adjacent debates, the article argues that social theory and critique construct reality by shaping public discourse and moral sensitivities in institutional encounters and act as moral resources that inform positionalities. The article argues for the importance of attending to both interactional and institutional demands made by interview encounters in data interpretation.

Dolinsek, Sonja, und Siobhán Hearne. „Introduction: prostitution in twentieth century Europe“. European Review of History: Revue européenne d’histoire 29, Nr. 2 (2022): 121–44. (Free)

Azara, Liliosa. „The new face of Italian prostitution in the aftermath of the Merlin Law: forms, debate and repression“. European Review of History: Revue européenne d’histoire 29, Nr. 2 (2022): 268–89.

Dolinsek, Sonja. „Tensions of abolitionism during the negotiation of the 1949 ‘Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others’“. European Review of History: Revue européenne d’histoire 29, Nr. 2 (2022): 223–48. (PDF)

Hájková, Anna. „Why we need a history of prostitution in the Holocaust“. European Review of History: Revue européenne d’histoire 29, Nr. 2 (2022): 194–222.

Hearne, Siobhán. „Selling sex under socialism: prostitution in the post-war USSR“. European Review of History: Revue européenne d’histoire 29, Nr. 2 (2022): 290–310. (Free)

Martin, Annalisa. „‘Cleaning up the cityscape’: managing commercial sex and city space in Cologne, 1956–1972“. European Review of History: Revue européenne d’histoire 29, Nr. 2 (2022): 311–30.

Papadogiannis, Nikolaos. „Greek trans women selling sex, spaces and mobilities, 1960s–80s“. European Review of History: Revue européenne d’histoire 29, Nr. 2 (2022): 331–62. (Free)

Petrungaro, Stefano. „Police and prostitution in Yugoslavia: a nuanced relationship“. European Review of History: Revue européenne d’histoire 29, Nr. 2 (2022): 170–93.

Simic, Ivan. „Prostitution in socialist Yugoslavia: from Stalinism to the Yugoslav way“. European Review of History: Revue européenne d’histoire 29, Nr. 2 (2022): 249–67.

Svanström, Yvonne. „Prostitution as non-labour leading to forced labour. Vagrancy and Gender in Sweden and Stockholm, 1919–1939“. European Review of History: Revue européenne d’histoire 29, Nr. 2 (2022): 145–69. (Free)

Murphy, Doris. „Walking, Talking, Imagining: Ethical Engagement with Sex Workers“. Ethics and Social Welfare 0, Nr. 0 (7. February 2022): 1–16.


This article describes a walking interview with a sex worker who is an advocate for sex worker rights in Ireland. Walking interviews have been proposed as a biographical method which can be used to explore the relationship between personal concerns and public questions, and the method is characterised by mobile, relational and embodied practice (O’Neill and Roberts [2019. Walking Methods: Research on the Move. London: Routledge]). Walking with research participants addresses the power imbalances inherent in interviews, striving for ethical praxis, by allowing a shared perspective and a shared sensory experience. Together we investigate the ethics of sex work research, allyship and education, and we consider ways to strengthen alliances between sex working and non-sex working feminists. Opportunities for social justice for sex workers are considered, and a radical democratic imaginary is proposed, where sex workers are afforded full citizenship of an inclusive society. This imaginary follows work by O’Neill [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], O’Neill and Seal [2012. Transgressive Imaginations: Crime, Deviance and Culture. London: Palgrave Macmillan] and FitzGerald, O’Neill, and Wylie [2020b. “Social Justice for Sex Workers as a ‘Politics of Doing’: Research, Policy and Practice.” Irish Journal of Sociology 28 (3): 257–279], who have imagined full participation for sex workers in civic, political and social spheres. Starting with a radical openness to and acceptance of each other, as well as a firm dedication to bodily autonomy and social justice for all, we propose a path towards this imagined society.

Rubio Grundell, Lucrecia. „The EU’s Approach to Prostitution: Explaining the ‘Why’ and ‘How’ of the EP’s Neo-Abolitionist Turn“. European Journal of Women’s Studies 28, 4 ( 2021): 425–39.


