January 10: Sex Work: Problem or Profession?.docx

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Women and Gender Studies
Karen Ruffle

Wgs jan 10, 2012 Sex work: problem or profession? Sex work: a definition - 1978, carol leigh - Definition: sexual commerce of all kinds - Non-stigmatizing - Emphasis on professionalism - Exchange of a sexual service for money Sex work: NGO definition - UNAIDS inter-agency task team on gender and hiv/aids: - Exchange of money or goods for sexual services, either regularly or occasionally, involving male, female, and transgender adults, young people and children where the sex worker may or may not consciously define such activity as income-generating Types of sex work: - Formal - Informal - Somewhere in between: street walkers Who performs sex work? - All ages, genders, races, nationalities, religions, political persuasions, educational backgrounds - Some choose: career choice - Assumptions that it is unchosen and temporary Direct vs indirect sex work - Direct: often main source of income for sex workers – genital contact - Indirect: not always main source of income; may not be recognized as sex work; - not always genital contact Prostitution: definition 1 1. The act or practice of engaging in promiscuous sexual relations especially for money; 2. The state of being prostituted: DEBASEMENT Prostitution: definition 2 - Breaking free, inc. (Minnesota-based non-profit) - Systematic sexual violence against women/girls - Institutionalized - An industry - Provides men with unlimited resources Prostitution definition 3 - John ince, attorney and leader of the sex party (2007): - “the key elements of prostitution are: 1. Sexual contact and 2. For money.” The problem of sex work: trafficking Human trafficking definition: a. Definition from the UN protocol to prevent, suppress, and punish trafficking in persons - The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception... - Slavery: a person held against his or her own will and controlled physically or psychologically by violence or its threat for the purpose of appropriating their labour - 27 million slaves worldwide - Types of slavery: forced marriage, sex, debt, bond
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