Women's work


Prostitution, some say, is the oldest profession in the world. Having existed in nearly every culture, every continent and every century for which we have a historical understanding, women who perform sex acts in exchange for money have alternately endured scorn, stigma, intolerance and indifference, while being almost universally viewed as having “fallen” from decent society.

Here in America, our legal and moral responses to “the great social evil” have remained relatively unchanged for more than a hundred years, and these fallen women have remained on the margins of nearly every community.

At the beginning of the 21st century, however a combination of sexual liberty and modern technology is democratizing prostitution without waiting for it to be decriminalized.

Looking for a prostitute?

Go to any large American city, or any number of small ones. Find the poorest of neighborhoods. The one where drugs are easy to come by and gun violence is impossible to get rid of. Look for women who appear to have few, if any, options. Odds are you can get a blowjob for just a bit more than you can a Big Mac.

But if you want to ensure a successful night, you might consult a local Web site before you go:

“Cruised both East and West 10th Street this afternoon and saw a couple very heavy BSW [black streetwalkers] on the Eastside but nothing worth picking up. Think the heat was a little high for them today.”

“Was out early Thursday morning 1-3 a.m. Picked up a WSW [white streetwalker]. Jenny, blonde, looked to have a nice body, in her 20s, pretty girl, OK [oral sex] skills.”

“Sunday 6:30ish I saw a tall, slim blonde standing on East Washington. Not sure what intersection but it was a few blocks west of Euclid. I made a second pass and this girl was pretty cute. Almost too good to be true.”

“Just this past Saturday saw a long haired blonde in daisy dukes and a bright pink top, age unknown, only saw her from behind, on Sherman south of New York, but a guy in a grey pickup got to her before I did.”

You don’t have to know about the Web site to know where to find streetwalkers in Indianapolis, but it certainly helps. At least that’s what one local cabdriver named Mike believes. He frequently procures the services of prostitutes and he is one of the most frequent posters on the site.

Thirty-two, divorced and the father of three boys under 11, Mike drives a cab at night and works at a restaurant during the day. He’s been posting on the site since he found out about it from another cab driver two years ago. Even though he’s rather non-committal about whether or not prostitution should be a crime, he’s adamant that the social networking aspect of the Web site is a good thing.

“I think it’s really helpful for us and the girls,” he says as we cruise East Washington Street on a recent Saturday night.

“Lots of times we put good stuff on there: who has the best body, the best skill or the best price — and that increases business for the girls who deserve it.

“Other times,” he says after a pause and a smile, “other times, we don’t say such nice stuff and their business might go down. It’s all about customer service, right?”

Mike, and the other men who use the site, presume that police are monitoring their comments. As a result, they are very careful to hide their identities; there is also a complicated system of rules about what types of comments can be posted (no postings regarding anyone under 18; no giving out phone numbers or addresses of women; no typing in all lower case).

They also know that some of the women read the site and that most of them don’t like it.

“A couple of the girls are telling us that the cops are using our comments and photos to arrest them, or at least track them down. And that’s not cool,” Mike says. “Most of the guys, the regulars, try to be careful with what they say. We aren’t trying to get the girls arrested. It sucks for us, actually, when they do.”

Working the streets

There are no census records, tax returns or shareholder reports to indicate the number of women whose main source of income is through sex work. And while all speculations as to the actual number are, indeed, speculations, experts estimate that between 1 million and 2 million women in America will accept money in exchange for sex at some point in their adult lives.

Most studies and statistics concerning prostitutes are based on arrest records. Between 75,000 and 90,000 prostitution arrests typically occur in the United States each year; less than 1,500 of those involve women under the age of 18; less than 150 involve girls under the age of 15.

Because 85 percent of these arrests are associated with streetwalkers, extrapolating results of these studies provides irrefutable evidence that the majority of women earning money with this type of prostitution are living lives of desperation.

