A Question of Deviancy: Comparing Exotic Dancers and Female University Students


The primary goal of this study was to evaluate similarities and differences between exotic dancers and non-dancing female university students on demographic variables, self-esteem, aspects of personality, attitudes toward sex and sexuality, and attitudes toward exotic dance and exotic dancers. A total of 230 predominately English speaking females participated. A one-way multivariate analysis of covariance was conducted to examine differences between students and exotic dancers on the dependent variables. After adjusting for level of education, Wilks’ criterion confirmed a statistically significant effect of group. Follow-up univariate analyses illustrated that exotic dancers reported significantly more sexual permissiveness than their non-dancer counterparts, reflecting a more casual, open attitude toward sex. Students endorsed sexual practices that may be perceived as more responsible, such as their higher scores on a measure of birth control use. Further, students scored higher on a scale of sexual communion, indicating an endorsement of sex as the ideal or “peak experience”. Consistent with expectations, there were no significant differences between groups in perceptions of exotic dance as a normative activity or as a matter of choice. As well, there were no differences on measures of self-esteem, extraversion, or neuroticism. These findings suggest that exotic dancers and female students reveal similar characteristics on measures of personality, self-esteem, and attitudes toward exotic dance.

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