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Carnival

Yet another article in the Guardian today reinforcing stigmatisation of sex workers

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I wonder how may of the SPs on here agree with this article when it asserts that, in every transaction for which they agree a specific service for a specific price, they are being "sexually abused".

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jun/06/prostitution-sex-work-pimp-state-kat-banyard-decriminalisation

The article employs some very odd logic:

The whole point of the sex industry is that it offers men the chance to buy sexual access to women who do not want to have sex with them – otherwise they wouldn’t have to pay.

Can you imagine this logic being anything other than laughed out of court in any other are of commercial activity:

  • The whole point of the plumbing industry is that it offers men or women the chance to buy plumbing services from men or women who do not want to provide plumbing services  – otherwise they wouldn’t have to pay.
  • The whole point of chiropractice is that it  offers men or women the chance to buy chiropractice from men or women who do not want to provide it  – otherwise they wouldn’t have to pay.

By this definition the only concerts I attend where the performers really want to perform are concerts where the performers are doing it for free.

But for sex work, SPs need to realise and accept that, in the words of this article, in every mutually consensual encounter you will "feel repulsed by them touching you, afraid of what they might do, degraded and humiliated by the sexual acts, hurt by the hateful words they’re whispering in your ear, sore because he’s the fifth man you’ve had sex with today, exhausted from it all, traumatised, abused."

And if you don't feel that, you are clearly a deluded victim with no right to have your voice heard and must have your livelihood taken away by morally superior people who know better what's good for you.

 

 

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This article makes me seethe!! :angry: People who write about sex work without ever having done it themselves, or having spoken to a single sex worker need to realise that they aren't really writing about sex work at all, but just their deluded misconceptions about it!!

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Yes I've had some people assume I'm 'abused' by clients. I'm fully in control of the clients I see, and the services I provide. I don't feel worn out, often there's very little sex, and majority I see are totally considerate - they also do not want to abuse anyone. 

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But you must remember that Kate Banyard runs a feminist pressure group on women’s inequality – and more power to her elbow……………. Up to a point. She falls into the trap of all feminist tub-thumpers by saying that a woman has the right to do whatever she pleases with her body except when other women say she can’t. And, of course, she has a new book she’s got to promote! 

The article also lets itself down – as so many Grauniad articles on this subject always do – by including two rather silly stock pictures.

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Can anyone provide a link or precise citation to the source article in the British Medical Journal that Kat Banyard refers to in this passage:

Research by the British Medical Journal found that, in three UK cities, half of women in outdoor prostitution, and a quarter of women in indoor prostitution, reported having been subject to violence by a sex buyer in the previous six months. Of the violence they had ever experienced at the hands of sex buyers, women on the streets most frequently reported being kicked, slapped or punched, while women in saunas or flats most frequently reported attempted rape (17% of women based indoors had experienced this, as had 28% of women on the streets)

It's the only source that she doesn't provide a link to.

 

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Personnally I feel bad about the clients I expolit. I do genuinely enjoy sex so I guess I shouldn't charge them but this business freed me from the rat race which was by far the worst wage slavery I've ever come across .. I am so grateful for my life now.

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2 hours ago, Carnival said:

Can anyone provide a link or precise citation to the source article in the British Medical Journal that Kat Banyard refers to in this passage:

Research by the British Medical Journal found that, in three UK cities, half of women in outdoor prostitution, and a quarter of women in indoor prostitution, reported having been subject to violence by a sex buyer in the previous six months. Of the violence they had ever experienced at the hands of sex buyers, women on the streets most frequently reported being kicked, slapped or punched, while women in saunas or flats most frequently reported attempted rape (17% of women based indoors had experienced this, as had 28% of women on the streets)

It's the only source that she doesn't provide a link to.

