Document Type

Poster Presentation

Celebration Date

Spring 2012

Abstract

In the United States, exotic dancers are denied their right to work in a safe and secure work environment. Strippers are faced with a variety of abuses on a daily basis and struggle to deal with the negative perceptions and social stigma in their communities. Perceptions of this legalized form of sexual entertainment are connected to the perceptions of prostitutes but differ because of the inability of the strippers to have physical contact with the audience. Dancers are stereotyped to perform the same services as a prostitute and do not have a dignified job. Women enter this area of the sexual industry because they are coerced into believing they will make a sufficient living due to the perceived unlimited income potential and will be protected by laws which regulate the strip club’s activity. Women in this sex industry are more at risk for physical abuse, psychological abuse, verbal threats, and sexual assault, which are understood to be under-reported. Women in the sex industry do not feel safe going to the police or counseling services, which puts these women at risk for suicide, depression and emotional trauma, lack of control over their emotions, poverty, and a continuous cycle of lack of education. The aim of this study was to find a correlation between unsafe work environment and the negative connotations created by the social stigma in the communities. These findings were helpful to raise awareness of the injustices occurring in strip clubs and their potential effects on the women participating in this line of work.

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