Streetwalkers are typically younger than “indoor” prostitutes; the average age is 24 and the average career span is less than five years. And while there are male prostitutes, 80 percent of all those arrested for being a prostitute in America are women.

Streetwalkers in Indianapolis, like most American cities, are women who frequently live in poverty (80-90 percent), are frequently involved in drug use (60-80 percent) and are 18 times more likely to die “on the job” than women in any other occupation.

These are women who typically have no high school diploma (80 percent), have little or no other work experience (60 percent) and have lived at or below poverty their entire lives (75 percent).

These are also women who experience violence and abuse regularly, on an average of once a month, at the hands of clients (70 percent), police (20 percent) or domestic partners (10 percent).

Dahlia is one of these women; she works various corners on East Washington Street most nights of the week and a fair number of afternoons, too.

Mike and many of his cyber buddies have all done business with Dahlia. Most of their postings where she’s concerned comment on how quickly she’s losing her looks and her teeth. The same posts also boast of “deals” on her services in exchange for beer, cigarettes or a ride across town.

We pull into a parking lot near where Dahlia is trying to drum up some business. Recognizing Mike, she comes towards the cab and leans into his window.

In between a constant stream of requests for a cigarette and cash (“Come on, Mikey, give me 10, you know I’m good for it. I just need to get a bump so I can work through the night. You can come back and pick me up when you’re done with your shift and I’ll pay you back.”), Dahlia tells me bits and pieces of her history.

To paraphrase: The no good SOB she was married to took off and left her with all the bills, but not before beating the shit out of her every time he drank too much, which was just about every goddamn night. She worked at CVS for a while but got fired even though it wasn’t her fault. She doesn’t read that great. So fuck ’em. Now she gets food stamps. But she still needs money to live. And support her bad habits. So she’s working the streets. But only for a little bit. She’s going to rehab soon.

Here, she begins singing the Amy Winehouse song. Mike joins in, and they repeat the chorus several times, loudly, before high-fiving one another and ending with a “damn straight” from Dahlia.

“But seriously,” she says, lightening the cigarette Mike has finally given her, “I’m going to get my shit together soon. Hell, I’m only 28.”

A cop pulls up alongside us. The looks-like-she’s-40-if-she’s-a-day Dahlia turns and starts what must be a semi-regular routine with the officers in which she holds her arms out to her sides and yells, “What?” over and over again, regardless of the question. Relieved that they aren’t interested in us, Mike slowly pulls away.

“She’s a mess,” he says, looking in his rearview mirror. “It’s too bad, too. [Pause] She gives great head.”

Working for reform

The presence of women like Dahlia and men like Mike in this part of town isn’t news to Indianapolis police. Just last October, more than 80 people were arrested and charged with prostitution in a two-day sting centered around East Washington Street.

The battle to rid Indianapolis of prostitution has a long history in this part of the city. At the beginning of the last century, Irvington’s Julian-Clarke house at 1550 S. Audubon Road, just a few blocks from where Dahlia plies her trade, was the home of Grace Clarke, daughter of the honorable George Julian (Indiana congressman from 1861-1871), prominent local journalist and suffragist in her own right.

Mrs. Clarke was the editor and a columnist for the “Woman’s Page” of The Indianapolis Star for nearly two decades and president of the Legislative Council of Indiana Women, which by 1910 was actively and effectively advocating the Indiana General Assembly for the right of women to vote.

By all accounts, Clarke was one of the most socially respected women in Indianapolis at the beginning of the last century. As a result, she was also one of five prominent female civic leaders named in 1912 as the city’s “Vice Problem Committee.”

Prostitution was widely tolerated throughout the United States until this point. Whether they offered their services in winehouses (yes, winehouses), saloons, bawdy houses or brothels, prostitutes existed and worked without fear of criminal penalty in every large American city, including Indianapolis.

It wasn’t until women’s religious and civic groups joined forces in the early 1900s to combat vice — gambling, intemperance and prostitution — however, that laws in the U.S. systematically changed to punish prostitutes and their clients with harsher criminal penalties.

