Purchasing sex on the streets: a study of male buyers in the heterosexual street sex market

Radford, N., 2021. Purchasing sex on the streets: a study of male buyers in the heterosexual street sex market. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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Abstract

There is a small but growing body of research into the male buyers in heterosexual on-street sex markets. This thesis contributes new knowledge relating to learned sex buying behaviours and adds to previous research by providing a model of these complex, multi-layered, learned behaviours regarding men's motivations to pay women for sex. The thesis goes on to explore how the model could contribute to debates on prostitution policy as well as to wider discussions around men, sex, power, and misogyny.

A social constructionist, multi-case study approach is developed for this research. Nine case studies are presented, each with a single sex buyer as the primary focus. Utilising semi-structured interviews as the primary data collection method, these are processed through reflexive thematic analysis to identify common themes. The results are discussed in the context of the sex buyers' emergent life circumstances, cultural discourses of prostitution, and narratives of interpersonal relationships and sex buying activities.

The findings of this research are presented as six pillars that underpin the social construction of prostitution and sex buying: mating systems, masculinity, culture, constructed narratives, female marginalisation, and policy agendas. Five of these pillars are derived from previous literature with constructed narratives presented as a new finding illuminating men's sex buying behaviours in terms of a three-step process of identifying a 'need', creating an opportunity, and justifying the behaviour. Male sex buying narratives and learned behaviours are shown to experience different spheres of influence within these pillars, demonstrating a lack of heterogeneity that can be explained through the model.

The first four pillars are identified as being sex buyer driven and representing male learned sex buying behaviours. A model based on three levels is presented from the lowest level of learning sexual behaviours through processes such as objectification, power imbalances, and cultural influences. A behavioural path leads to the second level where these behaviours are acted upon resulting in responses such as situational sexual behaviour, bounded intimacy, or power and control. Finally, behaviour normalisation ii leads to the surface level where the constructed narratives provide a rationale for sex buying.

Male learned sex buying behaviours and female marginalisation are identified as key drivers for men buying sex and women providing it. Recommendations are presented that address these in conjunction, within society, to bring about a social change rather than relying solely on legislation, together with societal, policy makers, police, and other relevant stakeholders' contributions to this.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Radford, N.
Date: August 2021
Rights: © This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5 per cent of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed in the owner of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 01 Oct 2021 10:50
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2021 10:56
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/44304

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