Jody Miller

in The Oxford Handbook of Crime and Public Policy

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199844654
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbook in Criminology & Criminal Justice


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This article provides an overview of definitional issues concerning prostitution and their linkages to legal philosophies with respect to addressing commercial sex. It provides a description of patterns, trends, and varieties of prostitution. It reviews research evidence on the causes and correlates of prostitution, as well as direct and collateral consequences. There appears to be a strong connection between drug use and prostitution, although the causal nexus is unclear. It considers the range of policy responses to prostitution, including currently popular criminal justice and other intervention strategies. Western countries have developed more effective policies that produce fewer harmful consequences. The complexity and variations of prostitution suggest the need for a comparably diverse and complex array of intervention strategies. The article concludes with suggestions of fruitful directions for research and policy.

Keywords: prostitution; sex; causes; consequences; drug use; legal philosophies

Article.  13603 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice

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