Washington Legged Prostitute
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  • Years:
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  • My gender:
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In popular fictions of Washington, everyone is a prostitute in one way or another; when it comes to female journalists, though, the comparison is often tediously literal. For every Judith Miller, the ex — New York Times reporter who would sometimes quote her live-in lover, former Representative and Defense Secretary Les Aspin, there are dozens of female journalists for whom the power of appropriations is not an aphrodisiac. And yet, the reporter-seductress stereotype persists, in part because some men in Washington refuse to relinquish it. Another tried wearing scarves and turtlenecks to keep a married K Street type from staring at her chest for their entire meeting.


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The agency, however, did not want us to interfere with their work by having the women consent forms. This theory, which has been used in other health-related studies [ 19—21 ], provides a context in which to study the health problems and information needs of sex workers. The women voiced a considerable of physical health concerns. Through this agency, they had access to a purposive sample of sex workers in a large Midwest city.

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Would you like a sandwich and a drink? Identifying the need for more research on the general health-related concerns of commercial sex workers, Valera, Sawyer, and Schiraldi interviewed individuals 42 females, 32 males, and 26 male transgenders who worked as street prostitutes in Washington, DC [ 9 ]. The authors found that more sex traders than non-sex traders were homeless and had been raped within the past year.

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Sample: The researchers worked with an agency that provides outreach services to these sex workers. Because the agency has been providing this service for approximately fourteen years, many women are familiar with the van and approach it eagerly to obtain condoms, bleach kits, and personal hygiene items, as well as sandwiches and drinks. Gonorrhea, syphilis, tuberculosis, and hepatitis were the diseases mentioned by the women. Carr states that sex workers who use drugs often neglect their health and seek care only when they are in the advanced stages of an illness.

One woman had a fractured arm, while another had sutures in her head that needed to be removed. Of the forty-two females interviewed, twelve A very small percentage 2. The researchers used the nonparticipant complete observation technique to collect the data [ 24 ]. The study was guided by the following questions:. In another study, El-Bassel et al. Although the volunteer suggested the sores were related to AIDS, this assumption was not verified because the woman gave no indication of their cause.

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This question was included to determine whether these diseases are of primary concern to sex workers. The former group also had ificantly higher mean scores of psychological distress e. Based on the theory of sense making discussed belowtwo of the authors Baker and Case conducted a pilot study of female sex workers in a large Midwestern city. Sense making focuses on how people define and deal with the situations, bridge the gaps, and use the information to continue on their journeys.

Only those relating to the female sex workers will be described here.

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Everyone who approached the van wanted condoms and was instructed on the difference between oral and vaginal ones contained in the packet. Also mentioned was the need to be tested for tuberculosis TB or to have a TB test read. Other factors in their life style e. She states that her findings debunk the myth that STDs are the main health problem of sex workers and, further, that health care professionals need to rethink the provision of health care for sex workers.

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Of the women interviewed, were classified as sex traders those who had traded sex for money or drugs within the 30 days prior to the interview and as non-sex traders women who had never traded sex for money or drugs or who had not done so in the 30 days prior to the interview. As extra people in the vehicle, we were seated in the back and were not as visible to the women as were the volunteers and staff. We observed seventy-five women, the majority of whom were African American. Because we wanted to ascertain the health problems of female sex workers, we used a purposive sample.

Thirty women reported being raped since entering prostitution. Many sex workers also suffer from psychological problems.

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Objective: A pilot study was deed to determine the general health problems of inner city sex workers. Although this solution restricted our data collection, it still allowed us to gather some information about the health problems of sex workers. Respiratory problems included allergies, sinus infections, colds, pneumonia, and tuberculosis. One woman approached the van and asked for antibiotic ointment for sores she had all over her body.

Thus, this method allowed us to gain access to the world of sex workers and to observe the women in their every day life. Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Finally, Burgos et al. No attempt was made in this pilot study to quantify the data, because the objective of the study was only to ascertain types of health problems.

Staff assumed that the women's needs would include contraception and HIV prevention; however, they quickly realized that the women had many medical problems, such as STDs, dental problems, scabies, drug-related abscesses, and arterial thrombosis. Most women do not choose prostitution; rather, they are forced into this type of work because of drug addiction, poverty, or lack of education [ 23 ]. The objective of the study was to ascertain general health problems and potential health information needs of inner city women whose occupation is sex work.

