Article Title

A Brief History of the Anthropology of Sexuality, and Theory in the Field of Women’s Sex Work


This article provides an overview of the historical development of theory in the Anthropology of Sexuality. Taking a Foucaultian perspective, the discourse on sexuality that emerged in the Victorian era will be critiqued as a constructed tool to ensure social and moral conformity. Discourse, particularly with respect to sexuality, has been a means to conscript bounded groups of people to serve historically defined goals in the production of knowledge. The application of discourse on sexuality in an attempts to understand the “primitive Other” will be contrasted to the discourses of sexuality applied to prostitution. Building on this knowledge and evolution of anthropology theory on sexuality, post-modern conceptualizations of sexuality, resistance, and social constructionism will be explored and applied to sex work in a contemporary female-bodied context.

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