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The criminalisation of paying for sex in England and Wales: how gender and power are implicated in the making of policy

  • Natasha Mulvihill (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

This article considers how gender and power are implicated in how prostitution policy is translated from initial proposal to enactment in law. The analysis brings together Freeman’s proposal for “policy translation” (2009) and Connell’s work on “hegemonic masculinity” (1987 with Messerschmidt 2005) to examine Hansard and other United Kingdom Parliament documents relating to Clause 13/14 of the Policing and Crime Bill 2008–2009, a proposal to criminalise the purchase of sex in England and Wales. It is argued here that hegemonic masculinity is implicated in how “responsibility” and “exploitation” in relation to sex purchase are disputed and defined within the Parliamentary debates on Clause 13/14, and this in turn informed the version of criminalisation that emerged as authoritative. This article reflects finally on how far mapping the translation of policy can elucidate the operation of gender and power within the policy process.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

B. Brooks-Gordon and L. Gelsthorpe (2003) What Men Say When Apprehended for Kerb-Crawling: A Model of Prostitutes Clients Talk. Psychology, Crime & Law 9(2): 145171.

R. Connell and J. W. Messerschmidt (2005) Hegemonic Masculinity: Rethinking the Concept. Gender and Society 19(6): 829859.

F. Fischer (2003) Reframing Public Policy: Discursive Policies and Deliberative Practices. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

R. Freeman (2009) What is “Translation”? Evidence and Policy 5(4): 429447.

J. Lowman and C. Atchison (2006) Men Who Buy Sex: A Survey in the Greater Vancouver Regional District. The Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology/La Revue Canadienne de Sociologie et d’Anthropologie 43(3): 281296.

M. A. Monto and N. M. McRee (2005) A Comparison of the Male Customers of Female Street Prostitutes With National Samples. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 49(5): 505529.

E. S. Person (1980) Sexuality as the Mainstay of Identity: Psychoanalytic Perspectives. Signs 5: 605630.

M.-L. Skilbrei (2012) The Development of Norwegian Prostitution Policies: A Marriage of Convenience Between Pragmatism and Principles. Sex Research and Social Policy 9(3): 244257.

B. Sullivan (2007) Rape, Prostitution and Consent. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology 40(2): 127142.

C. West and D. H. Zimmerman (1987) Doing Gender. Gender and Society 1(2): 125151.

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Journal of Public Policy
  • ISSN: 0143-814X
  • EISSN: 1469-7815
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-public-policy
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