Neighborhoods as Sex Markets

Jenna Mahay and Edward O. Laumann

in The Sexual Organization of the City

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2004 | ISBN: 9780226470313
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226470337 | DOI:
Neighborhoods as Sex Markets

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This chapter describes the organization of four sex markets in Chicago. It characterizes sex markets as the spatially and culturally bounded arenas in which searches for sex partners and a variety of sexual transactions take place. The chapter focuses on how local organizations, social networks, culture, and space interact on the ground to create the sex markets found in the four neighborhoods. Its interest in the organization of sex in the city follows from the early Chicago school's interest in the patterns of urban life. All these elements interact in a given sex market to structure the sexual behavior of its participants in patterned and predictable ways, but they can often also have unintended consequences. The chapter focuses on heterosexual sex markets and discusses the overlap between heterosexual and homosexual sex markets.

Keywords: sex markets; Chicago; sexual transactions; local organizations; social networks; culture; space; sexual behavior; heterosexual sex markets; homosexual sex markets

Chapter.  8461 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Urban and Rural Studies

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