The aim of this article is to offer a comprehensive analysis of the European Union’s neo-abolitionist approach to prostitution, drawing on the literature that addresses the global rise of neo-abolitionism and using key concepts developed by the gendered approaches to the European Union in order to adapt them to the particular context of the European Union. To do so, the article undertakes a critical frame analysis of the European Union’s violence against women policies, as it is in such policies that prostitution has been most thoroughly addressed, in combination with an analysis of the nature and evolution of the European Union’s gender equality policies more broadly. The article contends that the emergence of prostitution on the gender equality agenda of the European Union and the adoption of an explicit neo-abolitionist approach by the European Parliament can be explained by the coalescence, in the mid 1990s, of three key factors: Sweden’s accession to the European Union and the consequent positioning of Swedish femocrats, keen on exporting Sweden’s neo-abolitionist agenda to the European Union, in central positions of power within European Union institutions; the crystallisation of a robust neo-abolitionist velvet triangle through the creation of strong institutional links between the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Women’s Lobby, which remained unchallenged; and the gradual development of a hybrid model of gender equality in the European Union which resonates with neo-abolitionist ideals at the same time as neo-abolitionism itself was increasingly associated to gender equality as a fundamental European Union value.

Boglárka Fedorkó, Luca Stevenson & P. G. Macioti (2021) Sex workers on the frontline: An abridged version of the original ICRSE report: ‘The role of sex worker rights groups in providing support during the COVID-19 crisis in Europe’, Global Public Health, DOI: 10.1080/17441692.2021.1945124


Sex workers in Europe have been dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated measures. Ignored by most governments, excluded from social and economic measures put in place to protect other workers, sex workers were left to fend for themselves. The article, an abridged version of a previous report by the ICRSE, illustrates the impact of COVID-19 on sex workers by focusing on how the pandemic affected the socio-economic, health and safety conditions of sex worker communities and how they pro-actively responded to the first waves of the crisis in 2020. Based on data gathered through community research, the authors outline the specific ways in which sex workers living under different sex work legal regimes were hit by the crisis. Crucially, in countries such as France, Sweden and Ireland, where an ‘End Demand’ legislation is in place to supposedly ‘rescue sex workers’, these did not benefit from any state support. The article suggests that sex worker community organisations helped limit the spread of the virus through peer support and peer education, protecting not only sex workers’ health, but society at large and showing similarities to the role of chaperones of public health sex workers had during the AIDS crisis.

Attwood, Rachael. „A very un-English predicament: ‘The White Slave Traffic’ and the construction of national identity in the suffragist and socialist movements’ coverage of the 1912 Criminal Law Amendment Bill“. National Identities (2021): 1–30.


The measure promoted as England’s first law against sex trafficking, the Criminal Law Amendment Bill, journeyed through Parliament in 1912. Amid mounting extra-parliamentary protest over votes for women, workers’ rights, and Home Rule for Ireland, the country’s suffrage and socialist groups chose to engage with the somewhat ancillary Bill and the issue of trafficking (or ‘white slavery’ as it was popularly known) through the powerful medium of their periodicals. They did so largely because they saw the value to their wider campaigns of using trafficking – a phenomenon often cast by reformers as involving the sexual exploitation of working-class women – to forge connections (or highlight disjunctures) between the suffragist and socialist movements. Ideas of race, national identity, and empire attached to configurations of ‘slavery’ were central to their rhetoric, and to the links the groups made between trafficking and the political emancipation they sought. These ideas give a valuable insight into influential representations of trafficking in 1912 and the campaign against ‘white slavery’ during what was a fundamental, transnational moment in the history of trafficking. They also illuminate suffragist and socialist rhetoric of the day, and the conflicting ideas of ‘Englishness’ therein. This article strives to unlock some of these insights.

Bateman, Victoria. „How Decriminalisation Reduces Harm Within and Beyond Sex Work: Sex Work Abolitionism as the “Cult of Female Modesty” in Feminist Form“. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 2021.



Sex work has a long history and takes different forms, but the associated precarity and danger, particularly where poorer women and minorities are concerned, is undeniable. There is growing evidence that decriminalisation reduces harm, and, indeed, it is the policy approach favoured by sex worker groups. Despite this, many feminists instead seek to “end demand” for paid sex, recommending legal penalties for sex buyers, with the aim of abolishing sex work altogether.


This paper takes a comparative approach, examining why “end demand” is applied to sex work but not to care work. Abolition is typically justified both in terms of reducing harm to sex workers and to women more generally, with sex work’s very existence being thought to perpetuate the notion that all women are “sex objects.” Women are, however, not only exposed to harm within care work but are also commonly stereotyped as care givers, and in a way that has similarly been argued to contribute to gender inequality.


By comparing sex work with care work, this paper reveals the logical inconsistency in the “end demand” approach; unlike with sex work, there is little push to criminalise those who purchase care or other such domestic labour services. By revealing the moral nature of abolitionist arguments, and the disrespectful way in which sex workers are characterised within radical feminist literature, it argues that, rather than reducing harm, the “end demand” approach perpetuates harm, conspiring in the notion that “immodest” women are the cause of social ills.


