Sexuality Research and Social Policy

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 70–80 | Cite as

Hypersexualization and the Dark Body: Race and Inequality among Black and Latina Women in the Exotic Dance Industry

  • Siobhan BrooksEmail author


During the 1980s in the USA, two sides of the pornography debate emerged: (a) sex work is oppressive to women based on sexism and women’s low economic positioning and (b) sex work is empowering to female sexuality and agency. However, a void remains in theoretical analyses of racial and sexual hierarchies within sex industries that create challenges for women of color that go beyond the pornography debates. Using a case study analysis of three exotic dance clubs, the author examines how hypersexualization structures stratification. The author explores the hypersexualization of Black and Latina women within the clubs regarding racial passing among dancers of color, pay differences, and club safety to examine how these factors produce inequalities between Black and Latina women in the exotic dance industry. Avenues for further social policy research focused on improving the sex industry work environment for Black and Latina exotic dancers are discussed.


Strip clubs Stratification Racism Violence Pornography 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Gender StudiesLawrence UniversityAppletonUSA

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