Stigma and Risky Behaviors among Male Clients of Sex Workers in the UK

Marina Della Giusta, Maria Laura Di Tommaso & Sarah Louise Jewell

Building on existing theoretical work on sex markets, this study uses data from the 2001 British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal) to replicate the analysis of the demand for paid sex. It formally tests the effects of attitudes, risky behaviors, and personal characteristics of a sample of men on the demand for paid sex. Previous theoretical work argues that stigma plays a fundamental role in determining both demand and risk, and in particular due to the presence of stigma, the demands for unpaid sex and for paid sex are not perfect substitutes. This study finds a positive effect of education (proxy for income), negative effects of professional status (proxies for stigma associated with buying sex), positive and significant effects of all risky behavior variables, and no significant effects of variables that measure the relative degree of conservatism in morals.

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