Why Men Buy Sex : Examining sex worker clients book cover
1st Edition

Why Men Buy Sex
Examining sex worker clients

ISBN 9781138288522
Published November 7, 2016 by Routledge
198 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Sex work has been a contentious issue in a variety of ways throughout history – socially, morally, ethically, religiously and politically. Traditionally noted as one of the oldest professions in the world, sex work has commonly been demonised and is often viewed as a social disgrace. While sex work involves both providers of sexual services, most commonly women, and purchasers of sexual services, most commonly men, providers have attracted the most social commentary. Recent research shows that a limited number of studies have been conducted since 1990 concerning men who procure sexual services. This book aims to help reset this balance.

In this book, Philip Birch examines the procurement of female sexual services with a focus on the personal and social aspects of men who procure such exchanges and offers insight into the demographics amongst men who purchase sexual services, alongside an analysis of the reasons why they purchase sex. This book brings together existing literature with analyses of new data to develop a multi-factor model reflecting men’s procurement of sexual services and demonstrates the complexities surrounding the procuration of these sexual services in exchange for money.

The book considers what contribution the understanding of the personal and social aspects of men who procure sexual services has on re-theorising the purchasing of sex in the 21st Century and will be of interest to academics and students involved in the study of criminology, criminal justice, social policy, law, sociology, sexuality and gender studies.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Theorising sex work and the procurement of sexual services  Introduction  1. Deconstructing Sexuality and understanding procurement of sex  2. Understanding Sex Work 1: Deviant and Immoral  3. Understanding Sex Work 2: Normative Values and Commodity  Part 2: Examining men who procure sexual services  Introduction  4. Contextualizing the cohort: The personal and social characteristics of men who procure sexual services  5. The ‘5WH’ of men’s procurement of sexual services  6. Examining why men procure sexual services  7. Making sense of men’s procurement of sexual services: A new understanding for this social phenomenon  8. Conclusion, recommendations and implications for further study.

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Philip Birch, B.Soc.Sci.(Hons); P.G. Cert. (HEP); P.G. Cert. (SSRM); P.G. Dip. (Soc.Sci.); MSc.; PhD, is a criminologist and lecturer in Policing, Criminal and Community Justice at UWS, Australia. He has held posts at UNSW, Australia and the University of Huddersfield, UK. Prior to entering academia Philip worked as a criminologist in the field, holding posts in the UK prison service, as well as in the crime and disorder field, which involved managing a specialist crime unit. Philip researches the areas of aggression and the management and treatment of offenders, as well as sex work.

Philip is the editor in chief of the Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice (JCRPP) and currently sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research (Emerald Publishing).


‘Compared to the voluminous writings on female sex workers, much less is known about their clients. Filling this gap, Why Men Buy Sex is nothing short of groundbreaking. Birch’s book is a comprehensive study of male clients in Australia - documenting their demographic background, the services they buy, the reasons why they buy sex, and how they feel about it. Using both survey questionnaires with a large number of clients, as well as in-depth interviews with a subsample of them, the book shows that they do not fit conventional stereotypes, that they have a wide variety of motives and experiences, and that many of them develop long-term relationships with the women they encounter.’Ronald Weitzer, Professor of Sociology, George Washington University, USA

‘Providing more much-needed detailed analysis about men who purchase sex from women, this book offers a contemporary overview of the existing literature, as well as showcasing a significant mixed method study on men who procure sex in New South Wales. Offering new ways of theorising motivations through quantitative modelling, in the context of creeping criminalisation, this volume provides an important contribution to knowledge and debate on this subject.’ - Teela Sanders, Reader in Sociology, School of Sociology & Social Policy, University of Leeds, UK