 

I can't provide a citation, but this doesn't sound like an unrealistic number. HOWEVER it does not have any context, and doesn't take a million other things into account, like how many women FULL STOP get abused, beaten, and raped, regardless of what they do for work. It also doesn't take into account the fact that sex workers know full well the potential risks of the particular type of work they undertake. This is an excellent example of correlation without causation. 

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4 hours ago, Carnival said:

Can anyone provide a link or precise citation to the source article in the British Medical Journal that Kat Banyard refers to in this passage:

Research by the British Medical Journal found that, in three UK cities, half of women in outdoor prostitution, and a quarter of women in indoor prostitution, reported having been subject to violence by a sex buyer in the previous six months. Of the violence they had ever experienced at the hands of sex buyers, women on the streets most frequently reported being kicked, slapped or punched, while women in saunas or flats most frequently reported attempted rape (17% of women based indoors had experienced this, as had 28% of women on the streets)

It's the only source that she doesn't provide a link to.

 

I think it must be this:

http://www.bmj.com/content/322/7285/524

Click on the link within the article to see the data.

It is not, as Banyard claims, research done by the BMJ. It's simply an article published in the BMJ. It's an unusually short article and seems to have, to say the least, a questionable methodology. The stats quoted could not be generalised to the whole population of female sex workers in the UK; nor even to all sex workers in the three cities studied.

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17 percent of 25 percent, 28 percent of 50 percent. Ok even 1 is 1too many, but the numbers start to drill down. I wonder what levels are in the population as a whole. 

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2 hours ago, Strawberry said:

17 percent of 25 percent, 28 percent of 50 percent. Ok even 1 is 1too many, but the numbers start to drill down. I wonder what levels are in the population as a whole. 

According to the World Health Organisation, 25% of women in Europe with partners have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence.
apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/85239/1/9789241564625_eng.pdf

There are many research papers reporting on surveys of hospital workers which show higher rates of experienced violence than the indoor sex workers experienced in the BMJ article. For example in Violence Against Surgical Residents 38% of 475 respondents reported being the victim of physical violence. In Violence Against Emergency Department Workers two hundred and forty-two employees at five hospitals who came in direct contact with patients or visitors completed a survey. The study found that in the previous six most workers had been verbally harassed by patients or visitors at least once. There were at least 319 assaults by patients and 10 assaults by visitors.

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Meanwhile it looks like MPs are even more likely to experience violence than either sex workers or the populace at large.

Psychiatrists working with the Home Office have advised that MPs need greater protection after a groundbreaking study found that 80% of those surveyed had been victims of intrusive or aggressive behaviour, and 36 even fear going out in public.

Comments from MPs to the researchers, whose study has been published in the Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology, included: “Pulled a knife on me in the surgery”; “repeatedly punched me in the face”; “came at me with a hammer”; “hit with a brick”; “shot with air rifle”; “attacked by a constituent with a samurai sword. I escaped with injuries to my hand, but my assistant was killed.”

This is indeed surprising, as I had been led to understand from many other news reports from honest, informed and unbiased reporters that the only profession that regularly suffered physical abuse was sex workers.  

Clearly something must be done to address the problem of violence against MPs and my conclusion, from all I have read about the best way to address violence against sex workers, is that we must legislate to criminalise the clients.

Will you all join me in lobbying to introduce legislation that would make it a criminal offence to attend an MPs surgery. I know that the vast majority of constituents who attend MPs' surgeries don't pull a knife or a samurai sword, but I do feel that this is nevertheless the best way to protect our MPs. Peaceable deserving constituents who want assistance from their local MP need to understand that they must make sacrifces, if this is the best way to protect our MPs from abuse.

Thank you.     

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10 hours ago, Carnival said:

According to the World Health Organisation, 25% of women in Europe with partners have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence.
apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/85239/1/9789241564625_eng.pdf

There are many research papers reporting on surveys of hospital workers which show higher rates of experienced violence than the indoor sex workers experienced in the BMJ article. For example in Violence Against Surgical Residents 38% of 475 respondents reported being the victim of physical violence. In Violence Against Emergency Department Workers two hundred and forty-two employees at five hospitals who came in direct contact with patients or visitors completed a survey. The study found that in the previous six most workers had been verbally harassed by patients or visitors at least once. There were at least 319 assaults by patients and 10 assaults by visitors.

