The urban mythology and regulatory fetish surrounding sex work needs to be dispelled.
MaginnThe University of Western Australia. The logic of universalization guides moral judgment — Reading, Reading. Those parlours surrounded by other non-sex work businesses and residences were often referred to by nearby non-sex work business workers as a means of breaking the ice and building rapport with customers, because of questions asked about the parlours being there.
In addition, sex workers and their clients also contribute to local economies via the renting of premises, booking hotel rooms and spending money in local shops, bars and restaurants. Observations were also made over an month period.
Blackpool's economy so depressed that even prostitutes are forced to leave in search of work
Their presence in and near residential communities needs to be viewed through a wider lens based on evidence, rather than a narrow moral one under the control of a vocal minority. The stigma and stereotyping that tends to surround sex workers and their clients has the effect of alienating them and diminishing their sense of safety when working. Such exclusionary actions merely serve to reinforce the stigma imposed on sex workers and deny them their basic democratic rights.
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The police raids in Soho during Decemberwhen around police targeted dozens of premises, have been one of the most high-profile examples of this strategy. Community-based policy and consultation processes need to be more inclusive and appreciative of the fact that sex workers are as much a part of the local community as the next person.
Very few residents in the study explicitly stated that they would like to see the sex industry removed. This is reflected in the regulation and marginalisation of sex work by local and national government policies to dark and secluded areas of cities.
A more productive policy approach to regulating commercial sex premises would be to treat them like any other business. Such views dismantle the common narrative, which suggests that the sex industry is something that attracts criminality rather than a feeling of security.
For example, they and associated clients, etc provide passive surveillance against criminal activities and will report crimes. Interestingly, however, there has been little detailed or systematic research on the impacts of sex work on residential communities.
Translation outreach in schools and the move online — ReadingReading. The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
The evidence that sex work is a problematic issue is rather limited, but it is clear that sex workers themselves are not considered community members and are rarely consulted about their own concerns and needs. Despite this, plus the ongoing effects of the recent recession, the massage parlours have shown resilience and remain an integral part of the social and economic fabric of Blackpool.
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While it is important to recognise that such problems may occur in sex work, it is also important to stress that these are not experienced by the majority of those engaged in consensual sex work and should certainly not be portrayed as being the most important factor in all sex worker narratives. Regardless of their legal status, wider society still tends to stigmatise those who provide commercial sexual services, with street-based sex workers often most the subject of public, political and police scrutiny.
Many residents discussed spending time with sex workers, as they would with any other neighbour. Despite the fact that several sex workers in my study area lived locally, the long-established presence of massage parlours in Blackpool, and the friendly relationships between sex workers and wider community members, sex workers were still excluded from certain community spaces.
Emerging research suggests that the role and impact of sex work on local areas is more multi-faceted and less extraordinary than is commonly portrayed in the media or television dramas.