Symbolic Meanings of Purchased Sex: Exploring Differences Across Racial, Educational and Socioeconomic Boundaries

Franklin Moyer, Jr., Penn State University Capital College
Pamela Preston, Penn State Capital College

The paper examines the symbolic power-control relationship of purchased sex, using data from Monto's study of men who have been arrested with street prostitutes and placed in diversion programs. This study specifically focuses on the nature of power control attitudes towards women, which we feel are manifested in violent sexual attitudes towards women. Using regression analysis, it compares the relative effects of race, education, and a variety of socio-economic measures on power-control attitudes towards women Violence is a occupational hazard for prostitutes; this violence may be symnbolic expression of a need to dominate or control a less powerful group. Preliminary analysis suggests that traditionally power-poor groups (racial, educational, and socio-economic minorities) are more likely to express attitudes favorable towards sexual violence. This information is important in that it addresses possible root causes of violence against women in general, and prostitutes in particular, and incorporates the role of culture in sexual attitudes.

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Updated 05/20/2006