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Author

Priscilla Healey

Other affiliations: University of British Columbia
Bio: Priscilla Healey is an academic researcher from University of Victoria. The author has contributed to research in topics: Sex work & Occupational safety and health. The author has an hindex of 5, co-authored 7 publications receiving 119 citations. Previous affiliations of Priscilla Healey include University of British Columbia.

Papers
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is argued that the strongest empirical evidence is for adoption of the second perspective that aims to develop integrative policies that reduce the intersecting social inequalities sex workers face in their struggle to make a living and be included as equals.
Abstract: Prostitution, payment for the exchange of sexual services, is deemed a major social problem in most countries around the world today, with little to no consensus on how to address it. In this Target Article, we unpack what we discern as the two primary positions that undergird academic thinking about the relationship between inequality and prostitution: (1) prostitution is principally an institution of hierarchal gender relations that legitimizes the sexual exploitation of women by men, and (2) prostitution is a form of exploited labor where multiple forms of social inequality (including class, gender, and race) intersect in neoliberal capitalist societies. Our main aims are to: (a) examine the key claims and empirical evidence available to support or refute each perspective; (b) outline the policy responses associated with each perspective; and (c) evaluate which responses have been the most effective in reducing social exclusion of sex workers in societal institutions and everyday practices. While the overall trend globally has been to accept the first perspective on the "prostitution problem" and enact repressive policies that aim to protect prostituted women, punish male buyers, and marginalize the sex sector, we argue that the strongest empirical evidence is for adoption of the second perspective that aims to develop integrative policies that reduce the intersecting social inequalities sex workers face in their struggle to make a living and be included as equals. We conclude with a call for more robust empirical studies that use strategic comparisons of the sex sector within and across regions and between sex work and other precarious occupations.

74 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Conceptual frameworks to classify cultural adaptations and their resultant health/mental health outcomes were developed and applied in a variety of ways and implications for policy, practice, and research are identified, including individualization, cost considerations, and patient or client satisfaction, among others.
Abstract: Membership in diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural groups is often associated with inequitable health and mental health outcomes for diverse populations. Yet, little is known about how cultural adaptations of standard services affect health and mental health outcomes for service recipients. This systematic review identified extant themes in the research regarding cultural adaptations across a broad range of health and mental health services and synthesized the most rigorous experimental research available to isolate and evaluate potential efficacy gains of cultural adaptations to service delivery. MEDLINE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, EMBASE, and grey literature sources were searched for English-language studies published between January 1955 and January 2015. Cultural adaptations to any aspect of a service delivery were considered. Outcomes of interest included changes in service provider behavior or changes in the behavioral, medical, or self-reported experience of recipients. Thirty-one studies met the inclusion criteria. The most frequently tested adaptation occurred in preventive services and consisted of modifying the content of materials or services delivered. None of the included studies focused on making changes in the provider’s behavior. Many different populations were studied but most research was concerned with the experiences and outcomes of African Americans. Seventeen of the 31 retained studies observed at least one significant effect in favor of a culturally adapted service. However there were also findings that favored the control group or showed no difference. Researchers did not find consistent evidence supporting implementation of any specific type of adaptation nor increased efficacy with any particular cultural group. Conceptual frameworks to classify cultural adaptations and their resultant health/mental health outcomes were developed and applied in a variety of ways. This review synthesizes the most rigorous research in the field and identifies implications for policy, practice, and research, including individualization, cost considerations, and patient or client satisfaction, among others.

43 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Stigma attached to sex workers’ occupation, sometimes disparagingly referred to as ‘prostitution’ or ‘whore’ stigma, is a fundamental challenge for people in sex work, but sex workers are not powerless when confronting occupational stigma.
Abstract: Stigma attached to sex workers' occupation, sometimes disparagingly referred to as 'prostitution' or 'whore' stigma, is a fundamental challenge for people in sex work. Yet sex workers are not powerless when confronting occupational stigma. We employed thematic analysis with data from in-person interviews conducted in 2012-13 with a diverse sample of 218 adult sex workers in Canada. Our participants perceived a high degree of occupational stigma, which they responded to and managed using four main strategies. First, some participants internalised negative discourses about their sex work and accepted their discredited status. Second, many controlled access to information about themselves, consciously keeping knowledge of their occupation from most people while sharing it with trusted others. Third, some participants rejected society's negative view of their occupation. Finally, some attempted to reduce the personal impact of stigma by reframing sex work to emphasise its positive and empowering elements. Participants often strategically responded to stigma contingent on the situated contexts of their work and personal life. We discuss these findings in relation to the existing knowledge base about stigma attached to sex workers' occupation as well as how these findings may direct future research on stigma strategies.

32 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, descriptive findings on sex workers' structural disadvantage and their evaluation of the quality of their work, relative to their other jobs, were presented, and in-person interviews were conducted.
Abstract: This article presents descriptive findings on sex workers’ structural disadvantage and their evaluation of the quality of their work, relative to their other jobs. In-person interviews were conduct...

13 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In 2017, a cross-section of active sex workers from Victoria, Canada, were interviewed about their personal and work lives under Canada's 2014 criminal code law, Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (PCEPA).
Abstract: Research shows criminal code laws negatively affect the health and safety of sex workers and hinders their ability to access protective and other services. Less is known about sex workers’ views on how to improve their occupational and broader social rights. This paper aims to help fill in this knowledge gap. In 2017, a cross-section of active sex workers (N = 60) from Victoria, Canada, were interviewed about their personal and work lives under Canada’s 2014 criminal code law, Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (PCEPA). Thematic analysis was carried out using the participants’ (n = 57) who answered these two open-ended questions: What changes are needed to improve health, safety and rights for sex workers? What would be your dream list of services sex workers need right now? Participants recommended elimination of Canada’s criminal code law governing consensual sex work, and policy change in two main areas: (1) occupational health and safety and (2) access to non-judgmental protective, health, and other community services. Sex workers are an important source of insight regarding the unintended consequences of the PCEPA and its stated commitment to improve their safety and ensure the protection of their occupational and social rights. Consensual adult sexual commerce should be decriminalized and governed by health and social welfare policies, just as other service jobs.

