Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Intersections of the Sex Trafficking and Pornography Industries: Victims Working within Pornography
by Derr, Monique, Ph.D., Saybrook University, 2017, 107; 10271277
Abstract (Summary)

Sex trafficking is defined as the use of force, coercion, or deception used to make someone work in the sex trade (United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, n.d.). Sex trafficking is often associated with prostitution, but are the same means ever utilized to force or coerce people to work in pornography? The results of this research suggest this connection.

The purpose of this dissertation was to identify the intersections of pornography and sex trafficking, and more specifically, discover if victims of sex trafficking are ever used to create pornography. In other words, are adults who appear in different kinds of pornography ever victims of sex trafficking themselves? Sex trafficking is illegal in the United States, whereas the pornography industry is not. So long as the participants in pornography are willing adults, any sexual activity is legal under current laws. It is therefore critical to determine consent.

A review of literature demonstrated the need to further investigate any relation between the two industries and establish a legitimate connection. Literature relating to sex trafficking and its intersections with pornography are identified, compiled, and analyzed in order to conclude where there is room for further study. While statistics on the prevalence of sex trafficking are available, albeit unreliable, and information is also available on the experiences of trafficking victims, little has been written on the subject of victims who are then forced to work in pornography. This dissertation addresses that deficiency. Substantial qualitative literature is available on the experiences of sex trafficking victims, which serves to explain better the systematic processes that contribute to their victimization, but there are limited academic studies available that draw a direct connection between sex trafficking victims and those working in pornography. The review of the literature indicated the possibility that those in pornography are at times victims of sex trafficking.

Six anti-trafficking and/or anti-pornography activists, some of whom were victims themselves, were interviewed for their experiences and personal stories. It was ascertained that women in pornography are at times victims of sex trafficking during the filming or shooting. Whether they are trafficked in pornography only, or other sex industries such as prostitution, varies based on the experience. Further research is necessary to determine how common this is, and to better understand the systemic structures, which allow for this to occur.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McAndrews, Robert
Commitee: Flax, Bob, McAllister, JoAnn
School: Saybrook University
Department: Human Science
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 78/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social research
Keywords: Human trafficking, Narritive research, Pornography, Prostitution, Sex trafficking
Publication Number: 10271277
ISBN: 978-0-355-08941-7
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