Politicians in Indianapolis had been under constant attack for permitting prostitution to run rampant in the city since the release of the Vice Commission of Chicago’s 1911 report entitled “The Social Evil in Chicago.” Armed with the 300-page document, those seeking social reform had all the evidence they needed to put an end to prostitution.

“From the mass of evidence we learn that the path which leads down to disease and death is constantly filled with young recruits who go stumbling on, blinded by the want of necessities of life, by a desire for some simple luxuries, by ignorance, by vain hopes, by broken promises, by the deceit and lust of men.”

Their recommendation for ridding the city of prostitution? Better moral education and a living wage.

“Reformers, socialists, extreme individuals and a growing number of earnest men and women of all schools of thought believe the cause of the social evil is poverty and the remedy is education in right living and relief from economic injustice.”

Clarke and Vice Committee members were adamant that the only way to save society from prostitution was to save the women who were its victims.

“[Prostitutes] are human beings still, for a time stumbling in the depths of sin and shame, but not withstanding how low they have sunken in the social scale they can be rescued, if by some method they can be made to feel the touch of divine sympathy and human love.”

Nearly a century later, many American feminists, the daughters and granddaughters of the suffragists, maintain that prostitution is one of the most dangerous and degrading ways in which a woman can earn a living.  

In her 2004 commencement address at Cornell Law School, Virada Somswasdi, president of the Foundation for Women, Law and Rural Development (FORWARD), articulated the on-going argument for the continued criminalization of prostitution from a contemporary feminist point of view: “Prostitution is not about women enjoying rights over their own bodies,” Somswasdi said. “On the contrary, it is an expression of men’s control over women’s sexuality. It is the hiring out of one’s body for the purposes of sexual intercourse, abuse and manifestations of undifferentiated male lust.”

“Prostitution degrades women and degrades what is supposed to be one of the most sacred and special acts of love between two human beings,” says Lauren Davis, a counselor at a local agency that helps women convicted of prostitution connect with social services. A graduate student as well, with an emphasis in women’s studies, Davis acknowledges that sex and love aren’t always one and the same.

“Even if it’s not about love, it should be about respect,” she continues. “When money enters the equation, a woman’s dignity, her worth, goes out the window.”

No one gets hurt

While streetwalkers make up 85 percent of all prostitution arrests, they constitute less than 20 percent of all prostitutes working in urban areas like Indianapolis; the majority works from private homes and hotel rooms in nearly every neighborhood of the city.

On a typical Saturday, there might be a dozen or so women walking East Washington Street, while as many as 100 women will have posted their free ads on Craig’s List that day offering men in Indianapolis everything from the GFE (Girlfriend Experience) to all manner of fetishes as escorts.

Escorts are not necessarily committing any criminal act in advertising such services. Most ads clearly state the legal distinction necessary to keep the women out of jail: “Any money that is exchanged is for companionship purposes and services only. Anything else that might occur while on our date is a matter of choice between two consenting adults of legal age.”

It’s a small, but important, distinction. Basically, a man can pay for a date. And he can have sex with his paid date. But he can not pay to have sex with his date, paid or unpaid.  

Arranging “dates” with escorts over the Internet eliminates a lot of the risks associated with cruising the streets looking for a prostitute. Like Mike the cab driver, Jerry is another Indianapolis man who uses a local Web site to post reports of his successes and failures in his business dealings with escorts.

“I’m very careful,” he says over lunch in Broad Ripple. “I’m clean, and I expect the women I deal with to be clean also. I’m not just looking for sex. I’m looking — and willing to pay for — an experience.”

In his mid-40s, Jerry is divorced and the father of two teenagers. He owns his business, one that affords him the luxury of spending quite a few hours and hundreds of dollars for the company of women each month.

“I’m happy being single,” he says. “I’ve got my business, my kids and a good relationship with my ex-wife. I have no interest in having a girlfriend, or being in a serious relationship right now. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to have sex.

