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Title: The Experience of Vulnerability, Connectivity and Resilience in Males who Engage in Street-Based Sex Work: A Qualitative Study
Contributor(s): Leary, David Andrew (author); Minichiello, Victor  (supervisor); Kottler, Jeffrey (supervisor); Baron, John (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2007
Copyright Date: 2007
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: The literature on male prostitution or sex work paints a variable and complex picture that is often closely related to broader cultural movements - both permissive and punitive. Early research focussed on causal or associated pathological aspects of prostitution. More recent research has focussed on sex work as a vector of disease, on harm minimisation, and on the concrete sexual practices of male sex workers. To date, little research has focussed on the experiencing person and on relationships within and around the phenomenon of street-based male sex work (SMSW). This qualitative study provides empirical data in the form of in-depth interviews that explore the experiences of males, aged between 17 and 34. They have gravitated to, and engage in SMSW, at a location in Sydney known as 'The Wall'. Interviews were analysed using a variant form of grounded theory. The analysis revealed a number of interrelated themes, some of which are developed across three chapters. The first analysis chapter explores the complex narratives of four young men: their history, identity, sex work experience, aspirations, vulnerability and resilience. The analysis then picks up on a significant emergent theme: relationships in the lives of those who work 'The Wall'. Finally, and paradoxically, the emergent theme of education is explored. The findings of this study highlight the fact that, notwithstanding prior trauma, abuse and abandonment, these negative events and their vulnerability rarely quench the resilience that emerges through the relationships they encounter. Recommendations are made for psychosocial intervention with young people marginalised from social support. Areas for further research investigation are briefly identified.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Rights Statement: Copyright 2007 - David Andrew Leary
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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