female sex tourism: a contradiction in terms?

Abstract

This paper argues that the ‘double-standard’ applied to male and female tourists’ sexual behaviour reflects and reproduces weaknesses in existing theoretical and commonsense understandings of gendered power, sexual exploitation, prostitution and sex tourism. It looks at how essentialist constructions of gender and heterosexuality blur understandings of sexual exploitation and victimhood and argues that racialized power should also be considered to explore the boundaries between commercial and non-commercial sex. This paper is based on ethnographic research on sexual–economic exchanges between tourist women and local men and boys in the informal tourist economy in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.

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Acknowledgements

This research formed part of a broader Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded ethnographic research project on tourist-related prostitution in the Caribbean. The support of the ESRC (award no: R000237625) is gratefully acknowledged. I am also indebted to Julia O’Connell Davidson and the anonymous reviewers for their suggestions in revising the paper.

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Taylor, J. female sex tourism: a contradiction in terms?. Fem Rev 83, 42–59 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.fr.9400280

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Keywords

  • sex tourism
  • sexual exploitation
  • heterosexuality
  • racism
  • gender