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J Homosex. 2007;53(1-2):201-17.

"Nobody's ever going to make a fag pretty woman": stigma awareness and the putative effects of stigma among a sample of Canadian male sex workers.

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Department of Psychology, National University of Ireland, Galway.


The purpose of this study was to examine male sex workers' awareness of the social stigma surrounding involvement in the sex industry and the possible effects of that stigma. Personal interviews were conducted with 21 men (9 independent escorts who advertised via the Internet and 12 escorts/erotic masseurs who were on contract with an agency). Results indicated that a majority of interviewees believed sex work was stigmatized but attributed this stigma to society's tendency to conflate escort/erotic masseur with street-based prostitute and society's negative view of human sexuality in general and homosexuality in particular. It should be noted that interviewees did not necessarily perceive the gay community as more tolerant than the heterosexual community of persons involved in the male sex industry. In terms of how participants saw the sex trade, both prior to and during their involvement, multifarious viewpoints emerged (i.e., some engaged in "whore mythologizing" while others reported having no clearly defined perception of male sex workers). Finally, results suggested that some participants believed their involvement in a stigmatized industry was deleterious to them personally whereas others maintained that the consequences of being an escort/ erotic masseur were largely positive.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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