WMST-L logo

Prostitution in the U.S.: Recent Work

The following discussion of recent work that addresses the
experiences of prostitutes and/or the attitudes toward
prostitution in the United States took place on WMST-L in January
2005.  For additional WMST-L files available on the Web, see the
WMST-L File Collection.
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2005 20:13:07 -0800
From: mcohen <mcohen AT UPS.EDU>
Subject: prostitution in the US: article recommendations please
I am looking for a recent article (preferably referreed) that addresses the
experiences of prostitutes and/or the attitudes towards prostitution in the
US.  In my Women and Global Inequality class I have tended to focus on the
experiences of prostitutes in poor countries so I'm looking to also bring the
issue "back home" and provide a more multifaceted view.

Thanks for your time.


Assistant Professor Mirelle Cohen
Department of Comparative Sociology
University of Puget Sound
1500 North Warner
Tacoma, WA, 98416-1092

Email: mcohen  AT  ups.edu
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2005 16:50:16 +1100
From: Michael Flood <tai2 AT TAI.ORG.AU>
Subject: Re: prostitution in the US: article recommendations please
> I am looking for a recent article (preferably referreed) that addresses the
> experiences of prostitutes and/or the attitudes towards prostitution in
> the US.

This is very recent;

Raymond, Janice G. (ed) (2004) Violence Against Women. No. 10. Special
issue: Against the legalization of prostitution. [Available online, at:
Guest Editor's Introduction / Raymond, Janice G.
"Bad for the Body, Bad for the Heart": Prostitution Harms Women Even if
Legalized or Decriminalized / Melissa Farley.
Trafficking for Prostitution in Italy: Possible Effects of Government
Proposals for Legalization of Brothels / Esohe Aghatise.
Prostitution on Demand: Legalizing the Buyers as Sexual Consumers / Janice
G. Raymond.
The Swedish Law that Prohibits the Purchase of Sexual Services: Best
Practices for Prevention of Prostitution and Trafficking in Human Beings /
Gunilla Ekberg.

Also see the references collected here:

And here's a recent book that I haven't yet added to the online
Stark, Christine, and Rebecca Whisnant (eds.) (2004) Not For Sale: Feminists
Resisting Pornography & Prostitution.

Best wishes,

michael flood.
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2005 06:26:10 -0500
From: Loraine Hutchins <lorainehutchins AT STARPOWER.NET>
Subject: Re: prostitution in the US: article recommendations please
Check out www.iswface.org, the International Sex Workers Foundation for Art,
Culture and Education, run by Norma Jean Almodovar, a long-time sex worker
activist from southern Calif.  There are some U.S. resources there. Also, if
you write to her directly from the website address, she has always been very
helpful, personally. And they sell great tit-print cards by Annie Sprinkle,
an added bonus <grin>.
Loraine Hutchins
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2005 21:07:16 -0800
From: Jessica Nathanson <janathanson AT YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Re: prostitution in the US: article recommendations please
I'm not sure if you're looking for research articles
or personal narratives, and whether you want to focus
on prostitution per se or sex work more generally, but
here are a few suggestions:
Carol Queen's _Real Live Nude Girls_
Frederique Delacoste's collection, _Sex Work_
Merri Lisa Johnson's collection, _Jane Sexes It Up_
Kelly Holsopple's article, "Strip Club Testimony"
(available online -- do a Google search and you'll
find a pdf file)

Queen's book is from the perspective of someone who
chose to go into sex work and worked more on the
stripping end than the prostitution end, if I recall
correctly.  The articles in Johnson's book that deal
with sex work are also almost all related to the issue
of sex work by choice, by which I mean that the women
had some degree of privilege and could enter or leave
sex work fairly freely.  Delacoste's collection is
more diverse in that regard, and is mostly narrative
writing or fiction/prose.  Hers is also more diverse
in that it contains both positive and negative (and
also neutral) perspectives on different aspects of sex
work).  It is not too recent, however.  Queen's
articles and the articles in Johnson's collection are
more positive, generally.  Kelly Holsopple is a former
prostitute who adamantly opposes prostitution and sex
work.  You could probably get a very balanced view
from some combination of the above.

