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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Gender Studies
- Sociology and Political Science