Sex Tourism

Authored by: Jody Miller

The Routledge Handbook of Deviant Behavior

Print publication date:  June  2011
Online publication date:  April  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415482745
eBook ISBN: 9780203880548
Adobe ISBN: 9781134015580

10.4324/9780203880548.ch45

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Abstract

The term “sex tourism” refers to the development and expansion of industries that provide sexual services to tourists, and/or travel for the purpose of participating in commercial sex. Those who participate in or profit from sex tourism include not just establishments that provide sex shows and prostitution, but travel agencies, hotels, and other businesses, as well as workers in the informal economy. Sex tourism has developed to cater primarily to heterosexual Western and Japanese men who travel for business and leisure activities, though additional niche markets— serving gay men, heterosexual women, and pedophiles—have emerged as well (see Frohlick, 2008; O’Connell Davidson, 2005; Padilla, 2007; Pruitt and LaFont, 1995). Consider the growth of sex tourism in Thailand—a common destination for sex tourists. In the year 1981, Thailand received two million international tourists; by 1996, this number had more than tripled to seven million. Notably, the vast majority of these tourists—five million in 1996, or more than 70 percent—were unaccompanied men, “a significant portion [of whom] were sex tourists” (Bales, 1999: 75–76).

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