International Conference on Prostitution and Other Sex Work|
Université du Québec a Montréal,
Check out the report on "When Sex Works" from the Sex Workers Alliance of Vancouver.|
Technical note #I
1. How big is the industry?Data available on the size of the sex trade industry are at best sketchy for various reasons. First, many aspects of the business are illegal, and most remain at the margins of society. Second, definitions are variable, the best example being pornography: no one agrees on what constitutes pornography, therefore the difficulty of estimating its size. Third, it is subject to dramatic shifts: not everyone involved makes it a full-time occupation, even less so a career; agencies (escort, massage, etc. will rapidly change names, addresses, telephone numbers, to avoid police investigations.
2. How many persons are involved in sex work?If we include all sex workers, the same problems as with estimating the sixe of the industry arise. Wen thinking about adult prostitution in all its forms (street, escort, massage, bawdy house), some estimates suggest that there would be approximately 500 sex workers in Montreal (Gemme, 1993). Of these, approximately half would be street workers. Other studies estimate that 20% of all sex workers are street workers (Toronto, 1983). Nude dancers would approximate 150. Overall, 80% of sex workers are women.
3. Who are the sex workers?In terms of sex workers' socio-demographics characteristics, the data collected by the Federal Department of Justice for the Frase Committee (1985) and for the evaluation of the street communication legislation (1988), are roughly similar:
4. Occupational hazards
Canada (1985) Report of the Special Committee on Pornography and Prostitution, Ottawa: Supply and Services, 2 vols.
Gemme, R. et. al., (1985) Rapport sur la prostitution au Quebec, Ottawa: Ministere de la Justice.
Gemme, R. et. al., (1989) La prostitution de rue: effets de la loi, Montreal Quebec, Trois-Rivieres, Ottawa: Ministere de la Justice.
Gemme, R. et. al., (1993) Evaluation de la repression de la prostitution de rue a Montreal de 1970 e 1991." Revue Sexologique, vol. 1, no. 2.
Shaver, F. (1993) "Prostitution: A Female Crime?" in Adelberg, E. and C. Currie, (eds.) In Conflict with the Law, Women and the Candian Justice System. Vancouver: Press Gang Publishers
Shaver, F. M. (1995) "Occupational Health and Safety on the Dark Side of the Service Industry" in Fleming, T., (eds.) Post-Critical Criminology. Scarborogh: Prentice Hall.
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Created: November 23, 1996|
Last modified: September 26, 1997
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