The study found that in the previous six months

[Apologies for the omission of a vital word in my post above]

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Posted (edited)

12 hours ago, Carnival said:

In Violence Against Emergency Department Workers two hundred and forty-two employees at five hospitals who came in direct contact with patients or visitors completed a survey. The study found that in the previous six months most workers had been verbally harassed by patients or visitors at least once. There were at least 319 assaults by patients and 10 assaults by visitors.

Here is a bit more detail, from the above article, of how much worse it can be for workers in hospital emergency departments compared to the BMJ report on sex worker violence which Kat Banyard referred to: 

Incidence of Physical Violence
There were at least 319 assaults by patients and at least 10 assaults by visitors. Note that those subjects with more than seven assaults were included in the response of “seven or more assaults.” Sixty-seven percent of nurses, 63% of PCAs, and 51% of physicians had been physically assaulted by a patient at least once. Fifty percent of workers in the psychiatric ED and in the air care ED, 48% in the general ED, and 44% in the medical only ED had experienced at least one assault by a patient. Workers in the psychiatric ED had the highest percentage (11%) of being assaulted seven or more times by a patient.

There were at least 319 assaults by patients and at least 10 assaults by visitors. Note that those subjects with more than seven assaults were included in the response of “seven or more assaults.” Sixty-seven percent of nurses, 63% of PCAs, and 51% of physicians had been physically assaulted by a patient at least once. Fifty percent of workers in the psychiatric ED and in the air care ED, 48% in the general ED, and 44% in the medical only ED had experienced at least one assault by a patient. Workers in the psychiatric ED had the highest percentage (11%) of being assaulted seven or more times by a patient.

And here is the article's conclusion which, if applied in a sex work environment, I would respectfully suggest to Kat Banyard would be a better and more rational way of reducing violence against sex workers than driving their work further underground via the implementation of legislation to crinminalise the purchase of mutually consensual sexual encounters.

Physical and non-physical violence against ED workers are common occurrences. Although it is not expected that violence will be eliminated in this high-risk setting, it is possible that it can be reduced with education, procedures, policies, and environmental changes. OSHA states that all facilities must show efforts to prevent violence if they have employees at risk, and has provided written guidelines for health care facilities to follow to reduce that risk. It is critical that health care workers and administrators realize that violence should neither be accepted nor tolerated, and that increased efforts are needed to decrease the incidence of violence. Such efforts are likely to have a positive impact on job satisfaction and retention of ED workers. 

Edited by Carnival

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Well at least this time Kat Banyard does not trot out the usual trope “at least of prostitutes 75% have been physically assaulted at the hands of pimps and punters”(http://old.avaproject.org.uk/our-resources/statistics/prostitution.aspx) ( a conclusion drawn from a small scale study by Hester and Westmorland (2004) Tackling Street Prostitution: Towards a Holistic Approach. Home Office Research Study No. 279. London: Home Office.p82

 

Hester & Westmarland (2004) reported that three-quarters of 125 women experienced physical violence, mostly from clients or from ‘boyfriend’/’pimp’.Over half of the women had been forced to have sex against their will or without payment or been indecently assaulted, and over two-thirds had experienced verbal abuse.”

While this paragraph accurately summarizes the results from the Hester and Westmarland 2004 paper (which deals with street prostitutes) what goes unmentioned is their (H&W) description of other studies which show lower rates of rape and assault (p82) in street prostitution (43% 36% both small sample sizes) and that (p81) “Barnard and Hart, (2000) (Barnard, M. A., Hurt, G., Benson, C. & Church, S. (2002) Client violence against prostitutes working from street and off-street locations: A three-city comparison, Swindon: ESRC Violence Research Programme)found that it was the location of prostitution, whether indoors or street, rather than any other factor that was significantly associated with incidence of violence.” Thus yet again abolitionists take the worst case they can find from street prostitution and generalized to all prostitution. While no level of violence or assault is acceptable it is instructive to look at studies of indoor workers-who form the majority in prostitution.

