Children, prostitution, and identity: a case study from a tourist resort in Thailand.

Montgomery H
In: Global sex workers: rights, resistance, and redefinition, edited by Kamala Kempadoo and Jo Doezema. New York, New York, Routledge, 1998. 139-150.

My contention in this chapter is not that child prostitution is acceptable or that it is in any way beneficial to the children concerned in the long term. What was apparent, however, from my own fieldwork was how very differently campaigners against child prostitution and the children who actually sold sex conceptualized prostitution. The children in my study had very different means of seeing themselves and what they did and they constructed their social and personal identities in various ways. Prostitution was how they earned money but it said little about more pertinent issues such as loyalty, filial duty and private morality. It is these qualities that were important to the children and prostitution, far from negating them, actually reinforced them. (excerpt)

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