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HIV/AIDS, Gender Inequality, and Sex Work. Can we blame on the infected individuals in the name of individual autonomy? What are the social constructs.

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Presentation on theme: "HIV/AIDS, Gender Inequality, and Sex Work. Can we blame on the infected individuals in the name of individual autonomy? What are the social constructs."— Presentation transcript:

1 HIV/AIDS, Gender Inequality, and Sex Work

2 Can we blame on the infected individuals in the name of individual autonomy? What are the social constructs of manhood and womanhood in relation to sexuality? Can behavioral interventions succeed without broad social change?

3 HIV/AIDS, Gender Inequality, and Sex Work Global perspective: AIDS is a leading cause of death for poor women throughout the world. Gender inequality is an important factor in the AIDS pandemic, especially in the arena of sex work. Poverty and gender inequality enhance transmission and thwart conventional attempts to prevent AIDS

4 HIV/AIDS knowledge and awareness of risk factors have no effect on the consistency of condom use Low consistent condom use in sexual exchanges among CSW and clients, clients and wives, clients and sexual partners. In countries such as Thailand: Transmission of HIV from infected husband to their wives is an important component of a serious HIV/AIDS epidemic

5 Cultural Construct of Manhood Condoms perceived as interfering with male sexual pleasure The notion of preserving male comfort is a recurring theme contraception is primary a womans responsibility

6 Cultural Construct of Manhood Men are biologically determined to be assertive, decisive, lustful. Cultural norms favor multiple partnerships for men Women initiating condoms are interpreted as being sexually loose, dirty, diseased Condom are associated with promiscuity, infection, infidelity and a lack of trust in a partner

7 Cultural Construct of Manhood Cultural norms expect women to be docile and obey their partners. Young unmarried woman exhibits shyness purchasing condoms Male control of sexual decision making male potency exchange of bodily fluids

8 Clients Medical knowledge pursue and maximize sexual pleasure perceive contraceptive use as the womans responsibility bravado (meng) men

9 Sex Workers Condom negotiation involves economic and survival considerations. Depend on regulars A continuum of risks: emotional and financial risks, violence

10 Sex Workers Need to cope with a difficult environment and survive in competitive market Women who provide monetary support for their primary partners may resort to non-use of condoms during sex exchange as a way of eliciting more money from clients

11 Compare with South Africa, Zimbabwe CSW capitalize on clients reluctance to use condoms in sexual exchanges bargaining for more money for unsafe sex Use traditional herbs to attract men b/c of the competition between women for clients Dry sex:women use drying agents

12 Perspectives of Romance and Love among sex workers and clients to contextualize their sexual behaviors

13 Theme paradoxical model of romance: commodification of romance and search for romance - a new moral vision commodification of the body and commodification of romance and intimacy is transformed from a denigration of female virtue into a route to empowerment, in response to the misogynist clients and their previous negative experiences with urban men. seeking a faithful and ideal romance can secure their financial future

14 Shifting Morality Newly arrived hostesses often refuse to go out with customers and even disdain veteran hostesses who do go out gradually replaced by a new moral perspective: True denigration of women lies in mens free use of the female body under the pretence of romantic love. romantic love is a deceptive male tactic to get something for nothing, and purity is a waste of the female bodys potential economic value.

15 Consumerism As a result of consumerism and the market economy, the nation is described as undergoing a crisis of creditability [trust] (xinyong weiji) in which the unscrupulous pursuit of personal interest and pleasure has corroded the very fabric of society in post-Mao China. economic understanding of intimate human relations rational decisions to maximize personal interest

16 Rational Clients establish a cool masculinity in their consumption of hostesses consuming hostesses becomes the criterion by which clients evaluate each others moral quality and business competence in post- Mao Chinese state-clientelism. Male consumers strive to demonstrate a rational, cool masculinity by conquering the emotions of female sex servers, thereby proving their own emotional self-control and ability to manipulate the emotions of others.

17 Experiences of Hostesses The hierarchical relationship between their rural migrant identity and urban men already determines their vulnerable position that deprives them of the rights and entitlement to romance and love. the outright rejection of prostitution represents a transitional phase in which internalized moral prohibitions against sex- money transactions are broken down and replaced by a new moral vision that permits and even encourages prostitution.

18 Commodification of the Body Hostesses subjective view of their bodies is grounded in the economics of hostessing. hostesses view their own and other hostesses bodies as an assembly of fragmented parts Body commodification allowed them to achieve economic profit and hence independence from men.

19 Commodification of Intimacy hostesses are commodifying not only the physical aspect of intimacy such as sexual contact, but also the emotional aspect of intimacy, including devotion, care, considerateness, trust, intimate exchanges, emotional engagement, and love. Commodification of intimacy and romance also requires acting techniques that are studied with conscious mental effort.

20 Searching for Romance hostesses resort to supernatural force and magic to help them regain power and control. The use of an effigy as a seemingly irrational method can be construed as a strategy to exact a client's loyalty and secure the hostess financial gains. employ supernatural power to locate their future romantic and wealthy other.

21 Conclusion the processes of formation, negotiation, and practice of the hostesses new model of romance sexual behaviors: non-use of condoms is one of their strategies to create romance, love, and trust between their relationships with the clients – the source of their economic survival.


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