Prostitution Policies and Attitudes Toward Prostitutes

  1. Delgado, Naira 1
  2. Pina, Afroditi
  3. Bonache, Helena 1
  4. Hernández-Cabrera, Juan A.
  1. 1 Universidad de La Laguna

    Universidad de La Laguna

    San Cristobal de La Laguna, España


Archives of Sexual Behavior

ISSN: 0004-0002

Year of publication: 2021

Type: Article

DOI: 10.1007/S10508-020-01891-9 GOOGLE SCHOLAR


The present study examined whether regulatory attitudes toward prostitution are related to agency attributed to prostitutes and moral outrage. A Spanish sample (N = 391, aged 18–53 years old) completed a questionnaire that included two separate parts. In the first part, participants answered a scale on regulatory attitudes toward prostitution; in the second part, after reading one of two scenarios, participants answered questions about agency and moral outrage. Results showed a different pattern in the link between regulatory attitudes and social perception when participants perceived prostitutes as victims of sexual slavery (Scenario 1) or as women who freely choose to sell sexual services (Scenario 2). This study provides empirical evidence of how some regulatory attitudes toward prostitution are linked to mind attributions and negative feelings toward sex workers, and how it depends on the type of prostitute who practices it. These findings contribute to our knowledge of attitudes toward prostitution, which could inform future policy-making.

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