Reducing the harm that sex workers—and women more generally—face requires feminists to challenge “the cult of female modesty”, rather than to be complicit in it.

Reading Sex Work” – Special Issue of South Atlantic Quarterly 120(3), 2021.

Berg, Heather. 2021. ‘Reading Sex Work: An Introduction’. South Atlantic Quarterly 120 (3): 485–91.

babylon, femi, and Heather Berg. 2021. ‘Erotic Labor within and without Work: An Interview with Femi Babylon’. South Atlantic Quarterly 120 (3): 631–40.

Carlisle, Vanessa. 2021. ‘“Sex Work Is Star Shaped”: Antiwork Politics and the Value of Embodied Knowledge’. South Atlantic Quarterly 120 (3): 573–90.

Glover, Julian Kevon. 2021. ‘Customer Service Representatives: Sex Work among Black Transgender Women in Chicago’s Ballroom Scene’. South Atlantic Quarterly 120 (3): 553–71.

Hardy, Kate, and Camille Barbagallo. 2021. ‘Hustling the Platform: Capitalist Experiments and Resistance in the Digital Sex Industry’. South Atlantic Quarterly 120 (3): 533–51.

McClanahan, Annie, and Jon-David Settell. 2021. ‘Service Work, Sex Work, and the “Prostitute Imaginary”’. South Atlantic Quarterly 120 (3): 493–514.

Mitchell, Gregory, and Thaddeus Blanchette. 2021. ‘Tricks of the Light: Refractive Masculinity in Heterosexual and Homosexual Brothels in Rio de Janeiro’. South Atlantic Quarterly 120 (3): 609–29.

Shah, Svati P. 2021. ‘Impossible Migrants: Debating Sex Work and Gender Identity amid the Crisis of Migrant Labor’. South Atlantic Quarterly 120 (3): 515–32.

Swift, Jayne. 2021. ‘Toxic Positivity?: Rethinking Respectability, Revaluing Pleasure’. South Atlantic Quarterly 120 (3): 591–608.

You can find a list of special journal issues focusing on sex work here.

Blanchette, Thaddeus; Da Silva, Ana P.; Camargo, Gustavo. 2021. ““I Will Not Be Dona Maria”: Rethinking Exploitation and Objectification in the Context of Work and Sex Work” Soc. Sci. 10, no. 6: 204.


In many feminist and sociological accounts of sex work, the concept of exploitation resides on the subjacent notion of objectification, codified in the omnipresent belief that the sex worker sells their body. Sexual objectification supposedly indicates the peculiar and particular effect that sex work is supposed to have on the bodies of human beings involved in this form of toil, being one of the keystones for the belief that sex work is inherently exploitative. In the present article, we intend to investigate the canonical concept of objectification and its (ab)uses in the light of a comparative ethnographic study of sex work and other jobs in the service economy in the cities of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and New Orleans (USA). Our argument is that the concept of sexual objectification has its roots in pre-capitalist morality, encoded in Kantian philosophy, that is hardly applicable to real life in the 21st century. A more general and intersectional understanding of objectification and agency in the broader field of engendered labor relations is necessary for us to understand why people choose to engage in sex work, why laws which see sex work as synonymous with exploitation and slavery must be rethought, and how they might be rethought. View Full-Text

Fehrenbacher, Annie E., Jennifer Musto, Heidi Hoefinger, Nicola Mai, P.G. Macioti, Calogero Giametta, and Calum Bennachie. (2020). Transgender people and human trafficking: intersectional exclusion of transgender migrants and people of color from anti-trafficking protection in the United States. Journal of human trafficking, 6(2), 182-194.


Transgender (hereafter: trans) people are rarely included in human trafficking research. This empirical study presents narratives of trans individuals who report experiences consistent with the Palermo Protocol’s definition of traffick- ing, access to anti-trafficking services for trans individuals, and attitudes of anti- trafficking advocates and law enforcement toward trans people. Ethnographic fieldwork conducted for 30 months between March 2017 and August 2019 in Los Angeles and New York City included in-depth interviews with sex workers and trafficked persons (n = 50), of whom 26 were trans, and key informants (n = 17) from law enforcement and social services. Most trans participants who reported exploitation did not self-identify as victims of trafficking nor were they identified by police or anti-trafficking organizations as victims. Law enforcement gatekeeping was identified by anti-trafficking advocates as a barrier to meeting the needs of trans clients because they were viewed as “less exploi- table” than cisgender women. Discriminatory law enforcement practices resulted in the exclusion and hyper-criminalization of trans migrants and people of color who were profiled not only by gender, but also race/ethnicity and immigration status.