Follow us @PLRI

Court-based research: collaborating with the justice system to enhance STI services for vulnerable women in the US http://t.co/3vEaFQVO
The fractal queerness of non-heteronormative migrant #sexworkers in the UK by Nick Mae http://t.co/X7oGFeDI
‘only 31% of the sample of indirect sex workers reported having been engaged in commercial sex in the last 12 months’
Old but good. Violence and Exposure to HIV among #sexworkers in Phnom Penh http://t.co/rkrRGiBa
Someone is Wrong on the Internet: #sex workers’ access to accurate information http://t.co/aMSXhygd

Paulo Longo Research Initiative

PLRI aims to consolidate ethical, interdisciplinary scholarship on sex work to inform activism and advocacy that will improve the human rights, health and well being of sex workers.

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Analysis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Related Activities in Round 8 and 9 Proposals

This document from the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (the Fund), authored by Adam Graham, analyses HIV proposals to the Fund in Rounds 8 and 9. It focuses on men who have sex with men, sex workers and transgendered people and looks at levels of participation and representation, the evidence base and service delivery. Year of publication: 2010 Theme: Gender and Sexuality Health and HIV Author: Adam Graham Relevant URL: Link to the document on the Global Fund website

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A study of men who pay for sex, based on the Norwegian National Sex Surveys

[This study] estimates the prevalence, time trends and factors associated with paid sex among men. Methods: Norwegian Sex Surveys using similar questions in 1992, 1997 and 2002 were analyzed using a cohort analysis and logistic regression. The questionnaires included demographic background, and several aspects of sexual behaviour. The following questions on paid sex were included: Have you ever paid for sexual services? If yes, how many times? How old were you the first time? How old were you the last time? Did you use a condom the last time? Of the 4,545 men who answered this question, 585 (12.9%) reported ever having paid for sex. There was a marked decline overall in reporting from 26.2% in the cohort born in 1927—34, to 5.9% in the cohort born in 1975—84 (p < 0.001). However, there was an increase in the last cohort after the age of around 23 years (p = 0.1). Having paid for sex was significantly associated with being single, being on a disability pension, early sexual debut and having multiple other sex partners; these men were less likely to use condoms when having sex with a cohabiting partner (p < 0.01) and more likely to have had a sexually transmitted infection

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Adolescent female sex workers: invisibility, violence and HIV

Article in the Arch Dis Child doi:10.1136/adc.2009.178715. A large number of female sex workers are children. Multiple studies demonstrate that up to 40% of women in prostitution started this work prior to age 18. In studies across India, Nepal, Thailand and Canada, young age at entry to sex work has been found to heighten vulnerability to physical and sexual violence victimisation in the context of prostitution, and relates to a two to fourfold increase in HIV infection. Although HIV risk reduction among adult female sex workers has been a major focus of HIV prevention efforts across the globe, no public health interventions, to date, have addressed the increased hazards and HIV risk faced by adolescent female sex workers. Beyond the structural barriers that limit access to this vulnerable group, historical tensions between HIV prevention and child protection agencies must be overcome in order to develop effective strategies to address this large scale yet little recognised human rights and HIV-related crisis. (abstract authors’  own) Theme:  Gender and Sexuality

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Youth, violence and non-injection drug use: nexus of vulnerabilities among lesbian and bisexual sex workers

Despite increasing evidence of enhanced HIV risk among sexual minority populations, and sex workers (SWs) in particular, there remains a paucity of epidemiological data on the risk environments of SWs who identify as lesbian or bisexual. Therefore, this short report describes a study that examined the individual, interpersonal and structural associations with lesbian or bisexual identity among SWs in Vancouver, Canada. Analysis drew on data from an open prospective cohort of street and hidden off-street SWs in Vancouver …[to] examine the independent relationships between individual, interpersonal, work environment and structural factors and lesbian or bisexual identity. Of the 510 individuals in our sample, 95 (18.6%) identified as lesbian or bisexual.   The [study]  demonstrated an urgent need for evidence-based social and structural HIV prevention interventions. In particular, policies and programmes tailored to lesbian and bisexual youth and women working in sex work, including those that prevent violence and address issues of non-injection stimulant use are required. Theme:  Gender and Sexuality

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A Comparison of Male Sex Workers in Prague: Internet Escorts versus Men Who Work in Specialized Bars and Clubs

Prague, the Czech Republic, is a popular sex tourism destination where sex work is decriminalized and young men offer sexual services at low prices relative to countries in Western Europe. This quantitative survey aimed to identify some of the demographic characteristics of these young men and their experiences in the sex industry. Internet escorts (N = 20) and sex workers in bars and clubs (N = 20) completed the survey anonymously in spring 2011. The results showed that sex workers in clubs often had troubled pasts and were forced into sex work to survive. They also reported incidents of violence, serious alcohol and drug use, as well as frequent gambling. The larger group of sex workers in Prague is made up of Internet escorts who have backgrounds that are not atypical for the average Czech youth. They had fewer problems with drugs and alcohol but were twice as likely as sex workers in bars and clubs to be victims of violent crime. Plans for interventions to help those who would change their line of work, as well as the importance of sociocultural context in understanding sex workers, are discussed. Theme:  Gender and Sexuality Author:  Michael David Bar-Johnsona & Petr Weissb

