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Off-street commercial sex : an exploratory study

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
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This thesis explores women’s experiences working in off-street prostitution venues in Vancouver, BC. The victimization experienced by street-based sex workers has led many people to conclude that prostitution is inherently dangerous. However, street-based workers form the minority of sex workers in Canada. The question remains, can their experiences be generalized to other types of prostitution? Consequently, this thesis examines whether female off-street sex workers face the same degree of victimization as female street-based sex workers, and asks if the experience of prostitution always entails violence. The research contained two components: a) a victimization survey examining interpersonal violence and other forms of victimization of off-street sex workers (n=39); and b) in-depth interviews with ten off-street sex workers exploring their working conditions, safety, stereotypes of prostitution, and law reform (n=10). While violence and exploitation do occur in the off-street industry, this study indicates that some women sell sex without experiencing any violence.
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