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Learn More. Authors' contribution: MWF supervised each aspect of the study, from conception, through data collection, analysis, and generating the submitted journal manuscript. ADL participated in part of the data collection and contributed to the literature review and other parts of the manuscript.

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RLF conducted the qualitative research analysis and assisted with writing the methods portion of the manuscript. LMD participated in part of the data collection and some portions of generating the manuscript. HJH wrote the project's literature review and generated portions of the discussion and limitations sections of the manuscript.

All authors had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for its integrity and the accuracy of the data analysis. Background and aims: The aim of the present study was to provide a phenomenological perspective of individuals who actively engage in street-level prostitution and identified a lifestyle addiction associated with their activities.

Methods: We interviewed 25 women who were incarcerated in American county jails at the time of interviews for prostitution crimes. The transcripts were analyzed for themes that represented the shared consensus of the research participants. : Four negative psychological dynamics related to prostitution. First, participants described s of physical and emotional violence which they experienced at the hand of clients and others involved in the lifestyle.

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Second, interviewees explained an extreme dislike for their actions relating to and involving prostitution. These individuals did not describe themselves as being sexually addicted; sex was means to a desired end. Third, participants described how prostitution's lifestyle had evolved into something which they conceptualized as an addiction. As such, they did not describe themselves as feeling addicted to sex acts — but to lifestyle elements that accompanied prostitution behaviors. Finally, participants believed that freedom from prostitution's lifestyle would require social service assistance in order to overcome their lifestyle addiction.

Rather, they shared many of the same psychological constructs as do addicts e. Spice's definition of prostitution emphasizes the wide range of backgrounds from which women are lead into illicit sex work, including escort services, brothels, and street-level work.

Spice further notes that prostitutes generally hold common values which motivate and often drive their behavior, despite the diversity of ethnicities, personal histories, education levels, and life experiences of these women. While it is hard to estimate the exact of women working as prostitutes in the United States, the National Task Force on Prostitution estimated the to be approximately two million.

This staggering level of participation makes research regarding prostitution — including motivations for entry into and continuance in prostitution, effects of prostitution, and best practices for assisting women currently or ly involved with prostitution — a critical matter.

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In light of Miller's findings, strong underlying motivations seemingly are held by most women who regularly engage in sex work — and particularly street-level prostitution — considering they risk personal health and safety in order to continue in their prostitution behaviors. While our study focuses on the detrimental psychological dynamics involved with dynamics involved with prostitution, other researchers have explored the experiences and specific actions taken by women engaged in the behaviors.

Additionally, sex workers often more readily recognize the risk of physical harm, which Spice labels the greatest threat to the well-being of women who engage in prostitution. In addition, past researchers also have investigated steps which women have taken in order to protect their physical safety. Both O'Doherty and Williamson and Folaron reported that women tend to rely on their intuition when determining the likelihood that a client may hurt them, making exchanges in visible areas, and sometimes carrying a small weapon in order to protect themselves from physical harm.

Much less research has evaluated the negative impact that sex work may have on the psychological health of these women. Furthermore, it is much more difficult to take practical steps to protect one's psychological health than it is to protect one's physical health. For this reason, we believe it beneficial to investigate the psychological dynamics, including strain, that women experience as a result of prostitution.

Despite the obvious existence of multiple risks that accompany involvement in street-level prostitution, Lucas reported the women in her sample insisted that their involvement in prostitution was the result of their own, personal choices. Furthermore, the participants seemingly perceived prostitution as something that enhanced their ability to adapt to certain situations outside of the prostitution environment.

Belcher and Herr advance the findings in that women engaged in prostitution often were focused on temporary, short-term rewards. Overall, participants placed high value on more immediate-gratification motivations, such as money. While experiencing some perceived short-term perceived benefit, the women admittedly allowed themselves to be controlled by extrinsic, immediate gratification factors, leaving them feeling hopeless and unable to exit the lifestyle. These are congruent with Williamson and Folaron's findings that, as women engaged in prostitution, they became increasingly attached to such lifestyles.

In addition, Williamson and Folaron report the social networks that women established within their prostitution-associated circles to be motivating and drawing dynamics that encouraged women to continue in their lifestyles of prostitution. Given the numerous harmful effects of engaging in a lifestyle of prostitution, some researchers e. Baker, Dalla and Williamson examined four models that address cognitive and behavioral change processes, two of which specifically pertain to exiting prostitution, and proposed their own integrative model.

Their model describes six stages of exiting prostitution, which draw on the strengths of the evaluated theories and seeks to correct the weaknesses: immersion, awareness, deliberate preparation, initial exit, reentry, and final exit. The formulation of these stages provides researchers with a helpful framework for understanding the ificance of research on women engaged in prostitution.

The present study sought to further investigate further various dynamics that prostitution had on the lives of participating women. research primarily has A finding girls adult hooker on the experiences and specific behaviors of women engaged in prostitution, so we desired to advance the research literature in this field by exploring how street-level female prostitutes came to understand the personal constructs involved with their behaviors.

We believe that better understanding these dynamics, combined with literature regarding the motivations of prostitutes, will aid human service workers who assist this population group and can be used to inform policies and programs aimed toward helping women exit prostitution. Participant observation approaches contained potentially unacceptable safety risks to the researchers, as well as other obvious logistical and ethical issues.