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Whore's Glory

WHORES’ GLORY is a film on prostitution: three countries, three languages, three religions. In Thailand, women wait for clients behind glass panes, staring at reflections of themselves. In Bangladesh, men go to a ghetto of love to satisfy their unfulfilled desires on indentured girls. And in Mexico, women pray to a female death to avoid facing their own reality. In worlds where the most intimate act has become a commodity, these women have physically and emotionally experienced everything that can happen between a man and a woman. For this they have always received money, but it has not made their lives rich in anything but stories. Author:  Michael Glawogger

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Demystifying Sex Work and Sex Workers

Wagadu, an open access online feminist journal, has released a special issue ‘Demystifying sex work and sex workers.’ With articles from activist scholars the special issue, focuses on the everyday lives of sex workers. Susan Dewey of the University of Wyoming who edited the issue explains, “While recent years have witnessed a dramatic outpouring of feminist scholarship that situates sex work within its broader socioeconomic and political contexts cross-culturally, there remains a tendency for academic scholarship to unconsciously reinforce the social stigmatization of sex workers by depicting them solely through their income-earning activities. This burgeoning research has convincingly demonstrated that sex work is embedded in a complex social matrix that often centers upon sex workers’ perceptions of their individual choices and responsibilities…Public policy on sex work is often shown to be seriously lacking when contextualized within the broader realities of many sex workers’ everyday life experiences throughout the world. As such, contributors to this special issue offer sound ethnographic evidence that clearly demonstrates the global need for policy and legal reform with respect to sex work.” Table of contents below with links to the journal articles on the Wagadu website. Editorial, Susan Dewey, PDF HTML ‘Yeah, he’s my Daddy’: Linguistic Constructions

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Can rights stop the wrongs? Exploring the connections between framings of sex workers’ rights and sexual and reproductive health

There is growing interest in the ways in which legal and human rights issues related to sex work affect sex workers’ vulnerability to HIV and abuses including human trafficking and sexual exploitation. International agencies, such as UNAIDS, have called for decriminalisation of sex work because the delivery of sexual and reproductive health services is affected by criminalisation and social exclusion as experienced by sex workers. The paper reflects on the connections in various actors’ framings between sex workers sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and the ways that international law is interpreted in policing and regulatory practices. Methods The literature review that informs this paper was carried out by the authors in the course of their work within the Paulo Longo Research Initiative. The review covered academic and grey literature such as resources generated by sex worker rights activists, UN policy positions and print and online media. The argument in this paper has been developed reflectively through long term involvement with key actors in the field of sex workers’ rights. Results International legislation characterises sex work in various ways which do not always accord with moves toward decriminalisation. Law, policy and regulation at national level and law enforcement vary

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The Swedish Sex Purchase Act: Claimed Success and Documented Effects

This is a very good article that presents a strong case that the criminalisation of clients in Sweden has not been successful in any terms. It contains fascinating statistics about the extent of trafficking in Sweden and illustrates the lack of integrity and rigour of claims that support ‘the Swedish Model’. It also provides a compelling  case for looking closely at the  true consequences of measures aimed at limiting sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. “Sweden’s criminalization of the purchase of sexual services in 1999 is said to be a unique  measure: to only punish those who buy sexual services, not those who sell them. However this  alleged uniqueness is questionable, and for several reasons. There are a number of other laws and regulations against prostitution, which effectively make Swedish prostitution policy similar to those countries in the world that attempt to reduce or eradicate prostitution with legislative means. Another reason the claim to uniqueness is doubtful is that one must examine more than the wording of a law or policy model (“it is only those who buy sex who are being punished”) when analyzing it – one has to consider the actual consequences. “ Conference paper presented at the International Workshop:

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A Psychosocial Study of Male-to-Female Transgendered and Male Hustler Sex Workers in São Paulo, Brazil

This study examined sociodemographic variables, personality characteristics, and alcohol and drug misuse among male sex workers in the city of Santo André, São Paulo, Brazil. A total of 45 male-to-female transgender sex workers and 41 male hustlers were evaluated in face-to-face interviews at their place of work from 2008 to 2010. A “snowball” sampling procedure was used to access this hard-to-reach population. Male-to-female transgender sex workers reported fewer conventional job opportunities, fewer school problems, and higher harm avoidance and depression levels than male hustlers. Also, transgender sex workers reported earning more money through sex work and more frequently living in hostels with peers than their counterparts. As biological male sex workers are a heterogeneous population, attempts to classify them into distinctive groups should be further carried out as a way to better understand and identify their behavior, design effective health interventions, and consequently minimize the likelihood of unintended adverse outcomes. Our study showed that gender performance can be an important variable to be considered by researchers and policy makers when working with sex workers and developing HIV/AIDS prevention and public health programs, given that transgender and male sex workers not only display distinctive behavior and physical appearance but also reveal

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