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An ethnographic description of female sex worker typology in Kodagu, South India and its implications for a targeted intervention

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Since the nature of sex work can vary by geographic area, it is imperative to investigate female sex worker (FSW) typologies in a specific area in order to inform relevant targeted interventions. The primary author engaged in participation observation at the Mysore and Kodagu offices of Ashodaya Samithi, a sex worker collective based in Karnataka, India, for eleven weeks. One focus group and ten interviews with FSWs in Kodagu were also conducted. In comparison to Mysore, Kodagu is characterized by more typologies as well as lower amounts of street based solicitation and lodge based place of sex. Furthermore, FSWs in Kodagu are more reluctant to self identify as a sex worker and participate in Ashodaya Samithi. Several factors that have greatly enabled the success of the Ashodaya Samithi programme in other districts of Karnataka, including community mobilization and organization of sex work, exist to a lesser degree in Kodagu.
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