Chapter

Of whalers, diggers and ‘soiled doves’: a history of the sex industry in New Zealand

Jan Jordan

in Taking the crime out of sex work

Published by Policy Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9781847423344
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303664 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847423344.003.0002
Of whalers, diggers and ‘soiled doves’: a history of the sex industry in New Zealand

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This chapter explores the history of sex work in New Zealand prior to the passing of the 2003 Prostitution Reform Act. It begins by discussing the impact of colonisation and the attitudes towards prostitution that emerged in the nineteenth century. Against this backdrop, the chapter considers the more recent influences that gave rise to the 2003 law change. Focus is particularly given to the women working in the sex industry, although the chapter also considers some of the clients' preferences for male prostitutes. The goal of the chapter is to suggest, through historical ideas and movements, why New Zealand became the first country to decriminalise sex work, and how such legislative change is consistent with its specific social and cultural context.

Keywords: history; sex work; New Zealand; Prostitution Reform Act; prostitution; women; sex industry; decriminalisation

Chapter.  9405 words. 

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