Consequently, we pursued a phenomenological, qualitative paradigm as being most prudent for accomplishing the present research aims. Interviews were obtained from 25 women who were incarcerated at county jails, being arrested on A finding girls adult hooker of street-level prostitution. Ages of the women ranged from 21—42, with a median age of 29 years old. Sixteen of the participants in the sample were Caucasian, and the others were African-American.

Consistent with standard qualitative research protocol, we utilized criterion sampling, selecting individuals who met the condition of interest for the aim of the present research study. Particularly, the sample represented all the incarcerated inmates who met the standardbeing located in two county jails.

The prisons were located in medium-sized, Midwest cities and most participants reported growing up within a mile radius or so of the jail where they were incarcerated. Due to the obvious sensitivity of the subject matter, anonymity was assured to the research participants, so we deliberately are choosing to keep demographic information about the participants to a minimum in the present article.

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Obviously, names used for reading clarity are pseudonyms and the study met university IRB requirements. Saturation Bernard, occurred during the data collection, providing reasonable assurance that the sample size was adequate for the study's objectives.

Particularly, after approximately twenty interviews, we were finding that the law of diminishing returns was occurring with the data. As such, adding new individuals to the sample was not adding ificant amounts of new insights to the study's overall findings. Consistent with Guest, Bunce and Johnson and Neumanwe believe that the sample size was sufficient to the research objectives established for the present qualitative study.

Among the various types of qualitative methodology Creswell,we deed the present investigation as a phenomenological research study. One-on-one interviews occurred in conference rooms inside the jails and were tape recorded for later analysis. The interviewer was always female in order to make the interview situation as comfortable as possible for the participants, due to the sensitivity of the subject.

During data collection, we utilized semi-structured interview formats Alvesson, We believed that, given the complex nature of prostitution and also the other struggles these women experienced, the semi-structured format would obtain the best and most useful information for the study's objectives. When analyzing the data, we utilized an open coding process Maxwell, This means we approached the transcripts in an inductive manner.

We did not have particular pre-conceived constructs for which we were looking. Rather, we used constant-comparison among and within the transcripts in order to identify reoccurring words, ideas, and concepts Chenail, These generated codes that were useful in managing the analysis. Sometimes the codes were collapsed or combined, due to evident similarity in the participants' percepts. In A finding girls adult hooker cases, we abandoned some codes since they lacked enough support to be representative of the sample at large Creswell, In other words, the qualitative software analysis system worked for us as researchers and not vice versa.

From the codes, themes emerged. Consequently, all of the findings reported in the present study represent the consensus of all the participants in the study. Overall, the findings showed detrimental relational, social, and psychological effects of women in our sample engaging in prostitution activities.

Due to limited publication space in the present article, we are reporting only the relational effects here.

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Internal validity for the study was enhanced in a of ways. Consequently, the of the present study represent the of dialogue, thorough discussion, and detailed analysis among multiple researchers who collaborated in a team effort in the present study. Additionally, we employed a qualitative researcher, independent of the data collection A finding girls adult hooker analysis, to provide autonomous feedback to the researchers regarding the research questions, methodology, and analysis Grbich, This served as a helpful, independent check on our protocol and assurance that the we are presenting were aptly grounded in appropriate qualitative methodology and to the actual transcript data collected.

Member checking Metro-Jaffe, was utilized in order to garner feedback from the research participants. This involves sharing the general findings with those who provided the interviews. The process allowed us to check to ensure that what we concluded in the study aptly reflected the actual sentiments of the research participants. Consistently, we found that the presented in the present article did accurately portray what the research participants agreed were their overriding sentiments.

Data trails Rodgers, were generated in order to enhance the study's internal validity. This involved tying each of the reported in the present article to particular quotes and citations by the respective research participants. This process has three benefits. First, it helps to ensure that each finding reported aptly represents the consensus of all the participants. Second, data trails allows other qualitative researchers to check our research for independent analysis, if desired, should anyone later suspect fraudulent research occurred.

Third, data trails also can aid future researchers who wish further to explore this subject. They provide these researchers with starting points that they can use in order to enhance and further their own research des and allow for helpful comparisons with the present one.

The study procedures were carried out in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki.

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All subjects were informed about the study and all provided informed consent. Women in our study reported four psychological dynamics when relating their personal constructs about prostitution. Next, interviewees explained an extreme dislike for their actions relating to and involving prostitution. Third, participants described how the lifestyle of prostitution had evolved into something which they viewed as a psychological addiction.

However, they used the term vernacularly rather than in a medical sense. Finally, participants shared hopes they had of changing their lifestyles in the future — but also needing intervention and social service assistance to do so. The women in our study shared many disturbing stories in which they were victims of violence and rape during the time they spent engaging in prostitution behaviors.

Most participants described experiences of physical abuse, sexual assault, or both. While the details of each woman's story varied, the general theme of victimization was woven throughout the participants' lives as prostitutes. For example, Caroline recollected a time in which she was physically assaulted by a client:. I've been hurt plenty of times. Well for instance, this scar that's on my chin right here [pointing to her chin]. When I asked for my money first, I was punched in the mouth by brass knuckles and forced back into the car.

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Qualitative perspectives toward prostitution's perceived lifestyle addictiveness