Sex Roles

, Volume 66, Issue 1–2, pp 117–127 | Cite as

College Women’s Attitudes Toward Sex Workers

  • Shelley L. Long
  • Debra Mollen
  • Nathan Grant Smith
Original Article


A growing number of women are entering the sex industry as a means of funding their education (Reilly 2008). Many people view sex workers in stereotyped ways, and may discriminate and oppress women who work in the sex industry (Wolffers and van Beelen 2003). This investigation assessed attitudes toward sex work. Two hundred sixty-six women from a primarily woman’s university located in the Southwestern region of the U.S. completed selected items from the Attitudes Toward Prostitution Scale, Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale, and Hostility Toward Women Scale. Results indicated that participants who knew a sex worker had less stereotypical attitudes toward sex workers. However, participants with higher levels of social desirability and hostility toward women had more stereotypical attitudes toward sex workers.


Sex work Attitudes Psychology College women students 



Thanks to Lisa Spanierman for her input on the statistical analysis and feedback on an earlier draft.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shelley L. Long
    • 1
  • Debra Mollen
    • 2
  • Nathan Grant Smith
    • 3
  1. 1.Texas Christian UniversityFort WorthUSA
  2. 2.Texas Woman’s UniversityDentonUSA
  3. 3.McGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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