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Lecture 12

SOC 225 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Erogenous Zone, Tomboy, Sex Worker

Course Code
SOC 225
Michael Vaughn

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Soc 225: Sociology of Sex and Gender
Lecture 12
A note on language use
Sex work: Labor
Sex Worker: Defining someone by their labor
Prostitution: Legal Offense
Prostitute: Defining someone by a legal offense
Interpersonal Behavior
Meanings associated with sex vary greatly
Generally, but not always, involves physical contact with genitals or erogenous zones (highly
sensitive areas)
Sex Work
… the in-person physical exchange of sexual services for money or goods Mgbako, 6:6
Sex Work and the Law
Four Common Models:
1. Full Criminalization It is law to buy, sell, or facilitate the sale of sex. Example: United
States, South Africa
2. Partial Criminalization Only some people are breaking the law, it is illegal to either buy
or sex. Example Norway (purchase prohibited)
3. Decriminalization Repeal of anti-prostitution, legislation without addition of legal
regulations. Example: New Zealand
4. Legalization Sex work is regulated by law. Example: The Netherlands
Puzzle: If sex is so ambiguous how can a person sell it and a government regulate it?
Sex Work and Meaning-Making
Meaning-making is the process by which we develop a shared understanding or definition of a
given object, actor, or social process
Language is key
How is the law able to define sex?
Power (Review)
Power is based on relative dependence
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