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Choices Women MakeAgency in Domestic Violence, Assisted Reproduction, and Sex Work$
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Carisa R. Showden

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816655953

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816655953.001.0001

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Working It

Working It

Prostitution and the Social Construction of Sexual Desire

(p.135) Chapter 4 Working It
Choices Women Make

Carisa R. Showden

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines the interplay between agency, victimization, and social construction of sexual desire for the practice of women’s agency in sex work. Sexuality, in application to sex work, seemingly illuminates the economic relationship between a man and a woman, between different classes of women, and more importantly, the concept of embodied labor. Prostitution, in particular, has the potential for opening discourses about how sexuality may develop women’s sexual agency. This chapter then explores the three feminist arguments grounded on prostitution—sex as violence, sex radicalism, and sex-as-work—in order to validate whether or not agency can be practiced in victimized social positions such as being a sex worker.

Keywords:   victimization, women’s sexual agency, sex work, sexuality, prostitution, sex as violence, sex radicalism, sex-as-work

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