Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Social Work


Sociology, Criminology and Penology.


Maticka-Tyndale, Eleanor,




The purpose of this study is to examine whether there is acceptance of a recent conceptualization of sex work as work and to establish what influences its acceptance as work. The term sex work refers to any income-generating activity involving the exchange of some form of sexual gratification for monetary reward (e.g., street prostitution, pornographic modeling or acting, etc.). Sociological theories on sex work have incorporated views of sex work as a deviant behavior or social problem while research has primarily examined attitudes toward its regulation. "Sex work as work" is an emerging conceptualization aimed at redefining work in the sex industry and awarding sex workers the same occupational rights as other workers. In view of current discussions on "sex work as work," this perspective was operationalized and examined to determine whether public opinions of sex work are shifting towards viewing it as work. In addition, the effects of social background characteristics (e.g., gender, race, social class, religion & religiosity, ethnicity), knowledge, values (e.g., attitudes toward feminism and conservative/liberal orientation), beliefs about reasons for women's entrance into sex work, experience, and preferred social distance from sex work on the acceptance of "sex work as work" were tested. Three hundred and fifty-eight students enrolled in first year sociology courses at the University of Windsor completed a self-administered survey. Bivariate associations and multivariate analyses revealed that "sex work as work" is not yet accepted and that preferred social distance from sex work and sex workers is the strongest influence on acceptance. Implications for future research are also discussed.Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2001 .D78. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 40-06, page: 1430. Adviser: Eleanor Maticka-Tyndale. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2001.