“Look, I’ve tried being honest with women I’ve dated,” he says when asked why he chooses to pay for sex rather than just date like most single adults. “I tell them I don’t want a relationship; they say they understand; a couple weeks or months go by and pretty soon they want more. And I don’t want to give them more.

“This way,” he says, “nobody gets hurt.”

Jerry also insists that there is genuine feeling between him and many of the women he pays. He recounts stories about satisfying these women, having “real connections,” and sometimes “just cuddling and feeling close to another human being.”

The other human being Jerry is paying to have a connection with is typically someone like Donna, and, as it turns out, she frequently does enjoy her work as much as her clients do.

A professional for more than 10 years, Donna is in her mid-30s, single and lives in Avon. She has her own Web site where prospective clients can view her schedule, rates, blog and customer reviews. She sees five or six men per week on paid dates. Most are regulars, and most pay in excess of $200 for an hour of her time. For the past five years, working as an escort has earned Donna an average of $80,000 per year, down about 30-50 percent from when she was in her 20s.

“It’s not like I grew up thinking I wanted this to be my career,” she admits when we meet for dinner. “But it turned out to be what I’m good at, what I enjoy doing, and it’s something that affords me the luxuries I want. In no way am I a victim — if anything, I feel like I have total control over my life and my career.”

Admittedly, she doesn’t have total control. We’ve met at an Applebee’s in Greenwood because she doesn’t want me to know where she lives. She uses the same pseudonym with me as she does with her clients. And she lies to her family and most friends about what she does for a living.

“A few years ago, I figured I had to have a cover to explain my profession and my income,” she says. “So I took a couple of interior design courses and started my own business as a consultant. Otherwise, it’s rather difficult to explain where all the money comes from.”

She accepts most payments online via credit card, which arouses less suspicion than cash and guarantees payment ahead of time. “When the date begins,” Donna says, “I’ve already been paid. So whatever happens after that is simply an agreement between two adults.

“God, I know that some women will go nuts when they hear me say this,” she says towards the end of our meal. “But there’s something incredibly sexy and incredibly satisfying about what I do.

“I never feel more like a woman, or lucky to be a woman, than when I am getting ready for a date. Knowing that a man wants me, wants to touch me, to kiss me, to caress me and, yes, to fuck me — and knowing that he’s willing to pay for it — it’s got to be the most powerful feeling in the world.

“I’m not saying it’s for everybody,” she’s quick to add. “But I also don’t think it’s anybody’s business if I choose it for myself.”

The biggest haters

In addition to criminal penalties, the main approach to combating prostitution in America has remained relatively unchanged since Vice Committees like Clarke’s offered their solution: Rescue and reform prostitutes and the social evil will diminish.  

In a post-sexual revolution culture, however, many women who work as prostitutes have rejected the label of victim, just as an increasing number of feminists reject assigning such a label to all women who exchange sex for money.

Rather than viewing sex as the last resort or means of survival, an increasing number of women like Donna say it provides unprecedented personal and financial freedom; further, it turns the tables on traditional gender roles. Women, not men, have the power over their bodies, they claim, including the decision to use their bodies to earn a living.

While casting all prostitutes as victims is consistent with historical, particularly religious, attitudes towards women, some find it an ironic brand of feminism.

“Women are the biggest haters,” says Angie, a 22-year-old escort who travels between Indianapolis and several other U.S. cities arranging dates with men via the Internet and meeting them in hotels.

“For whatever reason” she continues, “they want us to feel cheap and dirty about what we do — even when they are usually doing the exact same thing for free.”

The three of us — Angie, her partner Veronica and myself — are having a drink in the swanky bar of a downtown hotel. The duo is in town for two weeks; they’re booked nearly every night and expect to leave with between $7,000 and $10,000 each. Both use Craig’s List to let the men in the various towns know when they’re arriving; they also work with an “agency” that arranges dates for them when they are home, which for the past year has been Miami.

