Occupational Stigma and Coping Strategies of Women Engaged in the Commercial Sex Industry: A Study on the Perception of “Kyaba-Cula Hostesses” in Japan
- 903 Downloads
This study focuses on “kyaba-cula hostesses” as women who engage in Japan’s commercial sex industry. Their commoditized service is primarily not physical but consists of communication with male customers while offering food and drinks. This study analyzes the different types of kyaba-cula hostesses, their varying professional circumstances, and the effectiveness of their respective cognitive coping strategies for maintaining self-esteem and personal adjustment. The original research took the form of a questionnaire survey interviewing women working as kyaba-cula hostesses in Tokyo, Japan (N = 92), about their work. About 80 % of the participants were in their 20s, and about 40 % had been working there for less than 1 year. Twenty-two percent were students, and about 30 % were married or had children. The questionnaire results revealed the following: (1) kyaba-cula hostesses demonstrated a higher perceived occupational stigma than workers in general Japanese society; (2) their most effective coping strategies were Social Comparison and Social Value Added for maintaining self-esteem and Family Value Added for reducing their sense of maladjustment; (3) ultimately, in this study, the Disengagement strategy was revealed to be unsuccessful, as it decreased occupational self-esteem and increased their sense of maladjustment; and (4) kyaba-cula hostesses can be grouped into four types (Long-term Low Income, Child-Rearing, High Income, and Part-time) according to the job and demographic characteristics, and the perceived occupational stigma or coping strategies differed among these types.
KeywordsSex work Coping strategies Stigma Stereotype Self-esteem Occupations
I am especially grateful to Aya Sato for her assistance with the data collection. I would like to extend a special thanks to Giancarla Unser-Schutz, who gave me insightful comments and suggestions.
- Akahori, S., Sakaue, M., Miyakoshi, M., Ishii, Y., Tsukada, N., Fukuda, T., …. Sakuta, T. (1999). Social pathology and sexual delinquency in Japan. International Medical Journal, 6, 33–37.Google Scholar
- Aoyama, K. (2007). “Sekkusu wākā” to wa dare ka: ijū, sei rōdō, jinshin torihiki no kōzō to keiken = Sexworkers. Tokyo: Ōtsuki Shoten.Google Scholar
- Cabinet Office, Government of Japan. (2009). White paper on gender equality 2009: Outline. Tokyo: Cabinet Office.Google Scholar
- Crocker, J., Major, B., & Steele, C. (1998). Social stigma. In D. T. Gilbert, S. T. Fiske, & G. Lindzey (Eds.), Handbook of social psychology (4th ed., Vol. 2, pp. 504–553). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
- Ehara, Y. (1995). Fueminizumu no syuchō [Feminism’s claim]. Tokyo: Keisou shobou.Google Scholar
- Fujii, Y. (2008). Kyaba-joh “kyuuyo meisai” no himitsu [Working styles of kyaba-cula joh]. Tokyo: Kodanshya mook.Google Scholar
- Fujimura-Fanselow, K. (2011). Transforming Japan: How feminism and diversity are making a difference. New York: The Feminist Press.Google Scholar
- Hochschild, A. R. (1983). The managed heart: Commercialization of human feeling. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Jyoseishi sabaibaru būmu [Survival race among women’s magazines]. (2008, October 18). Tokyo: Evening edition of Mainichi Shimbun, p. 1.Google Scholar
- Kamise, Y. (2006). Medyia to jyendā [Media and gender]. In M. Fukutomi (Ed.), Jyendā shinnrigaku [Gender psychology] (pp. 69–84). Tokyo: Asakurashoten.Google Scholar
- Kamise, Y. (2011). Commercialization of sex and its occupational stigma in Japan: A research on “kyaba-cula”. Gender Equality and Multicultural Conviviality in the Age of Globalization, 5, 32–46.Google Scholar
- Kamise, Y., Hori, H., & Okamoto, K. (2010). Perceived occupational stigma and coping strategies. Japanese Journal of Social Psychology, 26, 25–35.Google Scholar
- Kaneko, Y. (2010). “So-pu” to iu oshigoto [Working in “Soaplands”]. Sexuality, 47, 36–43.Google Scholar
- Kyaba-cula jyūgyōin kabuki-chō de demo he [Demonstrations in Kabuki-chō by kyaba-cula hostesses]. (2010, March 24). Tokyo: Evening edition of Asahi Shimbun, p. 18.Google Scholar
- Maruta, K. (2001). Darega dareni naniwo urunoka [Who sells what to whom; “Enjyo-kousai”]. Hyogo: Kwansei Gakuin University Press.Google Scholar
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. (1999). Fourth periodic report on implementation of convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (Japan). Retrieved from http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/human/women_rep4/part2_5.html.
- Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan. (2009). Basic survey on wage structure 2008. Tokyo: Rōdō Horei kyokai.Google Scholar
- Miura, A. (2008). Nihon youkai ron [Melted Japan]. Tokyo: President-sya.Google Scholar
- Miura, A., & Yanauchi, T. (2008). Onna wa naze kyaba-cula joh ni naritainoka [Why young Japanese women want to be kyaba-cula hostesses]. Tokyo: Kobunsha.Google Scholar
- Mizushima, N. (2005). Settkusu wākā no undo [Sex worker’s movement]. In T. Himeoka, Y. Ikeuchi, S. Nakagawa, & Y. Okano (Eds.), Roudou no jyendā-ka [Genderizing and work] (pp. 129–153). Tokyo: Heibonsha.Google Scholar
- Moriyama, M. (2006). Joh manyuaru [The manual to kyaba-cula joh]. Tokyo: Shodensha.Google Scholar
- National Tax Agency of Japan. (2006). National tax agency report. Retrieved from http://www.nta.go.jp/kohyo/tokei/kokuzeicho/minkan2006/menu/pdf/001.pdf.
- O’Connell Davidson, J. (1998). Prostitution, power and freedom. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
- Sanders, T. (2005b). Sex work: A risky business. Devon: Willan Publishing.Google Scholar
- Sanders, H. (2006). Indentured servitude and the abolition of prostitution in postwar Japan. Program on U.S.-Japan relations occasional paper 06-11. Retrieved from http://dev.wcfia.harvard.edu/us-japan/research/pdf/06-11.sanders.pdf.
- Sanders, T., O’Neill, M., & Pitcher, J. (2009). Prostitution: Sex work, policy and politics. London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Sekiguchi, H. (2010). Settkusu wākā no jittai wo shiru [The present state of sex workers]. Sexuality, 47, 28–35.Google Scholar
- Takenobu, M. (2010). Takenobu mieko no keizaishikou [Takenobu mieko’s personal opinion of economic issues]. Shukan Kinyōbi, 799, 23.Google Scholar
- U. S. Department of State. (2004). Trafficking in persons report. Retrieved from http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/34158.pdf.
- U. S. Department of State. (2011). Trafficking in persons report. Retrieved from http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/164452.pdf.
- Ueno, C. (1994). “Setkkusu to iu oshigoto” no konnwaku [Sex work and human rights]. Tokyo: Evening edition of Asahi Shimbun, p. 5.Google Scholar
- Wakao, N. (2006). Jyosei no jiko-kettei ken [Women’s right of self-determination]. In T. Saito & H. Aoi (Eds.), Sekushuaritī to hō [Sexuality and law] (pp. 41–62). Sendai: Tohokudaigaku Shuppankai.Google Scholar