Consent, Coercion, and Culpability: Is Prostitution Stigmatized Work or an Exploitive and Violent Practice Rooted in Sex, Race, and Class Inequality?

The Original Article was published on 29 November 2018

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  1. 1.

    We use the words chosen by the women themselves to describe themselves.

  2. 2.

    No-condom sex acts have been posted at and multiple other websites advertising prostitution. Some of these were discussed by Heiliger (2014).

  3. 3.

    A risk reduction-only approach is dismissive of the alternatives for risk elimination: not entering prostitution or helping individuals to completely avoid these highly risky behaviors. At its extreme, a harm reduction approach becomes a laissez-faire ideology more concerned with protecting individual rights to certain behaviors, no matter how risky, than with protecting the health of these same individuals and the public (Green, Farley, & Herling-Ruark, 2009).

  4. 4.

    These harms have been documented in a extensive global literature (for example, see Barry, 1995; Brody, Potterat, Muth, & Woodhouse, 2005; Cho, 2018; Deering et al., 2014; Farley, 2017; Farley & Kelly, 2000; Giobbe, 1991; Høigård & Finstad, 1986; Ling, Wong, Holroyd, & Gray, 2007; MacKinnon, 2011; MacKinnon & Dworkin, 1997; Moran, 2013; Oram, Stöckl, Busza, Howard, & Zimmerman, 2012; Potterat et al., 2004; Rothman, 2017; Special Committee on Pornography and Prostitution, 1985; Walby et al., 2016; Zimmerman et al., 2006).

  5. 5.

    SPACE International—Survivors of Prostitution and Abuse Calling for Enlightment. SPACE is an international organization, formed to give voice to women who have survived the abusive reality of prostitution.


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Thank you Inge Kleine and Ingeborg Kraus for information about locations in Germany where condomless sex is promoted. Thank you Katharina Bracher for assistance in translation of Detective Inspector Helmut Sporer’s Reality of Prostitution, 2013.

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Correspondence to Melissa Farley.

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Moran, R., Farley, M. Consent, Coercion, and Culpability: Is Prostitution Stigmatized Work or an Exploitive and Violent Practice Rooted in Sex, Race, and Class Inequality?. Arch Sex Behav 48, 1947–1953 (2019).

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