• Amma Asare-Nyako
4. semester, Socialt Arbejde, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
This study is regarding the meeting between sex workers and individuals with severe physical disabilities. The study is conducted via qualitative interviews regarding the personal experience of the meeting and how it affects the individual. The referral to the meeting is related to the purchase and sale of sexual services and what these services mean for the individual. This field of study is filled with dilemma; it is complex and inadequately exposed, which is why the subject is considered relevant and justifiable in understanding the individuals perspective.

My approach to the field is inspired by the social constructivism and philosophical hermeneutic science theoretical approach. This means that I assume the informants and myself, as being influenced by the historical and cultural context that we find ourselves in. By using the philosophical hermeneutic method I seek to interpret meaningful phenomena in order to understand them, while combining social constructivism, I seek to open up new perspectives on “the meeting” between the sex worker and individuals with severe physical disabilities. I view the social reality as being a social construction. It is a construction that Influences how the informants see and describe “the meeting”. I enter this field with predetermined understanding and an awareness of the fact that as the investigator I am a part of the field. Through my actions and social interaction with the informants and subsequent interpretations I will affect my research.

Prior to my study, there have been nine primary interviews, conducted with five individuals with severe physical disabilities (two women and three men) and four female sex workers. Furthermore, for background research, five expert interviews have been conducted.
The primary interviews are qualitative conducted with the help of a semi-structured interview guide. The statements of the informants are transcribed via open coding. Central categories have been identified, these have been condensed to four general themes: 1) Having a significant other, 2) I also have sexual needs, 3) I have another role in the meeting, 4) Quality of life.

Within these themes, the descriptions of the informants are analyzed using Erving Goffmans theory of stigmatization and his theory on roles; these theories open up and make it possible for the experiences to be viewed from a micro-sociological perspective. Both sex workers and individuals with severe physical disabilities have a marginalized position in society and the stigmatization among others challenges, is the reason for this. The informants have expressed that due to stigmatization, they experience different challenges in their contact with the society at large. Therefore in my study it is highlighted how the social order, due to societal norms, limits the opportunities of an individual.

The focus, with both groups of informants, is predominantly based on the experiences of clients with severe physical disabilities and their narration reveals that sex workers have another role in their meeting, compared to their other clients without physical disabilities. This role involves a more caring demeanor and it adds a humane aspect to their work, making it a bidirectional advantage to both client and the sex worker, which can break some of the stigmatization that prostitution is characterized by. This compassionate role goes against the stereotypical idea that sex workers merely work for their own sexual gratification, that they are focused on money and that the work is tied into exploitation and captivity. Their additional qualities can contribute to a change in social identity and create an opportunity for the world to recognize the sex workers value in society.

Individuals with severe physical disabilities testify that this meeting has a positive outcome socially, physiologically and psychologically. Initially the purchase is an alternative for sex with a significant other, however they experience ends up developing their sexual identity, they become more aware of their own bodies, develop their self-efficacy, increased self esteem and feel like a “functioning” member of community. Breaking the internalized and external prejudices that disability is inability moreover asexual.

Keywords: sex work, prostitution, sexuality, stigma, impairment, disability, Denmark

Nøgleord: sexarbejde, prostitution, seksualitet, stigma, funktionsnedsættelse, handicap, Danmark
Udgivelsesdato26 jan. 2014
Antal sider112
ID: 208051652