Men who buy sex have much in common with sexually coercive men, new study shows

The question, “is prostitution a job or is it sexual abuse?” has long been debated. A team of researchers compared men who buy sex to those who don’t buy sex in a study in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Sex buyers saw women in prostitution as intrinsically different from other women and had less empathy for prostituted women than men who didn’t buy sex. The sex buyers were more likely to report having committed past acts of sexual aggression such as rape. And they were more willing to say they might commit rape in the future if they could get away with it. The sex buyers were similar to other sexually aggressive men in that they preferred impersonal sex, had a greater number of sex partners (both in prostitution and outside of it), feared rejection by women, and had a hostile masculine self-identification.

Spanish version: Comparando a hombres que compran sexo y hombres que no compran sexo: Nuevos datos sobre prostitución y trata

Abstract

We investigated attitudes and behaviors associated with prostitution and sexual aggression among 101 men who buy sex and 101 age-, education-, and ethnicity-matched men who did not buy sex. Both groups tended to accept rape myths, be aware of harms of prostitution and trafficking, express ambivalence about the nature of prostitution, and believe that jail time and public exposure are the most effective deterrents to buying sex. Sex buyers were more likely than men who did not buy sex to report sexual aggression and likelihood to rape. Men who bought sex scored higher on measures of impersonal sex and hostile masculinity and had less empathy for prostituted women, viewing them as intrinsically different from other women. When compared with non-sex-buyers, these findings indicate that men who buy sex share certain key characteristics with men at risk of committing sexual aggression as documented by research based on the leading scientific model of the characteristics of non-criminal sexually aggressive men, the Confluence Model of sexual aggression.

Comparing-Sex-Buyers-With-Men-Who-Do-Not-Buy-Sex

Download document (25 pages)