Gender and Sexuality

We explore commercial sex as enmeshed in power relationships and economies of desire that are inherent within all sexualities.

Contemporary gender and sexuality studies have much to offer the study of sex work which involves men, women and transgenders as buyer and sellers of sexual services. 

Recent work on the production of sexual subjectivities under neoliberalism highlights the potential of a political economy approach to sex work - one that goes beyond debates about coercion and choice to understand better the structures of constraint and scenarios of agency within which sex is bought, sold and traded.   

Resources

  • HIV Gel Called Poor Substitute for Women's Rights - 2010

    VIENNA, Austria (WOMENSENEWS)--The preventive benefits of an HIV vaginal gel dominated the headlines of the International AIDS Conference in Vienna last week, but failed to allay the concerns that Mabel Bianco has about the public-health response to the epidemic.

  • Institutional Responses to Sex Trafficking in Armenia, Bosnia, and India - 2010

    In Hollow Bodies, Susan Dewey travels to Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and India to follow the trade in women’s bodies and efforts to stop it. What she finds is a counter-trafficking system at the mercy of funds from misguided international organizations and foreign governments. From counterproductive restrictions placed on NGOs by donors, to jaded employees and bribes given to prosecutors, Dewey highlights the structural flaws in place that allow, and sometimes even help, sex trafficking to continue.

  • Issues Concerning the Informality and Outdoor Sex Work - 2010
    Article in the Archive of Sexual Behaviour.
     
  • Poll reveals details of Bogota's prostitution business - 2010

    A news story by Daniel Brody in the Columbia Reports. The story outlines the findings of an opinion survey of sex workers and their clients in Bogota which was taken by the Mayor's Office. There is no link to the original source so we cannot comment on the accuracy of the reporting or the methods used.

  • Stigma and sex work from the perspective of female sex workers in Hong Kong. - 2010

    While the stigma surrounding sex work is both well documented and easily recognised, few studies examine stigma in this context from the perspective of the sex workers themselves. In this article we report on a study using a modified grounded theory approach to analyse a series of semi-structured interviews with 49 female sex workers in Hong Kong, in order to examine the ways in which this group experiences and negotiates the stigma which arises from their employment in the sex industry.

  • The State of Sex: Tourism, Sex and Sin in the New American Heartland (Contemporary Sociological Perspectives) - 2010

     The State of Sex is a study of Nevada’s brothels that situates the nation's only legal brothel industry in the political economy of contemporary tourism. Nevada is part of the "new American heartland," as its pastimes, people, and politics have become more central to the nation. The rise of a service and leisure economy over the past sixty years has propelled sexuality into the heart of contemporary markets. Yet, neoliberal laws in the United States promote business but limit sexual commerce.

  • Wards of the state: Young sex workers' special vulnerability to HIV and AIDS under the law - 2010

    Young people of all ages have seen increased attention in HIV and AIDS discussions, yet there exists little to no policy guidance on providing rights-based universal access to HIV prevention, care, treatment and support for young people under the age of majority involved in the sex trade, especially those involved in what is legally defined as prostitution. The “Wards of the State” project begins an evaluation of current laws, policies and practices affecting young people in the sex trade's access to rights-based services on a country to country basis.

  • When I dare to be powerful - Sex Worker Oral Herstory - 2010

    A Publication by Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA), written by Zawadi Nyong’o and edited by Christine Butegwa and Solome Nakaweesi-Kimbugwe.

    AMwA has been working in partnership with sex worker activists in Uganda and other countries in East Africa. This oral history project allowed women to speak for themselves to try and better understand the politics behind sexuality, sexual rights and sex work.

    The research tries to present the multiple dimensions of women’s lives,

  • ‘Mobile Love Videos Make Me Feel Healthy’: Rethinking ICTs for Development - 2010

    Author's summary: Development discourse tends to limit attention to the contribution of information and communications technologies (ICTs) to economic and educational empowerment, largely ignoring other potential areas for empowerment. This paper explores interactions between people and communication technologies in relation to sexuality through the lens of a specific community and its use of mobile phones...

  • Exploring HIV Risk among MSM in Kigali, Rwanda - 2009

    The study was led by the National AIDS Control Commission (CNLS) of Rwanda, with technical assistance from MEASURE Evaluation. It presents findings from a behavioral surveillance study (BSS) of men who have sex with men (MSM) in Kigali carried out in 2008-2009. The aim of this study was to describe the population of MSM in Kigali and explore the nature of sexual activity between MSM.

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