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Sex work politics and consent: the consequences of sexual morality

Sex work politics and consent: the consequences of sexual morality

Rand, Helen ORCID: 0000-0002-2513-0667 and Simpson, Jessica (2024) Sex work politics and consent: the consequences of sexual morality. In: James-Hawkins, Laurie and Ryan-Flood, Roisin, (eds.) Consent: Gender, Power and Subjectivity. Transformations . Routledge - Taylor & Francis Group, Abingdon, Oxon, and New York; London, pp. 279-292. ISBN 978-1032415741; 1032415754; 978-1032415758; 978-1003358756 (doi:

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This chapter considers how consent has been conceptualised as a binary opposite to coercion within mainstream Western feminism and used as a moralising tool in sex work politics to oppress, exclude and attempt to silence sex workers. Throughout, we demonstrate how consent/coercion are not mutually exclusive categories and how understanding consent in this binary way does not allow for a wide range of contexts and relations in which sex work is carried out. Drawing on case studies from Asia, the Americas, Africa, and Europe we argue that by basing anti-sex work and anti-trafficking policies on the presumption that all sex work is coerced, this has the effect of reducing sex workers access to labour rights and migration protection policies and excludes sex workers from interventions to reduce trafficking and exploitation leading to oppressive and sometimes fatal outcomes. We conclude the chapter by drawing attention to the pressing need for sex workers to be at the forefront of all policy debates and development that directly impacts their lives.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: consent; sex work; trafficking
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
K Law > K Law (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Law & Criminology (LAC)
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2024 12:14

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