The most cited work in the UK comparing rates of violence in street and off street locations is the one cited in the Guardian article  by Banyard is by Church and co-workers (Church S et al “Violence by clients towards female prostitutes in different work settings: questionnaire survey” BMJ 322 , 524-525) who questioned street workers in Leeds and Glasgow and indoor workers (saunas , and flats) in Leeds and Edinburgh (N=240 in total). The results showed that prostitutes working on the street experienced significantly more  (about twice as much) violence from their clients than those working indoors) and the violence was more extreme, and whereas 25% of street workers had been raped the figure was 2% for those working indoors.(and incidentally also showed that the age of entry of street prostitutes was 19.6 that of indoor workers 22.7-so not as children as is often claimed by abolitionists-including Banyard).

 

Similar data showing the street/indoor split were produced by Kinnel (2002) cited in Brooks-Gordon B (2006) The price of sex Willan p170 table 5.1, and the relative safety of indoor work demonstrated in surveys of brothel and flat workers (N=135) in Birmingham and Merseyside showed that three quarters had never experienced violence at work (Sanders T & Campbell R (2007) Designing out vulnerability, building in respect: violence, safety and sex work policy The British Journal of Sociology, 58: 1–19. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-4446.2007.00136.x(p7) ).

 

Similarly in Leeds (N=105) 60% of Sauna and 50% of flat workers had never been assaulted  but the figure fell to 25% for street workers, the same study showed that over 80% of sauna or flat workers had never been raped, the figure for street workers was 70% (Church SL 2003 The social organization of sexwork: The implications for female prostitutes health and safety pHD thesis  University of Glasgow table 29 p 240)

 

In a large study (N=443) of sexworkers  who contact clients via the internet  81% had never experienced violence form a client (Jenkins 2009 Beyond gender: an examination of exploitation in sex work pHD thesis University of Keele  http://myweb.dal.ca/mgoodyea/Documents/Sex%20work%20-%20General/Beyond%20gender%20Jenkins%20PhD%202009.pdf    p289 answer to survey question 28)

(It should be pointed out that some surveys ask sexworkers whether they had ever been assaulted or raped by a client-others ask whether such an event had occurred in the last six months or a year-this is to control for length of time in the industry-obviously those who had been sex workers for longer would have a higher risk of ever having such an event).

 

Other countries experience

Similar results have been obtained in other jurisdictions-so for instance in Denmark a survey (N=290) of prostitutes (113 escorts, 140 brothel 37 street prostitutes) showed that violence is very rare in brothels-and even on the streets many have not experienced violence in the year before the survey ( Kofeld et at 2011 Postitution I Danmark)  http://www.altinget.dk/misc/Prostitution.pdf  p 232 fig.10.2).

 

A very large survey of 770 sexworkers in New Zealand (working on the streets, in brothels or as private workers) showed that in the past year over 90% had not experienced violence or rape (again violence and rape were more common in streetworkers)( Abel G et al 2007 The impact of the Prostitution Reform act on the health and safety Practices of Sex workers :Report to the Prostitution law review committee table 6.4 page 120)

 

In a relatively large study in Queensland Australia of 247 sex workers (102 in legal brothels, 103 independent escorts and 42 illegal street workers) it was found that  found that 85% of sexworkers overall had never been raped by a client, of those that had been raped most were street workers where 50% had been raped  (Seib C 2007 Health, well-being  and sexual violence among Female sexworkers: a comparative study PHd thesis Queensland University of Technology http://eprints.qut.edu.au/16398/1/Charlotte_Seib_Thesis.pdf  )(p102 table 4.4) Appendix 4 of this thesis (p 216 ) present a summary table of eight other studies that examined prevalence of rape in sexworkers, again showing most indoor workers had never experienced  rape while the frequency of rape in street workers was higher. Similarly for assault (“bashing”), again 85% overall had never been bashed by a client (p105 table 4.6) street workers had the highest prevalence of bashing  where 50% reported ever having been bashed by a client (p106 table 4.7)

