Violence and coercion in Sri Lanka's commercial sex industry: Intersections of gender, sexuality, culture, and the law

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Abstract

This study examines the local conditions facing commercial sex workers in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Based on findings from a 3-year field comparative field study, the author investigates the widespread nature of violence, coercion, and harassment against women and transgendered/gay men in an illicit sex market whose primary clientele are Sri Lankan men. Specifically, the author examines the relationship between cultural definitions of gender/sexuality and the implementation of existing legal frameworks and its impact on the treatment and experiences of sex workers. The author provides an overview of pathways into the sex industry as well as variations in the nature of coercion, violence, and abuse across industry sectors, focusing specifically on street-level versus "indoor" (i.e., brothels, lodges, massage clinics) sectors of the local sex industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1044-1073
Number of pages30
JournalViolence Against Women
Volume8
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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