Adaptation and immersion in the life trajectories of women engaged in prostitution

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Abstract


The author considers adaptation and immersion as parts of the life trajectory of women engaged in prostitution. This trajectory includes five stages: approach, entry, adaptation, immersion, and exit. The research aims at describing adaptation and immersion on the example of women engaged in prostitution in Saint Petersburg and Orenburg. The research had a mixed-method design consisting of a survey of 896 respondents and 10 semi-structured interviews (based on the ‘snowball’ sample). The article presents a descriptive analysis of the survey data and a thematic analysis of interviews. The study allowed to identify two trends in the respondents’ social environment: the loss of friendship and parent-child relationships, distancing and unwillingness to reveal their activities; the partnerships accompanied by the separation of activities in and out of prostitution. Women engaged in prostitution are subject to all forms of violence; therefore, an integral part of their adaptation and immersion is the recognition of clients’ behavior patterns and the development of safe interaction and conflict prevention strategies. The study also revealed the initiation and/or abuse of alcohol and drugs consumption in the course of activities in prostitution, and during immersion the severity of alcohol and drugs use tends to increase. Moreover, many women engaged in prostitution are in the poor psychological condition. Thus, it is necessary to further study prostitutes’ interaction with clients, sex business organizers, and the closest social environment not involved in sex business at all stages of the life trajectory in prostitution.


About the authors

M M Rusakova

Saint Petersburg State University

Author for correspondence.
Email: rusakova.maia@yandex.ru
Smolnogo St., 1/3, Saint Petersburg, Russia, 191124

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