1st Edition

Quitting the Sex Trade Why and How Pimps and Sex Workers Leave the Business

Edited By Amber Horning Copyright 2021
    150 Pages
    by Routledge

    150 Pages
    by Routledge

    This anthology of original research studies focuses on why and how sex workers and pimps quit the sex trade. There is an extensive literature on ‘desistance’ with different theories explaining why people quit crime. However, with a few notable exceptions, researchers to date have not focused on desistance among pimps and sex workers. These studies explore a spectrum of quitting the sex trade from voluntarily stopping, ‘drifting,’ and retiring; to intervention-based or coerced stopping due to influences and impositions by programs and/or by specialized courts.

    This book provides insight into the meaning of this work; how people in the sex trade view their engagement in licit/illicit spheres; and it will inform providers who interface with people from these communities regarding how to support desistance. Further this book may help those engaged in emerging topics related to the sex trade, including: (1) global trends in sex trade decriminalization and/or human trafficking criminalization, (2) the recent emergence of human trafficking intervention courts in the USA, and (3) the development (and impact) of new laws, policies, and intervention programs designed to reduce human trafficking (globally, regionally, country level) and/or more localized efforts to support desistance among participants in the sex trade.

    The book will be of interest to academics, researchers and advanced students of Criminology, Sociology, Law, Policy, and Psychology. It was originally published as a special issue in the journal Victims & Offenders.

    Introduction: Quitting the Sex Trade: Keeping Narratives inside the Debates on Prostitution Policy and Legislation

    Amber Horning

    1. A Safe Harbor Is Temporary Shelter, Not A Pathway Forward: How Court-Mandated Sex Trafficking Intervention Fails to Help Girls Quit the Sex Trade

    Misty Luminais, Rachel Lovell and Margaret McGuire

    2. Harlem Pimps’ Reflections on Quitting: External and Internal Reasons

    Amber Horning, Lyndsay Thompson and Christopher Thomas

    3. The Recursive Relationship between Substance Abuse, Prostitution, and Incarceration: Voices from a Long-Term Cohort of Women

    Ronet Bachman, Samantha Rodriguez, Erin M. Kerrison and Chrysanthi Leon

    4. Uncovering Intentions to Exit Prostitution: Findings from a Qualitative Study

    Andrea N. Cimino

    5. "It’s like Being an Electrician, You’re Gonna Get Shocked": Differences in the Perceived Risks of Indoor and Outdoor Sex Work and Its Impact on Exiting

    Kathleen Preble, Karen Magruder and Andrea N. Cimino

    6. Self-Narratives of Persistent Pimps and Those Anticipating Desistance: Emotions, Conventional Work, and Moral Profitability Calculus

    Loretta J. Stalans and Mary A. Finn


    Amber Horning is Assistant Professor in the School of Criminology and Justice Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. For the last decade, they have researched commercial sex markets and human trafficking. Dr Horning has led one of the largest studies on sex market facilitators in the United States.