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Tag Archives: 2013

Holly Davis, “Defining ‘Pimp’: Working Towards a Definition in Social Research” Sociological Research Online, 2013, vol. 18, issue 1, pages 11.

Abstract:

Recently expanding research on prostitution has lead to slightly more focus on an enigmatic yet major player within the underground sex economy: pimps. Whilst starting to shed light on the roles, and behavior of pimps, researchers have overlooked a fundamental element within social research that calls for the explicit definition of subjects. The ambiguous use of the word pimp across research projects impedes comparability, consistency and clarity within the growing body of literature on this topic. In an attempt to draw attention to the oversight of defining ‘pimp’, this paper proposes criteria and processes for a more robust definition and offers a more comprehensive definition of ‘pimp’. The definitional processes suggested are reviewed within this paper through exploration of the history, cultural context, mainstream usage, academic applications and feedback from pimps. This paper integrates data from in-depth interviews with pimps to offer their invaluable insight on the meaning of the word. The core objectives of this paper are to draw attention to the problematic definitional trends in this body of research, and propose new foundations for defining ‘pimp’ within social research.

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P. Hubbard and J. Prior, “Out of sight, out of mind? Prostitution policy and the health, well-being and safety of home-based sex workers” Critical Social Policy February 2013 vol. 33 no. 1 140-159

Abstract:

Policy discussions relating to the selling of sex have tended to fixate on two spaces of sex work: the street and the brothel. Such preoccupation has arguably eclipsed discussion of the working environment where most sex is sold, namely, the private home. Redressing this omission, this paper discusses the public health and safety implications of policies that fail to regulate or assist the ‘hidden population’ of sex workers, focusing on the experiences of home-based workers in Sydney, Australia. Considering the inconsistent way that Home Occupation Sex Services Premises (HOSSPs) are regulated in this city, this paper discusses the implications of selling sex beyond the gaze of the state and the law. It is concluded that working from home can allow sex workers to exercise considerable autonomy over their working practices, but that the safety of such premises must be carefully considered in the development of prostitution policy.

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Hubbard P, Boydell S, Crofts P, Prior J, Searle G, 2013, “Noxious neighbours? Interrogating the impacts of sex premises in residential areas” Environment and Planning A 45(1) 126 – 141

Abstract:

Premises associated with commercial sex—including brothels, striptease clubs, sex cinemas, and sex shops—have increasingly been accepted as legitimate land uses, albeit ones whose location needs to be controlled because of assumed ‘negative externalities’. However, the planning and licensing regulations excluding such premises from areas of residential land use are often predicated on assumptions of nuisance that have not been empirically substantiated. Accordingly, this paper reports on a survey of those living close to sex industry premises in New South Wales, Australia. The results suggest that although some residents have strong moral objections to sex premises, in general residents note few negative impacts on local amenity or quality of life, with distance from a premise being a poor predictor of residents’ experiences of nuisance. These findings are considered in relation to the literatures on sexuality and space given regulation which ultimately appears to reproduce heteronormative moralities rather than respond to genuine environmental nuisances.


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Edward Snajdr, “Beneath the master narrative: human trafficking, myths of sexual slavery and ethnographic realities” (2013) 37 Dialectical Anthropology 229

Abstract:

This paper explores the disconnections between anti-trafficking discourse and the local experience of responding to human trafficking as indicated in ethnographic data from Bosnia and Kazakhstan. Using the concept of “uptake,” I examine how anti-trafficking discourse operates as a master narrative, drawing on techniques of emotion and logic, as well as a specific type of victim story. I also consider how, despite an emerging counter discourse that questions the data and challenges current policy, human trafficking discourse continues to be retold in media and reproduced in popular culture, often in ways that actually diverge from the current version of the grand narrative. In contrast to these uncritical representations, ethnographic data from Bosnia suggest that the master narrative is selective in how it represents the history of the problem and that it does not “take up” important details about the context that fosters sexual exploitation, despite Bosnia’s compliance with US policy. Conversely, Kazakhstan suffers a liminal status regardless of local efforts to prevent the problem from happening within its borders as well as evidence that the crime is not widespread. While perhaps not mythical, I suggest that the master narrative contains the stuff of legend as it occupies the critical spaces of policy, activism and development, leaving open the question of how to address the nuances and needs of responding to victims of gender violence.

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Julie Ham, Marie Segrave, and Sharon Pickering “In the Eyes of the Beholder: Border enforcement, suspect travellers and trafficking victims” Anti-Trafficking Review, issue 2, 2013, pp. 51—66.