“I think it’s jealousy,” 21-year-old Veronica says.

“It’s not jealousy,” Angie interrupts. “It’s ignorance. And prejudice. There’s all this talk about women being equal, blah, blah, blah. But God forbid I should choose what to do with my body. God forbid I should be independent and all that stuff. Then I’m just being a whore.”

Neither girl has ever worked the streets, and neither expects to. Both have attended college; Angie got a communications degree from a big name school out West. Each has their own reasons for being in this particular line of work, but they share the same goal: make as much money as quickly as possible.

“I’ve got close to a hundred grand in the bank right now,” Angie boasts. Veronica has about $50,000. Together, they figure they can save about $250,000 each over the next two years and then they’ll retire. Do they think prostitution should be legal? Absolutely.

“I don’t know if I’d tell my parents, even if it was legal,” Veronica says. “But at least it would be a real job. We’d pay taxes. We’d have health care. And we’d get to call the cops when we get beat up.”

“That’s the one that gets me,” Angie says, interrupting again.

“I know a lot of girls who get hurt doing this, and they are afraid to call the cops on a guy who beats them up or steals their money. That doesn’t seem right. That should still be illegal. Instead, it’s like, no victim, no crime.”

Somewhere in Amsterdam

Despite the variety and individuality of women, there are only three reasons they become prostitutes: coercion, circumstance or choice.

Those opposed to legalized prostitution will often focus on the human trafficking aspect of the industry, and their objections about the harm done to women and girls are a serious and legitimate reality. Women who come to prostitution through force and coercion are subject to horrible abuse, but they are also protected under slavery, kidnapping, rape and a host of other laws. Those who seek to legalize, or decriminalize, prostitution maintain that it is imperative to distinguish between these acts and the vast majority of sex work that takes place between two consenting adults.

More than 70 percent of prostitution in America is not attributable to slavery, coercion, poverty, abuse or addiction. Rather, it is simply the option some adult women have chosen as a means of earning a living by charging a fee for what they could otherwise legally do for free.

But the unwillingness of the law and much of society to recognize women as adults capable of this type of consent has some critics crying foul.

“The radical feminist movement maintains that male power, patriarchal domination, misogyny and utter contempt of women are the driving forces behind pornography and prostitution,” states a recent report by the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center.

“Within this rubric, there is no distinction between trafficking and other forms of sex work, as this movement rejects the notion that sex work can exist without force, coercion and violence.”

Proponents of legalized or decriminalized prostitution maintain that women should have the right to sex work as an occupation and that it should be recognized as a legitimate occupation that operates in the same manner and under the same protections as all other legal and regulated forms of commerce.

The model of how prostitution can and should be regulated, according to those who advocate for it, can be found in the Netherlands, which is exactly where I find myself on this rainy Monday afternoon.

The family is bi-continental since Dad took a job with the United Nations and we, along with the kids, divide our time between The Hague and Indianapolis. Which only partially explains how I happen to be caught in an Amsterdam red light labyrinth on this particular September day.

I’m looking for a bookshop my Lonely Planet guide says is around here somewhere when I take a wrong turn and find myself in the midst of one of the most popular prostitution centers in the world. Here, in an odd array of storefront windows, neon and an overall carnival atmosphere, both sides of the street are lined with women legally available and willing to perform various sex acts for a variety of prices.

The Dutch government runs a pretty tight ship where prostitution is concerned; it is a $1 billion industry for the country and accounts for 5 percent of the GDP. Presumably, these women are all legal residents, they are all of consent age, they are all licensed and regularly provided medical exams, which they must pass in order to remain in business.

These women are all here by choice. They are all consenting adults. And they earn their living thanks in no small part to American men, from the hordes of frat boys who trip through the streets each summer, to men like an Indianapolis financier named David who recently confided in me that he frequently travels to Amsterdam for “sex vacations.”