Hope that helps.

Jessica Nathanson
Jessica Nathanson, Ph.D. American Studies
Concentration, Women's Studies
Instructor, English and Gender Studies
Augustana College
Kilian Community College
janathanson  AT  yahoo.com
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2005 08:44:05 -0500
From: Kathy Miriam <kmim AT EARTHLINK.NET>
Subject: Re: prostitution in the US: article recommendations please
 I have an article coming out in the Spring issue of Journal of Social
Philosophy entitled "Stopping the Traffic in Women: Power, Agency and
Abolition in Feminist Debates over Sex Trafficking."  I know that you are
looking for "experiences" of prostitutes in the United States, but my
argument does include a critique of arguments by first-world feminists
defending "sex work."  Let me know if you want me to forward you the

Kathy Miriam
kmim  AT  earthlink.net
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2005 10:07:11 -0500
From: Sheila.Hughes AT NOTES.UDAYTON.EDU
Subject: prostitution in the US: article recommendations
In response to Mirelle's request for articles on prostitution in the US:

I don't have a copy of the text with me, so I can't refer to a specific
article, but I would recommend Jessica Stark and Rebecca Whisnant's new
edited collection, Not For Sale: Feminists Resisting Prostitution and
Pornography (Spinifex, 2004).  Its a really interesting mix of scholarly
and other approaches.  It's out in Australia but I'm not sure of its US
status at this point.  I think Rebecca (my colleague here at UD) is on
this list, so she may have a more specific recommendation.


Sheila Hassell Hughes
Associate Professor of English
Director of Women's Studies
University of Dayton
300 College Park
Dayton, OH 45469
(937) 229-3421 (English), zip +1520
(937) 229-4285 (Women's Studies), zip +0322
sheila.hughes  AT  notes.udayton.edu
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2005 10:51:24 -0500
From: Rebecca Whisnant <Rebecca.Whisnant AT NOTES.UDAYTON.EDU>
Subject: Re: prostitution in the US: article recommendations
*Not For Sale* will be released in the U.S. in April.  Anyone who wants it
before then can order it direct from the Spinifex Press website.  You can
also see a brief description and the table of contents at
http://www.spinifexpress.com.au/non-fict/nfs.htm .  (Also -- just in case
anyone wants to Google -- my co-editor is Christine Stark [not Jessica].)

If anyone has more questions about the book, feel free to email me
directly at rebecca.whisnant  AT  notes.udayton.edu.

Rebecca Whisnant
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2005 07:09:32 -0800
From: kari kesler <karikesler AT gmail.com>
Subject: prostitution in the US: article recommendations
My article "Is a Feminist Stance in Support of Prostitution Possible?
An Examination of Current Trends," in Sexualities, Vol. 5 no. 2, May
2002 might also be helpful for your course. It examines the various
feminist stances against prostituion and argues for a feminst theory
more grounded in the experiences of prostitute women.

Kari Kesler
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2005 17:54:44 -0500
From: Loraine Hutchins <lorainehutchins AT STARPOWER.NET>
Subject: another prostitution reference
hi yall,

  forgot to also recommend this book: "Casting Stones: Prostitution
  and Liberation in Asia and the United States," by Rita Nakashima
  Brock and Susan Brooks Thistiethwaite, Augsberg Fortress Publishers
  -- also excellent, as well as the anthology by Mary Hunt at. al.,
  called "Good Sex" which isn't on prostitution per se but is a global
  anthology on feminist attitudes toward sexuality

Loraine Hutchins
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2005 13:10:16 -0500
From: Anne Bissell <anne AT ANNEBISSELL.COM>
Subject: Re: another prostitution reference
I recommend:
Memoirs of a Sex Industry Survivor, by anne bissell
It's not just a book, it's a revolution...also, the book is
connected to survivors support groups that are encouraging
women to get out, and stay out.
anne  AT  annebissell.com

For information about WMST-L

WMST-L File Collection

Top Of Page