 

 

Conclusion: So while no one is denying that prostitution (both indoor and on the street) can be violent (especially for those working on the street), and there have been a number murders of prostitutes over the years, the extent of violence depends very much on the sample being examined.

 

It is clear that those opposed to prostitution have taken to distorting the facts by taking an extreme example  (usually) from street prostitution and generalizing to all prostitution.

 

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The other thing to remember is that street purchase and sale, is already illegal, yet attracts highest violence levels. 

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Good links Carnival. The Spectator one is good as in the comments someone links to the book itself (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=FIX8CwAAQBAJ&pg=PT45#v=onepage&q&f=false) -you can see it is the usual radfem mish-mash.

Actually one thing I agree with Banyard about is the dislike of the term “sex worker” or “sex work”. My reasons are not the same as hers-it’s simply that “Sex work” can cover many other things besides prostitution (cam work, stripping etc) whereas prostitution is more specific.

Some feel that “prostitute” carries stigma and should be avoided-some feel that you should use the term that those  who are prostitutes self-identify with. The problem is that there is not agreement-if you look on SAAFE you find the women there sometimes call themselves  WGs, hookers, say they do whoring etc-so I think I will stick with prostitute when discussing the area of prostitution-with the women herself, well I call her by her name-and talk about her job.

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It is the Guardian, I mean, who reads that?

I'll stick with the Beano

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On 10/06/2016 at 10:53 AM, Carnival said:

In this week's Spectator magazine there is a critical review of the book which Kat Banyard's Guardian article was (self) promoting.

http://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/06/dont-preach-to-prostitutes-says-charlotte-shane/

While the Guardian has afforded it the luxury of two sympathetic reviews:

In both cases Banyard's book was accorded the status of "Book of the Day".

Some choice assertions from the Joan Smith review:

  • This vital study exposes the myths promoted by defenders of the sex trade
  • Any attempt to legalise prostitution, no matter how well meaning, amounts to the state legitimising violence against women

And some from the Sarah Ditum review:

  • Pimp State is a detailed account of the case against the sex industry, and for the Nordic model: tightly argued, closely evidenced, and persuasive in its call to action.
  • [Banyard argues] insistently for a change in the laws governing prostitution, while demonstrating the extensive harms that bleed from the sex industry into society as a whole.
  • Her analysis shows that permissive regimes in the Netherlands, Germany and New Zealand have all failed to ameliorate violence, exploitation and trafficking. These are not inadvertent consequences of stigma and suppression, but are instead fundamental to the industry: “the fact that the sex trade is founded on the absence of mutual sexual desire means that the principal predicament becomes how to endure repeated sexual abuse,” she writes. No wonder rounding up a sufficiently large “workforce” can only be done through force and coercion.

Lots of good comments under the both reviews

 

 

 

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What a load of baloney. For a start don't they know that purchasing sex on the streets has been illegal for several years. But it still takes place. And what about all those ladies of all ages offering sex on Seeking Arrangements and similar. Sure there are some professionals there but the majority students and others aged from 19 to 70 seeking a bit of funding and offering sex in return. But in the arrangements I'ved had meetings I've had they are as hungry, or even hungrier, for the sex than I am.

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3 hours ago, Carnival said:

 

Lots of good comments under the both reviews

 

 

 

Looks as if even Guardian readers' patience has run out now.

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Why is it so hard for the loonies quoted above to understand many women like sex with strangers. Many like being paid for it. For many it is an escape from shite jobs. And has brought them a decent income. 

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