Prostitution and sex work

Phoenix, Jo (2017). Prostitution and sex work. In: Leibling, Alison; Maruna, Shadd and McAra, Lesley eds. The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (6th Edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 685–703.



This chapter explores current characteristics and contexts of women’s involvement in prostitution and sex, particularly as they have evolved during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, before describing criminological knowledge about prostitution and sex workers. The final sections of the chapter review current regulatory frameworks governing women’s involvement in prostitution. Running throughout the chapter is the question: what is the relationship between how prostitution is theorized and the politics of prostitution policy and its reform?

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