Unlinking Prostitution and Sex Trafficking: Response to Commentaries

  • Cecilia BenoitEmail author
  • Michaela Smith
  • Mikael Jansson
  • Priscilla Healey
  • Doug Magnuson

In our Target Article, “The Prostitution Problem”: Claims, Evidence, and Policy Outcomes” (Benoit, Smith, Jansson, Healey, & Magnuson, 2018b), we summarized recent scholarship on prostitution/sex work, attempting to distill the main debates and the outcomes of Criminal Code and other legal policies executed in different countries to address the so-called “prostitution problem.” We differentiated two main positions that captivate academic scholarship seeking to understand the situation of people who engage in sexual activity in exchange for payment: (1) prostitution is principally an institution of hierarchal gender relations that legitimizes the sexual exploitation of prostituted women by male buyers, and (2) sex work is a form of human labor where multiple forms of social inequality (including class, gender, and race) intersect in neoliberal capitalist societies.

Those who champion the perspective that prostitution is principally an institution of hierarchal gender relations make...



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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Canadian Institute for Substance Use ResearchUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada
  2. 2.School of Child and Youth CareUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

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