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Would you Think About Doing Sex for Money? Structure and Agency in Deciding to Sell Sex in Canada

22 February 2017

Publication Date
February 2017

Original Abstract
Entry into sex work is not typically considered as an occupational choice comparable to entry into other jobs. In the sex work literature, initiation is often thought to occur through predisposing factors deep in the structure of society, including childhood disadvantage, abuse and neglect.

Some studies have also identified need for money as the main reason for entry, while others document entry due to a desire for more disposable income. Few studies have focused on agency-level factors guiding entry, including seeing sex work as a viable career or professional choice.

Analysis of data from interviews with a purposive multi-gender sample (N = 218) reveals the multiple reasons for entry into sex work in Canada. Participants identified three overlapping structural and agentic reasons for entry: critical life events; desire or need for money; and personal appeal of the work. These findings are discussed in light of the occupational choice and sex work literatures.

Benoit, C., Ouellet, N., Jansson, M., Magnus, S. and Smith M. (2017). Would you think about doing sex for money? Structure and agency in deciding to sell sex in Canada.Work employment and society. DOI: 10.1177/0950017016679331.

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sexology magazine, sex, sexuality, sexology, french, autonomy, professional choice, sex work, sex worker


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