Nearing 60, married for nearly 30 years and otherwise completely faithful to his wife and mother of his children, David has been coming to Amsterdam to legally have sex with prostitutes off and on for nearly two decades.

“It started by accident,” he tells me in a conspiratorial whisper. “I have a client with offices in Amsterdam, and I started traveling there about once a year on business; now, I just build in an extra few days for non-work activities.

“My only goal is to have sex with all the women I want to,” he offers as a vacation itinerary. “Sometimes it’s only three or four; once it was more than 10. Last time, I was there for only two days and found one girl to spend both of them with. Cost me $5,000, but it was worth every dime.”

At the end of his confession, David explains that he wouldn’t risk paying for a prostitute in the United States. And that he believes it should be legal. To punctuate his point, he quotes George Carlin: “I don’t understand why prostitution is illegal. Selling is legal, fucking is legal. So why isn’t it legal to sell fucking?”

Though I don’t remember much about David, and probably wouldn’t recognize him in a police lineup, I now see his face on every man who shares this narrow Amsterdam street with me. And in addition to being struck by the palatable sleaziness of the whole operation, I am equally struck by the look of boredom on the faces of most of these working women.

This is, after all, a job. Sex work is still work. There’s a reason they don’t call it a blow vacation.

After a few twists and turns, I find my way out of the red light district and on the doorstep of the promised bookstore. And while I’m temporarily and selfishly distracted from the plight of my fellow females, I haven’t forgotten them entirely.

Heading back to the station to catch a train to Den Hague, I intentionally retrace my path through the neon and window-lined Amsterdam alleyways that serve as Mecca for so many men, wondering what all this means for women.

“So long as the prostitute is denied the rights of a person,” wrote Simone de Beauvoir in 1949, “she sums up all the forms of female slavery at once.”

It’s not an answer. But even now, it does help frame the questions.

Editors note: Names of the individuals interviewed for this article have been changed.

She works hard for the money

According to a recent study of prostitutes in Chicago, women who work as streetwalkers typically perform an average of 10 paid sex acts a week, work an average of 13 hours a week and earn approximately $20k per year. What are men paying streetwalkers for most often?

Blowjob: 46 percent

Hand job: 15 percent

Vaginal sex: 17 percent

Anal sex: 9 percent

Other: 13 percent (includes strip tease, lap dance, “just talking” and fetishes)

10 paths to sin

According to the 1911 Vice Commission, there are 10 main reasons why women turn to “the great social evil” to earn a living:

1. Lack of ethical teaching and religious instruction

2. Economic stress with enfeebling influences on the will power

3. Large number of seasonal trades in which women are especially engaged

4. Abnormality

5. Unhappy home conditions

6. Careless and ignorant parents

7. Broken promises

8. Love of ease and luxury

9. Craving for excitement and change

10. Ignorance of hygiene

Alt-weeklies and escorts

Escorts who advertise their services in NUVO, like most of the more than 120 alternative newsweeklies in large cities across the country, sign contracts that stipulate the advertisements are not for any illegal service.

Bearing in mind that it is not illegal to pay a woman for a date and then have sex with that woman while on that date, escort services are not inherently illegal. It’s only when the money is exchanged solely for the sex act, without a legal service being provided, that a crime has been committed.

The legality of the adult ads hasn’t settled the debate or controversy over their presence in alt-weeklies, however.

In October of last year, vice agents arrested three Orlando Weekly employees on charges of promoting prostitution by selling classified advertising to escort services. The alt-weekly also was accused of racketeering and 17 counts of aiding in the commission of prostitution. Publisher Rick Schreiber called the arrests “an outrageous abuse of process and an attempt to censor First Amendment rights.” All charges against the alt-weekly employees have since been dropped.