Abstract:

Over the past decade, the border and border policing has figured as central to identifying and responding to trafficking. This article draws on original research into immigration officers’ decision-making — both at the border and within the nation — to identify the persistent preoccupation with suspect travellers. Examining research in Australia and Thailand that spans seven years, the article brings together research that demonstrates the predominance of the binary category of victim of trafficking/unlawful migrant worker and highlights the ambiguity of daily decision-making processes that categorise women who come into contact with immigration authorities. While the policy rhetoric is based on categories and risk profiles for identifying suspected victims of trafficking or those deemed at risk, we contribute to the growing body of work that has highlighted the presence of gendered and racialised stereotypes in immigration decision-making and consider implications this may have on women’s mobility across and within borders.

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Kimberly Page, Ellen Stein, Neth Sansothy, Jennifer Evans, Marie-Claude Couture, Keo Sichan, Melissa Cockroft, Julie Mooney-Somers, Pisith Phlong, John Kaldor, Lisa Maher, and on behalf of the Young Women’s Health Study Collaborative, John Kaldor, Serey Phal Kien, Kimberly Page, Joel M Palefsky, Vonthanak Saphonn, and Mean Chhi Vun. “Sex work and HIV in Cambodia: trajectories of risk and disease in two cohorts of high-risk young women in Phnom Penh, Cambodia” BMJ Open. 2013; 3(9): e003095

Abstract:

Objectives
HIV prevalence among Cambodian female sex workers (FSW) is among the highest in Southeast Asia. We describe HIV prevalence and associated risk exposures in FSW sampled serially in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (Young Women’s Health Study (YWHS)), before and after the implementation of a new law designed to combat human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Design
Cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from two prospective cohorts.

Setting
Community-based study in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Participants
Women aged 15–29 years, reporting ≥2 sexual partners in the last month and/or engaged in transactional sex in the last 3 months, were enrolled in the studies in 2007 (N=161; YWHS-1), and 2009 (N=220; YWHS-2) following information sessions where 285 and 345 women attended.

Primary outcomes
HIV prevalence, sexual risk behaviour, amphetamine-type stimulant (ATS) and alcohol use, and work-related factors were compared in the two groups, enrolled before and after implementation of the new law.

Results
Participants in the two cohorts were similar in age (median 25 years), but YWHS-2 women reported fewer sex partners, more alcohol use and less ATS use. A higher proportion of YWHS-2 compared with YWHS-1 women worked in entertainment-based venues (68% vs 31%, respectively). HIV prevalence was significantly lower in the more recently sampled women: 9.2% (95% CI 4.5% to 13.8%) vs 23% (95% CI 16.5% to 29.7%).

Conclusions
Sex work context and risk have shifted among young FSW in Phnom Penh, following implementation of anti-prostitution and anti-trafficking laws. While both cohorts were recruited using the same eligibility criteria, more recently sampled women had lower prevalence of sexual risk and HIV infection. Women engaging more directly in transactional sex have become harder to sample and access. Future prevention research and programmes need to consider how new policies and demographic changes in FSW impact HIV transmission.

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Faran Emmanuel, Laura H Thompson, Uzma Athar, Momina Salim, Altaf Sonia, Naeem Akhtar and James F Blanchard, “The organisation, operational dynamics and structure of female sex work in Pakistan” Sexually Transmitted Infections 2013; 89:ii29-ii33; doi:10.1136/sextrans-2013-051062

Abstract:

BACKGROUND
Pakistan is known to have large populations of female sex workers (FSWs) with considerable geographic heterogeneity in their characteristics. In this paper, we describe the social organisation and structural patterns of female sex work in different geographic regions of Pakistan.
METHODS
We report geographic and network mapping data collected among FSWs in 15 cities across Pakistan in 2011 as part of the Canada-Pakistan HIV/AIDS Surveillance Project.
RESULTS
A total number of 89 178 FSWs were estimated in the target cities for an average of 7.2 FSWs per 1000 adult males. 55% of the estimated number of FSWs concentrated in Karachi and Lahore. Based on the operations of female sex work, two major typologies of FSWs were identified: establishment-based and non-establishment-based. FSWs were further subtyped into those operating through brothels, homes, kothikhanas, streets and by cell phone. Cities varied considerably in terms of predominance of different FSW typologies.
CONCLUSIONS
There is considerable heterogeneity among FSWs in Pakistan, geographically and in terms of operational typology. Understanding the social organisation of sex work and the influence of social-cultural and legal factors in Pakistan is essential for the design of HIV prevention programmes and other services for FSWs.

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