A new public health context to understand male sex work

Minichiello, Victor, Scott, John, & Callander, Denton (2015) A new public health context to understand male sex work. BMC Public Health, 15(282).

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Researching male sex work offers insight into the sexual lives of men and women while developing a more realistic appreciation for the changing issues associated with male sex work. This type of research is important because it not only reflects a growing and diversifying consumer demand for male sex work, but also because it enables the construction of knowledge that is up-to-date with changing ideas around sex and sexualities.


This paper discusses a range of issues emerging in the male sex industry. Notably, globalisation and technology have contributed to the normalisation of male sex work and reshaped the landscape in which the male sex industry operates. As part of this discussion, we review STI and HIV rates among male sex workers at a global level, which are widely disparate and geographically contextual, with rates of HIV among male sex workers ranging from 0% in some areas to 50% in others. The Internet has reshaped the way that male sex workers and clients connect and has been identified as a useful space for safer sex messages and research that seeks out hidden or commonly excluded populations.

Future directions

We argue for a public health context that recognises the emerging and changing nature of male sex work, which means programs and policies that are appropriate for this population group. Online communities relating to male sex work are important avenues for safer sexual messages and unique opportunities to reach often excluded sub-populations of both clients and male sex workers. The changing structure and organisation of male sex work alongside rapidly changing cultural, academic and medical discourses provide new insight but also new challenges to how we conceive the sexualities of men and male sex workers. Public health initiatives must reflect upon and incorporate this knowledge.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 84713
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Male sex workert, e-technologies, sexuality, HIV, male sex industry
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-015-1498-7
ISSN: 1471-2458
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Health Law Research
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Minichiello et al.; licensee BioMed Central.
Copyright Statement: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Deposited On: 10 Jun 2015 23:32
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2015 22:10

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