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Journal Article


Stalans LJ, Finn MA. J. Interpers. Violence 2016; ePub(ePub): ePub.


Michigan State University, East Lansing, USA.


(Copyright © 2016, SAGE Publishing)






Prior research has found that pimps use both non-coercive and coercive management styles across and within market segments of the illicit sex trade. The current study is the first to examine the socialization processes underlying variation in the self-reported coerciveness of pimps. This study begins to fill a void in the almost non-existent research on pimps who are actively managing Internet-solicited sex workers, and adds to the sparse research on pimps' coerciveness. We extend Anderson's concepts of "street code" families, where respect is acquired through displaying physical violence and toughness, and "decent" families, where middle class values of avoiding unnecessary aggression and complying with the law prevail, to understand variation in the degree of coerciveness that pimps utilize toward sex workers. A purposive sample of 44 active pimps was obtained through referrals from selected pimps and through placing advertisements on Backpage, a website utilized by the illicit prostitution trade. Qualitative coding revealed a wide range of coercive control tactics such as supplying drugs, surveillance, and physical violence. Pimps who served as sex workers and those raised by parents who supported "the code of the street" reported use of a greater number of more severe coercive tactics. College-educated pimps, pimps operating business that charged fees of at least US$300, and those from "decent" families were more likely to use non-coercive management. These findings suggest that early prevention programs might address the "street code" mentality that contributes to coerciveness, and that "End Demand" policies need to recognize that many male pimps also have served as sex workers.

© The Author(s) 2016.

Language: en


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