This past summer, CityBeat in Cincinnati filed a federal lawsuit against government officials, charging them and a coalition of local religious and nonprofit leaders led by Citizens for Community Values of “violating First Amendment rights, conspiracy to violate First Amendment rights and tortious interference with our business relationships.” The lawsuit was the alt-weekly’s response to a petition signed by 40 “prominent city leaders,” including religious leaders, elected officials and law enforcement officials, claiming that CityBeat and citybeat.com “have become primary avenues through which the sex-for-sale industry in greater Cincinnati markets their destructive services.” The lawsuit is still pending, but was not thrown out of court, as the defendants requested.

“CityBeat’s adult services ads are legal ads for legal activities, the same kind of advertisements you’ll find in many other places,” CityBeat editor John Fox says. “We find it ridiculous that local law enforcement officials think they can tell us how to run our business while also asking that we do their jobs for them. Our understanding of the American legal system is that police officers charge suspected criminals with a crime, prosecutors present evidence of the crime to judges and juries, and then verdicts are rendered.

“What’s next? Will local law enforcement demand [we] ban all bar and club advertising because some people get arrested for DUIs after visiting bars?”

This past July, as it has happened on at least seven other occasions in the past decade, local media reported that IMPD officers used NUVO to identity and arrest individuals on charges of prostitution. This time it was an Indianapolis police officer and his wife for allegedly operating a prostitution ring from their Greenwood home.

Arrests such as this form the basis of much criticism and frequent calls for NUVO and other alt-weeklies to not run any adult ads. For most alt-weeklies, however, this poses the problem of banning legal businesses from advertising their goods and services simply because of the arrest of a few individuals who are not abiding by the law — something we are not willing to do.

NUVO’s position is that we do not force our moral judgment on advertisers, whether they be adult service providers, tobacco companies, alcohol brands or gas guzzling sports utility vehicles.

If the ad is for a legal product or service, we believe that advertisement has a right to appear in the pages of NUVO, allowing readers to decide for themselves whether or not they are interested in becoming consumers and leaving it up to law enforcement to determine if these goods or services are being bought and sold legally.



“Demographic, Biometric and Geographic Comparison of Clients of Prostitutes and Men in the U.S. General Population,” Devon Brewer, Stephen Muth and John Potterat, Journal of Human Sexuality, June 2008.

“The Danger of Conflating Trafficking and Sex Work,” Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center, 2007.

“An Empirical Analysis of Street Level Prostitution,” Steven D. Levit and Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh, University of Chicago, Sept. 2007.

Sin in the Second City, Karen Abbott, Random House, 2007.

Working Sex: Sex Workers Write About A Changing Industry, Annie Oakley, ed., Seal Press, 2007.

“Unwelcome Guests: A Community Prosecution Approach to Street Level Drug Dealing and Prostitution,” National Center for Community Prosecution, Aug. 2004.

“A Theory of Prostitution,” L. Edlund and E. Korn, Journal of Political Economy, 2002.

“Violence by clients towards female prostitutes in different work settings,” Stephanie Church, Marion Henderson and Graham Hart, Glasgow University, Nov. 2002.

“Exposing the ‘Pretty Woman’ Myth: A qualitative examination of the lives of female streetwalking prostitutes,” RL Dalla, Journal of Sex Research, Nov. 2000.

“Social movements and the symbolism of public demonstrations,” James Clyde Sellman, Journal of Social History, Spring 1999.

Encyclopedia of Indianapolis, David Bodenhamer and Robert Barrows, eds., IU Press, 1994.

“A Difficult Issue for Feminists,” Priscilla Alexander in Sex Work: Writings by Women in the Sex Industry, Cleis Press, 1987.

The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir, Vintage Press, 1989.

“The Social Evil in Chicago: A Study of Existing Conditions,” Vice Commission of Chicago, 1911.

“The Social Evil in New York: A Study of Existing Conditions,” Vice Commission of New York, 1907.

Encyclopedia of Social Reform, William D.P. Bliss, ed., Funk and Wagnalls, 1908.


Prostitution Information Centre 



Sexual Freedom Coalition


International Union of Sex Workers


Lola Greene Baldwin Foundation


Prostitution Research and Education


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