As regular readers know, I’ve had a really full plate lately between blogging, work, caring for Jae and acceding to the demands of dear friends that I take care of myself for a change. So although I realized around the 1st of this month that I hadn’t secured a guest column, I got into a peculiar kind of lethargy about it; it was less my usual “Shit, I need to get on that!” and more a sort of exhausted, “Oh, look, that deadline’s approaching really fast and I don’t have anything lined up. I wonder if someone will volunteer an essay before Sunday night?” The same lack of energy caused me to sort of miss the fact that some important research was being conducted that I should say something about, but hadn’t. Well, synchronicity filled in for initiative in this case, and a gentleman who had taken the survey wrote to ask me why I hadn’t said anything about it. I asked if he’d write something about it, and here it is; it’s rather short, but what it talks about is very important, and if you have ever paid for sex please use the time you would’ve used to read a longer column in taking the survey so we can fight prohibitionist lies with real data.
Please spread the word: A research study currently being conducted by the (sex worker-friendly) sociology department at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas (UNLV), seeks to collect data and broaden the scholarship and research on the attitudes of adult clients of prostitutes. Customers of both brothel workers and/or independent providers, whether working legally or illegally anywhere in the United States, are invited to take the brief, 100% anonymous survey. Currently, the research literature in this field is dominated by the junk science of rabid prohibitionists such as Melissa Farley. This UNLV survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete and will help researchers to gain a fuller understanding of the clients of sex workers.
Instead of a prohibitionist or “rescue” profiteer, this research project is headed by UNLV’s Dr. Barbara Brents, co-author of the book, The State of Sex (Routledge Press, 2010), as well as many pro-decriminalization articles and editorials such as “Why Decriminalizing Sex Work is Good for All Women” and “Nevada’s Legal Brothels Make Workers Feel Safer”. Brents has spent more than a decade studying political sociology, gender and sexuality, urban sociology, and public sociology. Her research focuses on the sex industry as a way to understand the intersections of culture and economics, political debates around sexuality, the relationship between tourism, consumption, and sexuality, and the emotional and bodily labor of selling sex. You can see other research she has published on her website.
This survey is being conducted under strict Institutional Review Board (IRB) ethical guidelines; the purpose of IRB review is to assure, both in advance and by periodic review, that appropriate steps are taken to protect the rights and welfare of humans participating as subjects in the research. For more on the university’s IRB protocols for its studies, please visit this link.
By the by, those ethical guidelines aren’t a mere formality; researchers like Farley and Dominique Roe-Sepowitz of ASU routinely ignore them, as explained in “The Pigeons Come Home” and “The Phoenix Pharisees“, resulting not only in indirect harm (from the use of their answers to promote violence against them and others), but sometimes direct harm via sharing the data with the police. IRB guidelines absolutely prohibit any such misuse of data, so readers who take this survey can be absolutely sure that their answers won’t be used wrongfully.