General health problems of inner-city sex workers: a pilot study

Despite this request, one volunteer did occasionally ask about mammograms and pap smears. To ensure that female sex workers get the health care they need, research that specifically focuses on their general health problems and information needs is required. Rape was also mentioned. Data collection took place during the fall of The researchers took turns riding in the van on the afternoon or evening shifts. Occasionally, we were able to write brief notes during the actual conversations.

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General health problems identified by these authors were poor antenatal care, hepatitis, malnutrition, and many different types of infections that were resistant to treatment. The of these studies reveal the range of the physical and psychological health problems of sex workers. We were also provided with more information from the volunteers who had had a better view of the women than we did.

Methods: Nonparticipant observation was used to gather information about their health problems, the nature of information they may need, and the barriers to obtaining health care and health information. In addition, the van makes regular stops at many sites where sex workers are known to congregate, work, or live. For example, one volunteer informed us that a woman's hands were puffy and her skin was flaky and cracking because of her heroin use.

Because we wanted to appear to be just other volunteers, we usually waited until the van left the sex worker to write down the health conditions the women mentioned.

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We listened to the conversations between the volunteers, staff, and the sex workers to obtain an understanding of the women's lives, health problems, and health information needs. Using an ex-post facto de, she analyzed sex workers' responses on a two- questionnaire that gathered information about demographics, sex and drug practices, risk reduction, and health history. Volunteers and other staff members were told that we were interested in the health concerns of the women. Weiner [ 11 ] studied the social and medical needs of 1, streetwalking sex workers in New York.

In their study of risk behaviors for HIV, Faugier, Cranfield, and Sargeant [ 8 ] interviewed drug-using and 50 non-drug-using female sex workers in Manchester, England. The theoretical basis for studying the health problems and the information needs of sex workers is Dervin's sense-making theory, the central concepts of which include time, space, movement, and gap [ 16 ]. The van cruises these streets and stops for women who are known to the staff and volunteers to be sex workers.

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The researchers Baker and Case obtained permission to work with staff and volunteers of a multiservice agency that operates a van to provide outreach services to inner-city female sex workers. Some women took this opportunity to talk for a few minutes with the volunteers and staff; other women responded quickly as they took the proffered items and walked away. Only the staff member Policicchio responsible for this outreach service knew the full extent of our study.

A woman stated she had found a lump in her breast but had not gone for a mammogram.

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To satisfy both requirements, we agreed not to talk with the sex workers who came to the van. No library and information science LIS studies and few in other social sciences have determined the general health problems of women whose occupation is sex work. In some of the studies about this disease, other health problems have been identified. The authors listed sixteen different physical health problems and reported the percentages of respondents in each of the three groups who acknowledged having a particular health condition.

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Carr [ 6 ] describes the Drop-in Centre established in Glasgow in to provide health services to street sex workers. s identifying the agency are put on the van to make it easily identifiable. Specific streets in different areas of the city are covered during afternoon, evening, or midnight shifts. They identified a of physical or psychological problems, such as rape, depression, and tuberculosis.

We were introduced to the sex workers by name only and did not communicate with them.

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The women ranged in age from nineteen years to sixty-one years; the average age was thirty-eight years. Although most women acknowledged the need for mammograms or pap smears, few had had these tests done recently. Conclusions: More research needs to be done by library and information science professionals to determine the information needs of sex workers and the agencies that provide them with health and social services.

When asked if they used condoms, most of the women responded positively. A major barrier to health care is a lack of information about where to go for treatment or how to obtain health insurance. Learn More. This pilot study was deed to determine the general health problems of female sex workers in one inner city environment.

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To make sense of each new step, individuals call upon their prior knowledge or past experiences. It also minimized the extent to which we disrupted the work of the agency and their contact with the women.

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To determine the nature of health problems experienced by the participants in this study, the researchers reviewed their notes and lists compiled during trips in the van. Other health conditions identified by the women were dental problems, lip burns caused by hot crack pipes, facial rashes and sores, herpes, frost bite, swollen legs, bleeding ulcers, abscesses on legs, and cellulites or osteomyelitis. For the agency's records, each woman is asked for her first name and birth date. Two women under the age of 30 years had suffered strokes, which one of them attributed to the use of crack cocaine.

They were requested not to ask specific questions about their health, so that we would hear health problems in the context of a woman's situation when she approached the van for services. We were also limited to this technique because the Human Investigation Committee of our institution demanded that we have the women an informed consent before we could talk with them.

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About 30 years ago, just months after starting work as a prostitute, Maxine Doogan became pregnant.


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