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Regulating sex for sale

Regulating sex for sale: Prostitution Policy Reform in the UK

Edited by Jo Phoenix
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  • Book Info
    Regulating sex for sale
    Book Description:

    Recent years have seen a 'quiet revolution' in the way that the sex industry is regulated and governed. The consensus around what the problems of prostitution are has broken down and in its place a plethora of contradictory themes has emerged. Regulating sex for sale examines the total package of reforms and proposals that have been introduced in this area since May 2000. Bringing together some of the most well-known writers, researchers and practitioners in the field, it provides a detailed analysis and critical reflection on the processes, assumptions and contradictions shaping the UK's emerging prostitution policy. What are the unintended consequences of recent policies and how do they impact on the populations that they regulate? Do they contain any possibility for radical intervention and/or new ways of governing prostitution? The book describes the impact these policies have on indoor sex workers, street-based sex workers, young people, men or those with drug misuse issues. It also looks at the assumptions made by policy makers about the various constituencies affected, including the communities in which sex work takes place. This is the first book to address the contradictions in current policy on prostitution in England and Wales and will be of interest to academics, postgraduate students and policy makers in criminal justice, as well as in other areas, including children and young people, community safety and urban studies.

    eISBN: 978-1-84742-107-4
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. List of figures, tables and boxes
    (pp. iv-iv)
  2. ONE Frameworks of understanding
    (pp. 1-28)
    Jo Phoenix

    Since the turn of the millennium, there has been a proliferation of research and writing on prostitution and the sex industry. Much of it begins with claims about the relative invisibility of the subject – despite the fact that there has been a long and established research tradition within the social sciences in the UK that dates back at least two centuries. The period from the late 1990s to now has witnessed an increased interest in the issue from a wide range of academic disciplines (gender studies, sociology, criminology, psychology, socio-legal studies, urban geography, health studies, pharmacology to name but...

  3. TWO What’s anti-social about sex work? Governance through the changing representation of prostitution’s incivility
    (pp. 29-46)
    Jane Scoular, Jane Pitcher, Rosie Campbell, Phil Hubbard and Maggie O’Neill

    Recent reforms of prostitution policy in the UK have been abolitionist in tone, with concerns about community safety and violence against women encouraging zero-tolerance strategies. In relation to street sex work, such strategies include a range of interventions – from voluntary referrals to compulsory intervention orders and Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) designed to extricate women apparently ‘trapped’ in street prostitution. Despite being heralded as a new approach, we argue that recent constructions of street sex work as a form of anti-social behaviour must be viewed as merely the latest attempt to construct the street sex worker as a social ‘other’....

  4. THREE Community safety, rights, redistribution and recognition: towards a coordinated prostitution strategy?
    (pp. 47-66)
    Maggie O’Neill

    In response to a review of prostitution legislation (the first for 50 years) the Home Office publishedA Coordinated Prostitution Strategyin January 2006, setting out the government’s proposals for a strategy focusing predominantly on: prevention of involvement; fostering routes out; and protecting communities from street-based sex markets. Prostitution is defined as ‘commercial sexual exploitation’ and the strategy seeks to address this issue by: tackling demand via ‘disrupting the market’ and ‘deterring punters’; ensuring justice, by strengthening and enforcing the law against those who exploit and abuse women, young people and children; and tolerating off-street prostitution where two to three...

  5. FOUR UK sex work policy: eyes wide shut to voluntary and indoor sex work
    (pp. 67-82)
    Teela Sanders

    The last decade has seen a proliferation of activities from central and local government, community safety partnerships and individual police forces, as well as the collective umbrella of the Association of Chief Police Officers, introducing policy and guidelines in addition to enhancing existing and new legislation in order to manage parts of the sex industry. This has been a reaction to the Home Office’s review of prostitution laws and management strategies that resulted in the blueprintA Coordinated Prostitution Strategy(Home Office, 2006), which takes a non-tolerant approach to the sex industry, opting for ‘eradication’ of street prostitution and ‘tackling...

  6. FIVE Out on the streets and out of control? Drug-using sex workers and the prostitution strategy
    (pp. 83-98)
    Margaret Melrose

    This chapter critically considers the assumptions underlying policy proposals for sex-working drug users and drug-using sex workers in New Labour’s prostitution strategy. In critiquing these underlying assumptions this discussion suggests that the strategy proposed inA Coordinated Prostitution Strategy(Home Office, 2006) (hereafter referred to as ‘the strategy’) reduces involvement in street sex work to a problem of drug use (Melrose, 2007) and at the same time misconceives problems of drug addiction. I argue that the punitive framework that has increasingly characterised policy towards problem drug users (Buchanan, 2004) has been imported into ‘the prostitution debate’ and now also frames...

  7. SIX Male sex work in the UK: forms, practice and policy implications
    (pp. 99-120)
    Mary Whowell and Justin Gaffney

    Recent years have witnessed increasing discussion and debate over the changing nature of sex work. Research into street-based sex work has flourished (McKeganey and Barnard, 1996; Hubbard, 2004a: 2004b; Sanders, 2004), while work on the practices, sexualities and spatialities of indoor sex work is becoming more diverse and voluminous (see,inter alia, Abbot, 2000 on pornography; Rich and Guidroz, 2000 on telephone sex; Smith, 2002 on stripping; Sanders, 2005 on massage parlours). Despite featuring in the literature on sex work, attention to men who sell sexual services has been notably less than that given to female sex workers. Where present,...

  8. SEVEN Beyond child protection: young people, social exclusion and sexual exploitation
    (pp. 121-136)
    Jenny Pearce

    In this chapter I make two key points about service delivery for sexually exploited children and young people. First, I argue that while there have been some helpful developments in policy and practice that raise the profile of sexually exploited children and young people’s needs (HM Government, 2008b; DCSF, 2008), these have mainly been focused on child protection agendas. Other considerations, such as the housing needs of young people, their education and training needs and their health needs have been overlooked. Despite Local Safeguarding Children Boards being multi-agency, the focus has remained on child protection issues, leaving many sexually exploited...

  9. EIGHT From ‘toleration’ to zero tolerance: a view from the ground in Scotland
    (pp. 137-158)
    Ruth Morgan Thomas

    In an ideal world the need for individuals to sell or buy sexual servicesin order to survivewould not exist; every citizen of the world would be able to achieve both economic security and sexual fulfilment without recourse to selling or buying sex. The root causes of many – but not all – individuals’ entry into the sex industry, such as debt and poverty, gender inequality and gender politics, lack of economic opportunity, low educational attainment, childhood neglect and abuse, and drug dependency would have been eradicated. However, we are a long way away from such a society, and...

  10. NINE Conclusion
    (pp. 159-168)
    Jo Phoenix

    A number of dominant themes arise in this book. Each of the chapters has sought to analyse specific aspects of the UK’s emerging prostitution policy and has done this through using both empirical and theoretical research. All of the authors have posed questions about how particular categories of individuals are constructed within the key documents that have shaped and given rise to the policies now in place and the legislation being proposed. Similarly, all of the authors have called into question not only the assumptions underpinning these documents and policies, but also the myths and misconceptions about what individuals in...