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What's helpful and what's a hindrance to sex workers in Australia realising social equality.
Bliss M
December 30, 1996
Annu Conf Australas Soc HIV Med. 1995 Nov 16-19;7:118 (abstract no.

This paper aims to draw together discourses on the sex industry, how these can impact on our working relationships with sex workers and how, as health workers, we can support sex workers to gain social equality. (This paper does not address pornography, child prostitution or trafficking in persons.) The debate as to whether sex work tends to be voluntary or non-voluntary and whether it should be condoned or condemned, is outlined by reference to the literature. There is also discussion of how myths are perpetuated overtime and how research can dispel these myths. The main participants involved in the debates are feminists, religious bodies, researchers, sex workers, sex worker organisations and social policy developers. The lack of consensus within and between these groups may create a source of confusion for health workers about their own views on the rights and wrongs of the sex industry. This uncertainty may inadvertently be conveyed to sex workers and could affect working relationships. If we are to be effective in assisting sex workers to gain a greater measure of social equality, we need to understand the substance of the debate and be clear about the issues.

Australia Female Human Male Prejudice *Prostitution/PSYCHOLOGY Public Policy *Social Environment ABSTRACT

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