Matching Items (4)

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Developing and testing a theory of intentions to exit street-level prostitution: a mixed methods study

Description

Exiting prostitution is a process whereby women gradually leave prostitution after a number of environmental, relational, and cognitive changes have taken place. Most women attempting to leave street prostitution reenter

Exiting prostitution is a process whereby women gradually leave prostitution after a number of environmental, relational, and cognitive changes have taken place. Most women attempting to leave street prostitution reenter five or more times before successfully exiting, if they are able to at all. Prostitution-exiting programs are designed to alleviate barriers to exiting, but several studies indicate only about 20-25% of participants enrolled in such programs are successful. There is little quantitative knowledge on the prostitution exiting process and current literature lacks a testable theory of exiting. This mixed-methods study defined and operationalized key cognitive processes by applying the Integrative Model of Behavioral Prediction (IMBP) to measure intentions to exit street-level prostitution. Intentions are thought to be a determinant of behavior and hypothesized as a function of attitudes, norms, and efficacy beliefs. The primary research objective was to measure and test a theory-driven hypothesis examining intentions to exit prostitution. To accomplish these aims, interviews were conducted with 16 men and women involved in prostitution to better capture the latent nuances of exiting (e.g., attitudinal changes, normative influence). These data informed the design of a quantitative instrument that was pilot-tested with a group of former prostitutes and reviewed by experts in the field. The quantitative phase focused on validating the instrument and testing the theory in a full latent variable structural equation model with a sample of 160 former and active prostitutes. Ultimately, the theory and instrument developed in this study will lay the foundation to test interventions for street prostituted women. Prior research has only been able to describe, but not explain or predict, the prostitution exiting process. This study fills a gap in literature by providing a quantitative examination of women's intentions to leave prostitution. The results contribute to our understanding of the cognitive changes that occur when a person leaves prostitution, and the validated instrument may be used as an intervention assessment or an exit prediction tool. Success in predicting an individual's passage through the exiting process could have important and far-reaching implications on recidivism policies or interventions for this vulnerable group of women.

Contributors

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Getting out: a qualitative exploration of the exiting experience among former sex workers and adult sex trafficking victims

Description

Sexual exploitation is a problem faced by women victimized by sex trafficking and are involved in the commercial sex industry as a result of limited employment options. Negative consequences associated

Sexual exploitation is a problem faced by women victimized by sex trafficking and are involved in the commercial sex industry as a result of limited employment options. Negative consequences associated with engaging in sex work in the United States include violent victimization, physical and mental health problems, addiction, isolation from positive social support, and economic instability. These consequences make exiting difficult, and recently Baker, Williamson, and Dalla (2010) created an integrated prostitution exiting model to help explain the exiting process, accounting for the impact of these consequences and identifying the role that failed exiting attempts play in leading women to a final exit. Currently, much remains unknown regarding the usefulness of the model and researchers have yet to explore the process of exiting from the perspective of former sex workers. This dissertation examines the process of exiting commercial sex work from the perspective of 19 adult women who exited the sex industry and had not engaged in sex work for at least two years. The goal of the study was to compare findings from these interviews to Baker et al.'s (2010) integrated model and to further understand the experience of exiting sex work. A narrative approach to data collection was taken (Wells, 2011), and individual interviews were conducted with each participant in order to elicit narratives about their experiences exiting sex work. A phenomenological approach was utilized to analyze the data (van Manen, 1990), and five overarching themes encompassing 21 subthemes emerged as key findings. Many of these themes supported the stages of Baker et al.'s (2010) model, including the experience of becoming disillusioned with the prostitution lifestyle as a precursor to successfully exiting, the likelihood that women will attempt to exit and then re-enter sex work a number of times before finally exiting, and the presence of specific barriers that inhibited the exiting process. Additional themes emerged, offering new information about the importance of involving former sex workers in treatment, the role that children, customers, and other relationships play in helping or hindering the exiting process, and the development of resiliency among women undergoing the exiting process. Recommendations for research and practice are discussed.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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'I ain't nobodies' ho': discourse, stigma, and identity construction in the sex work community

Description

This study is based on 31 interviews conducted in 2012 with male, female, and transgender sex workers at the St. James Infirmary, a full-spectrum health clinic run by sex workers

This study is based on 31 interviews conducted in 2012 with male, female, and transgender sex workers at the St. James Infirmary, a full-spectrum health clinic run by sex workers for sex workers, located in San Francisco, California. My primary goals were, first, to document the lived realities of a diverse range of sex workers who live and work in the San Francisco Bay Area, and, second, to understand the impact of sex work discourse on the facilitation of stigma toward the sex work community and, finally, how that stigma influences the sex worker group identity and individual identity constructions. My primary findings indicate that although sex work discourse has traditionally been constructed within the dominant public sphere and not by sex workers themselves, this discourse has a profound effect on creating and perpetuating the stigma associated with sex work. In turn, this stigma affects both how the group and how individuals construct their identities, often negatively. Alternatively, a benefit of stigma is that it can induce the production of counterpublics which facilitate the emergence of new discourse. However, for this new discourse to gain acceptance into the public sphere, activist organizations must utilize traditional (and sometimes unintentionally marginalizing) strategies that can impact both the identity construction of the group and of individuals within the group. Understanding these complex relationships is therefore essential to understanding how activist organizations, such as the St. James Infirmary, situate themselves within the larger dominant public sphere, their impact on sex work discourse, and their impact on individual sex worker identity construction.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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A comparative study of adult transgender and female prostitution

Description

This study examines the differences in demographic and life characteristics between transgender and female prostitutes in a prostitution diversion program and identifies specialized treatment and exiting strategies for transgender prostitutes.

This study examines the differences in demographic and life characteristics between transgender and female prostitutes in a prostitution diversion program and identifies specialized treatment and exiting strategies for transgender prostitutes. The purpose of this study was to develop a better understanding of the transgender experience in prostitution and to contribute to the descriptive literature. Participants were 465 individuals who were arrested for prostitution and attended a prostitution-focused diversion program. Differences found to be significant between transgender and female prostitutes included demographic characteristics, history of childhood sexual abuse, and experience of violence in prostitution. Implications for treatment, exiting strategies and future research are discussed.

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Date Created
  • 2011