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Male Sex Work: Exploring Regulation in England and Wales

NCJ Number
Journal of Law and Society Volume: 37 Issue: 1 Dated: March 2010 Pages: 125-144
Mary Whowell
Date Published
March 2010
20 pages
This article outlines the absence of male sex work in sex-work policy in England and Wales, and explores the notion that understanding sex work on a local level, in Manchester, England is valuable when generating policy to be implemented in both a local and a national context.
While sex-work policy in England and Wales claims gender-neutrality, local and national prostitution strategies primarily focus on female street-based sex workers. Men who sell sex are generally absent or inadequately considered in such policies, and measures to regulate commercial sex markets are rarely considered in terms of their impact on male working practice. Drawing on the Coordinated Prostitution Strategy for England and Wales, this paper has two aims: first, to offer a gender-based critique of the current policy framework for England and Wales by arguing that sex work in which male identities are neglected or assumed deviant; and second, to explore the notion that understanding sex work as it is performed locally is valuable when generating local and national policy. Informed by gendered readings of policy, social understandings of masculinity, and the (in)visibility of male sexual commerce this paper explores male sex work in the context of Manchester, England. (Published Abstract)


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