The Purchase of Sex – Meanings, Vulnerabilities and Welfare Initiatives
The social landscape, conditions and market regarding commercial sex have both changed considerably and become more differentiated over recent decades. Factors such as globalization, migration and mobility, as well as technological development, have changed the conditions for the sale and purchase of sexual services. Today, there is a greater consumption space with greater differentiation and specialization in the consumer market. Social change has in some cases also led to increased social differentiation, increased socioeconomic differences and increased social vulnerability among certain groups.
Commercial sex as a phenomenon is multi-faceted and the people who sell and buy sexual services are a heterogeneous group of individuals. Living conditions, residency status in Sweden and socioeconomic situation are some of the factors that influence the motives for selling or buying sex, but also what meaning the sale or purchase of sexual services has for an individual. This is interesting in relation to the individual's experiences of vulnerability, the possible need for help and support, and how this relates to different welfare initiatives.
The purpose of the study is to illustrate how the purchase of sexual services is constructed, interpreted and understood based on the buyer's perspective. Furthermore, the study will investigate how sex purchases are designed as a social problem through various welfare initiatives in the field. The work will be divided into two sub-studies where part-study one is a case study that examine how sex purchases are constructed, interpreted and understood from the buyer's perspective, focusing on meanings, sexuality, close relationships, vulnerabilities and welfare initiatives. The second part-study deals with the construction of purchase of sexual services as a social problem. How it has shaped and influenced welfare work in the field and how this can be seen in relation to the target group’s experiences.