Sex Work

Faculty Mentor

Jillene G. Seiver

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Studies have shown that attitudes towards sex work and individuals that are sex workers holds significant influence on social policies and social work. This is important to the field of psychology because understanding the attitudes towards this topic can help us form policies and provide resources with the goal of reducing stigma that comes along with this issue.

I propose to conduct a survey to determine whether people with higher sex guilt hold more stigmatizing attitudes towards sex workers and/or sex work. Respondents will be recruited from psychology classes. Level of sex guilt will be measured by the Mosher Sex-Guilt Inventory (MSGI), and the degree of stigmatization of sex work (SSW) and of sex workers (SSWR)will be measured by the Attitudes towards Prostitutes and Prostitution Scale (APPS). Demographic questions such associoeconomic status, religion, and ethnicity will be included.

A Pearson’s correlation will be performed on the scores from the MSGI, the SSW, and the SSWR. I predict that there will be a strong positive correlation between sex guilt and degree of stigmatization of sex work and of sex workers. Scores from the MSGI will be divided into low, moderate, and high sex guilt, and a 2 (sex) x 3 (level of sex guilt) ANOVA will be performed on the DVs of SSW and SSWR. I predict a significant main effect of sex guilt, with respondents who are high in sex guilt scoring higher on SSW and SSWR than those who are low or moderate in sex guilt. I do not expect a main effect of sex, but I do expect an interaction of sex guilt and sex; I predict that males who are high in sex guilt will score higher on SSW and SSWR than women who are high in sex guilt.

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