What motivates someone to enter the “world’s oldest profession”? Could it be money and flexibility? Poverty or desperation?
Why some women become sex workers may seem mystifying to those who have never been a sex worker themselves, or spoken to one firsthand.
It is also a subject of fierce debate.
Some would like to see sex work criminalised and abolished, considering it to be inherently exploitative. Others call for it to be decriminalised, viewing it as a form of labour made more dangerous by its illegality.
Sex worker-led campaign group the English Collective of Prostitutes, which supports full decriminalisation, this year set to out to shed light on the working lives of those who participate in sex work with a piece of research called: “What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Job Like This?”
To this end, they interviewed 17 people working in a range of professions traditionally carried out by women – a teaching assistant, a nurse, a midwife and two sex workers, among others – and explored their working conditions and pay. The report also addresses the motivations which drive people to become sex workers.
What Did They Discover?
One way you can find out is by watching a new video RightsInfo has released today (2 August) summarising the group’s findings.
All this week (from 29 July), RightsInfo is devoting its coverage to the issue of sex workers’ rights and safety. We are publishing a series of stories from a range of experts including sex workers themselves.
Want to know more about this issue? Why not read:
- ‘I’m not ashamed of doing sex work for a living’.
- Sex workers’ rights ‘a pipe dream’ while criminalisation exists, experts says.
- ‘Working together makes sex workers safe. Here’s why’.
- Conservative Commission’s sex work proposals are ‘dangerous’, says Tory politician.