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The Republic and HBO's The Wire PHIL-255-01: Sex Workers in the U.S.

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Articles in Popular & Scholarly Periodicals

Articles in Scholarly Journals



Auguston, Danielle, and Alyssa George. PROSTITUTION AND SEX WORK The Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law, 16, (2015): 229.

The article focuses on prostitution and sex work law in the U.S. in 2012. Topics include the detention of prostitutes under state law, the legal models of decriminalization of sex work, and the health of sex workers. Information is provided on the evolution of the sex industry in the U.S. and the deportation of immigrant sex workers.

Butler, C. N. The Racial Roots of Human Trafficking. UCLA Law Review, 62, no.6 (2015): 1464-1514.

This Article explores the role of race in the prostitution and sex trafficking of people of color, particularly minority youth, and the evolving legal and social responses in the United States. Child sex trafficking has become a vital topic of discussion among scholars and advocates, and public outcry has led to safe harbor legislation aimed at shifting the legal paradigm away punishing prostituted minors and toward greater protections for this vulnerable population. Yet, policymakers have ignored the connection between race and other root factors that push people of color into America's commercial sex trade. This Article argues that race and racism have played a role in creating the epidemic of sex trafficking in the United States and have undermined effective legal and policy responses. Race intersects with other forms of subordination including gender, class, and age to push people of color disproportionately into prostitution and keep them trapped in the commercial sex industry. This intersectional oppression is fueled by the persistence of myths about minority teen sexuality, which in turn encourages risky sexual behavior. Moreover, today's antitrafficking movement has failed to understand and address the racial contours of domestic sex trafficking in the United States and even perpetuates the racial myths that undermine the proper identification of minority youth as sex trafficking victims. Yet, the Obama administration has adopted new policies that raise awareness about the links between race and sex trafficking. These policies also facilitate the increased role of minority youth as leaders and spokespersons in the antitrafficking movement. Their voices defy stereotypes about Black sexuality and call upon legislators and advocates to address some of the unique vulnerabilities that kids of color face with respect to sex trafficking. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Grant, Melissa Gira.. "The War on Sex Workers." Reason 2, (2013):31-36,6.

On August 30, a 19-year-old woman in Ann Arbor, MI, was arrested after a prospective client called 911 on her. He claimed she raised her fee for services after their initial online contact. The cops took her away in handcuffs. The consequences of such arrests can be life shattering. In Louisiana some women arrested for prostitution have been charged under a 200-year-old statute prohibiting "crimes against nature." Not all people who do sex work are women, but women disproportionately suffer the stigma, discrimination, and violence against sex workers. The result is a war on women that is nearly imperceptible, unless you are involved in the sex trade yourself. Feminist fights over prostitution and pornography are old news. But anti-sex work feminism has come a long way from the magazine store picket lines of the 1970s and the campus anti-porn revivals of the 1990s.

Timoshkina, Natalya. "HUMAN TRAFFICKING: ASSUMPTION, EVIDENCE, RESPONSES." International Journal of Arts & Sciences 7, no. 4(2014.): 409-421.

This paper provides an overview of the widely heldassumptions about the nature and the magnitude of human trafficking versus its realities brought to light by empirical research, and discussesthe evolution of the various responses to the problem, particularly in terms of the services and protection offered to trafficked victims. The focus is on adult victims of human trafficking.

Parreñas, Rhacel Salazar, Maria Cecilia Hwang, and Heather Ruth Lee. “What Is Human Trafficking? A Review Essay”. Signs 37, no.4 ( 2012): 1015–29. doi:10.1086/664472.

Sex Workers and the Police

Sherman, Susan G., Katherine Footer, Samantha Illangasekare, Erin Clark, Erin Pearson, and Michele R. Decker. 2015. "“What makes you think you have special privileges because you are a police officer?” A qualitative exploration of police's role in the risk environment of female sex workers." AIDS Care 27, no. 4: 473-480. Academic Search Complete,
Worldwide, female sex workers (FSWs) have high rates of HIV. Many factors that escalate their risk lay outside of their control, primarily in the environments in which they practice sex. An understudied yet powerful risk environment is that of police. We qualitatively explored sex workers' interactions with police in their personal and professional lives. Thirty-five FSWs were purposively sampled in Baltimore, MD, in 2012. Women discussed experiences of police verbal harassment, sexual exploitation, extortion, and a lack of police responsiveness to 911 calls in emergencies, largely partner violence. Women's mistrust of police was often developed at an early age and further reinforced by interactions in their personal and professional lives. The study underscores the need for targeting police in reducing sex workers' HIV and other risks. The case for police's role in generating risk is evident, which could be addressed through structural interventions targeting both police practices and policies. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR


National Human Trafficking Resource Center. Statistics.2017.

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a national anti-trafficking hotline and resource center serving victims and survivors of human trafficking and the anti-trafficking community in the United States. 

Hagen, Jamie. 5 Things You Didn't Know About Human Trafficking. Rolling Stone. August 19, 2014.

With 21 million people around the world in forced labor, what can we do?