To Toe the Line: Streetwalking as Contested Space

Hendrik Wagenaar, Sietske Altink

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


Scholarly examination of public policies regarding prostitution in the United States has been quite limited over the past three decades. This chapter examines a set of problems in the predominant American approach to prostitution control and then evaluates three policy alternatives. Prostitution control in America involves the commitment of substantial criminal justice resources with little impact on the sex trade or on collateral problems such as victimization of prostitutes and effects on host communities. Street prostitutes are at considerable risk of violence, exploitation, and other types of victimization. However, all victimization studies rely on convenience samples, not random samples, which skew the results toward that part of the population experiencing the most victimization. One study of sixteen cities found that indoor prostitution accounted for between a quarter and a third of all prostitution arrests in Baltimore, Memphis, and Milwaukee, and half the arrests in Cleveland.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSafer Sex in the City
Subtitle of host publicationThe Experience and Management of Street Prostitution
EditorsMaria Ioannou, David Canter
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781317060079
ISBN (Print)9781315607429
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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