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postgraduate thesis: Risk behaviors in the Asian sex circuit : a case study of Latinas in sex work in Hong Kong and Macau

TitleRisk behaviors in the Asian sex circuit : a case study of Latinas in sex work in Hong Kong and Macau
Authors
Advisors
Issue Date2013
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Stankovic, B. A.. (2013). Risk behaviors in the Asian sex circuit : a case study of Latinas in sex work in Hong Kong and Macau. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5108643
AbstractIn this thesis, I use case study methodology to document the experiences of Latinas in sex work in Hong Kong and Macau. By investigating the identities of sex workers in these locations, I analyze risk behaviors related to each identity. I employ two theoretical frameworks; the first to examine the reasons for engaging in sex work, identities and risk behaviors; and the second to examine the women’s perception of the nature of sex work. The first framework consists of four explanatory models for analyzing sex work: a pathological model, a social dislocation and criminal subculture model, an economic position and poverty model, as well as a gender and male violence model. Of these, the economic position and poverty model seems to be a better fit with the background stories of most of the women in the study, who came from a poor socio-economic background. They took up sex work and migrated to other countries for economic reasons. However, I suggest that the agency of the women was not sufficiently taken into account by either of the models, including the economic position and poverty model. Using the second theoretical framework, I studied the women’s perception of the nature of sex work through the lenses of various feminist theories, including radical feminism, socialist feminism, Marxist feminism, liberal feminism and existentialist feminism. In looking at a systemic societal interpretation, radical, socialist and Marxist feminism views of oppression seemed justified because in most of the cases, sex work could be interpreted as a result of a patriarchal system and class conflict. At the individual level, the liberal and existentialist feminism views fit with the interviews because the women regarded sex work as empowering in view of their former poverty situations. Each of the women in the study maintained different work and private identities; and each of these identities could be associated with risk behaviors for themselves, for the clients, and for their families (especially spouses and/or boyfriends). The risks both sex workers and the local population faced as a result of the combination of criminalization of sex work and the lack of proper social services (medical, educational, and security), included violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. In addition, sex workers were at high risks of suffering psychological trauma. The findings indicated that to avoid a culture of violence and insecurity, sex work is in need of a deeper understanding and policies that would enable better protection for sex workers, clients and the general population.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectProstitutes - China - Hong Kong - Case studies
Hispanic American women - China - Hong Kong - Case studies
Prostitution - China - Macau (Special Administration Region) - Case studies
Prostitution - China - Hong Kong - Case studies
Hispanic American women - China - Macau (Special Administration Region) - Case studies
Prostitutes - China - Macau (Special Administration Region) - Case studies
Dept/ProgramEducation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/193501

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorKing, ME-
dc.contributor.advisorKutnick, PJ-
dc.contributor.authorStankovic, Basaez Aleksandra-
dc.date.accessioned2014-01-10T09:45:56Z-
dc.date.available2014-01-10T09:45:56Z-
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.identifier.citationStankovic, B. A.. (2013). Risk behaviors in the Asian sex circuit : a case study of Latinas in sex work in Hong Kong and Macau. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5108643-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/193501-
dc.description.abstractIn this thesis, I use case study methodology to document the experiences of Latinas in sex work in Hong Kong and Macau. By investigating the identities of sex workers in these locations, I analyze risk behaviors related to each identity. I employ two theoretical frameworks; the first to examine the reasons for engaging in sex work, identities and risk behaviors; and the second to examine the women’s perception of the nature of sex work. The first framework consists of four explanatory models for analyzing sex work: a pathological model, a social dislocation and criminal subculture model, an economic position and poverty model, as well as a gender and male violence model. Of these, the economic position and poverty model seems to be a better fit with the background stories of most of the women in the study, who came from a poor socio-economic background. They took up sex work and migrated to other countries for economic reasons. However, I suggest that the agency of the women was not sufficiently taken into account by either of the models, including the economic position and poverty model. Using the second theoretical framework, I studied the women’s perception of the nature of sex work through the lenses of various feminist theories, including radical feminism, socialist feminism, Marxist feminism, liberal feminism and existentialist feminism. In looking at a systemic societal interpretation, radical, socialist and Marxist feminism views of oppression seemed justified because in most of the cases, sex work could be interpreted as a result of a patriarchal system and class conflict. At the individual level, the liberal and existentialist feminism views fit with the interviews because the women regarded sex work as empowering in view of their former poverty situations. Each of the women in the study maintained different work and private identities; and each of these identities could be associated with risk behaviors for themselves, for the clients, and for their families (especially spouses and/or boyfriends). The risks both sex workers and the local population faced as a result of the combination of criminalization of sex work and the lack of proper social services (medical, educational, and security), included violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. In addition, sex workers were at high risks of suffering psychological trauma. The findings indicated that to avoid a culture of violence and insecurity, sex work is in need of a deeper understanding and policies that would enable better protection for sex workers, clients and the general population.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshProstitutes - China - Hong Kong - Case studies-
dc.subject.lcshHispanic American women - China - Hong Kong - Case studies-
dc.subject.lcshProstitution - China - Macau (Special Administration Region) - Case studies-
dc.subject.lcshProstitution - China - Hong Kong - Case studies-
dc.subject.lcshHispanic American women - China - Macau (Special Administration Region) - Case studies-
dc.subject.lcshProstitutes - China - Macau (Special Administration Region) - Case studies-
dc.titleRisk behaviors in the Asian sex circuit : a case study of Latinas in sex work in Hong Kong and Macau-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5108643-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5108643-
dc.date.hkucongregation2013-

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