Mary Jane Hayes was a “deviant” woman—a “drunken prostitute” who was in and out of both the Fremantle Lunatic Asylum and Fremantle Prison from 1871 to 1898. One of twelve women in the Fremantle Lunatic Asylum records to have been referred to as a prostitute, Mary Jane was particularly reviled: her alcohol consumption and unsavoury lifestyle were often blamed as the cause of her violent behaviour and insanity. Prison and asylum records reveal several arrests for drunkenness and vagrancy, with an estimated 67 convictions; newspaper articles also depict her numerous convictions for indecent behaviour, obscene language and larceny. Mary Jane Hayes’s contact with both the asylum and prison, as well as her mentions in newspapers, allows for an archival and media content examination of late 19th-century Fremantle society and its treatment of deviant women who fell into the category of moral insanity: madness caused by a moral failing, especially alcohol and sex. This article will make a wider contribution to colonial Australian history, particularly the history of Fremantle, by developing a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of women and moral insanity in the late 19th century.
Intersectionality attends to the interactions between social difference and power, although theoretical models vary in their emphasis on one or the other. Difference-centred models often distinguish between processes of constructing social difference, systems that institutionalize social difference and identities that include social difference. This article discusses the analytical expectations that can emerge in intersectional research that focus on difference, by analysing the use and construction of difference by im/migrant and racialized women in sex work. The first analytical expectation is the distinction between salience and difference when starting from the lived realities and voices of individuals, groups and communities. The second analytical expectation concerns the interaction between two intersectional methodologies, between identities and lived experiences, and processes of constructing difference.
Dr Teela Sanders and Dr Kate Hardy (2013) Sex work: the ultimate precarious labour?, Criminal Justice Matters, 93:1, 16-17, DOI: 10.1080/09627251.2013.833760
Teela Sanders and Kate Hardy assess sex work within wider processes of ‘flexibilisation’
Campbell, R and O’Neill, M (eds) (2006) Sex Work Now, Willan Publishing.
Sex Work Now provides an authoritative overview of female sex work and policy in the UK, and addresses a number of key contemporary issues and debates. These include sex worker unionization, migrant sex work and trafficking, communities and sex work, male clients of sex workers, the policing of prostitution, zoning of street sex work, young people and sexual exploitation, drug use and sex work, exiting, violence and sex work. Throughout the book is shaped by the lives and experiences of sex workers themselves drawing on applied, policy or participatory action research. This book approaches the subject from an interdisciplinary perspective, cutting across conventional boundaries of sociology, criminology, politics and social policy. Contributors to the book include academics, researchers, practitioners and activists who are among the leading commentators on prostitution in the UK. provides overview of sex work in UK considers impact of recent legislation and policy, especially Sex Offences Act 2003 focus on lives and experiences of sex workers themselves
Cultural Criminology and Sex Work: Resisting Regulation through Radical Democracy and Participatory Action Research (PAR)
Journal of Law and Society Volume 37, Issue 1, pages 210–232, March 2010
Author: Maggie O’Neill
Abstract: Taking a feminist cultural criminological analysis to the regulation of sex work in the United Kingdom, this paper argues against the dominant deviancy and the increasingly abolitionist criminal justice model for regulating sex work. The paper begins by offering a critique of the dominant regulatory regimes which have operated since the Victorian era, amended in part in the 1950s with Wolfenden, and currently being reinscribed with the Home Office strategy on prostitution and various pieces of legislation. The focus is specifically upon research with female sex workers and the usefulness of using Participatory Action research methodologies (PAR) with sex workers, agencies, and policy makers in order to foreground the diverse voices and experiences of sex workers, challenge the current focus on abolitionist criminal justice regimes and outcomes, and offer an alternative framework for a cultural materialist analysis of sex work, drawing upon the work of Nancy Fraser.