10 citations


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TL;DR: The authors examines the social construction of sex trafficking and prostitution in the discourse of leading activists and organizations within the crusade, and concludes that the central claims are problematic, unsubstantiated, or demonstrably false.
Abstract: French Abstract: La question de la traite sexuelle est devenue de plus en plus politisee ces dernieres annees suite aux efforts d'une croisade morale influente. Cet article examine la fabrication sociale de la traite sexuelle (et plus generalement de la prostitution) dans le discours des principaux militants et des organisations membres de cette croisade, et conclut que ses allegations principales sont problematiques, non fondees ou demontrablement fausses. L'analyse met en lumiere l'adoption et l'institutionnalisation croissantes de l’ideologie de la croisade dans la politique et la pratique du gouvernement americain.English Abstract: The issue of sex trafficking has become increasingly politicized in recent years due to the efforts of an influential moral crusade. This article examines the social construction of sex trafficking (and prostitution more generally) in the discourse of leading activists and organizations within the crusade, and concludes that the central claims are problematic, unsubstantiated, or demonstrably false. The analysis documents the increasing endorsement and institutionalization of crusade ideology in U.S. government policy and practice.

439 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A definition for cultural safety is proposed that is more fit for purpose in achieving health equity, and the essential principles and practical steps to operationalise this approach in healthcare organisations and workforce development are clarified.
Abstract: Eliminating indigenous and ethnic health inequities requires addressing the determinants of health inequities which includes institutionalised racism, and ensuring a health care system that delivers appropriate and equitable care. There is growing recognition of the importance of cultural competency and cultural safety at both individual health practitioner and organisational levels to achieve equitable health care. Some jurisdictions have included cultural competency in health professional licensing legislation, health professional accreditation standards, and pre-service and in-service training programmes. However, there are mixed definitions and understandings of cultural competency and cultural safety, and how best to achieve them. A literature review of 59 international articles on the definitions of cultural competency and cultural safety was undertaken. Findings were contextualised to the cultural competency legislation, statements and initiatives present within Aotearoa New Zealand, a national Symposium on Cultural Competence and Māori Health, convened by the Medical Council of New Zealand and Te Ohu Rata o Aotearoa – Māori Medical Practitioners Association (Te ORA) and consultation with Māori medical practitioners via Te ORA. Health practitioners, healthcare organisations and health systems need to be engaged in working towards cultural safety and critical consciousness. To do this, they must be prepared to critique the ‘taken for granted’ power structures and be prepared to challenge their own culture and cultural systems rather than prioritise becoming ‘competent’ in the cultures of others. The objective of cultural safety activities also needs to be clearly linked to achieving health equity. Healthcare organisations and authorities need to be held accountable for providing culturally safe care, as defined by patients and their communities, and as measured through progress towards achieving health equity. A move to cultural safety rather than cultural competency is recommended. We propose a definition for cultural safety that we believe to be more fit for purpose in achieving health equity, and clarify the essential principles and practical steps to operationalise this approach in healthcare organisations and workforce development. The unintended consequences of a narrow or limited understanding of cultural competency are discussed, along with recommendations for how a broader conceptualisation of these terms is important.

391 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The COVID-19 pandemic is causing one of the world’s largest economic crises and is affecting the well-being of individuals; some stress factors, such as domestic isolation, lack of movement and social contact, loss of jobs and economic problems, supply bottlenecks, limited health and psychosocial care, and fear of and confrontation with infection and death, characterize life worldwide during the pandemic.
Abstract: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) first broke out in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, and has spread rapidly worldwide since the beginning of 2020. This new infectious disease is associated with a variety of symptoms and, in severe cases, leads to organ failure and death. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) (2020a) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic. Since then, the primary goal has been to slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which is responsible for the disease and is easily transmitted by direct and contact transmission. To this end, travel restrictions, curfews, and contact bans have been imposed in numerous countries around the world, and all nonessential public institutions have been closed (COVID-19 shutdown or lockdown). Most political, cultural, religious, and sporting events have been canceled or postponed. People are being asked to wash their hands regularly and wear protective masks, to keep a minimum distance of 1.5 meters away from other human beings and to stay at home if possible (i.e., social distancing and self-isolation). By Spring 2020, more than half of the world population was in lockdown (Sandford, 2020). The COVID-19 pandemic is causing one of the world’s largest economic crises and is affecting the well-being of individuals; some stress factors, such as domestic isolation, lack of movement and social contact, loss of jobs and economic problems, supply bottlenecks, limited health and psychosocial care, and fear of and confrontation with infection and death, characterize life worldwide during the pandemic, but with great differences depending on the respective geographical region, socioeconomic situation, and personal circumstances. Sexuality‐Related Effects of the COVID‐19 Pandemic

127 citations

Posted Content
Hila Shamir1
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that current efforts help an alarmingly small number of individuals out of the multitudes currently understood as falling under the category of trafficked persons, and even in these few cases, the assistance provided is of questionable value.
Abstract: Although human trafficking has gained unprecedented national and international attention and condemnation over the past decade, the legal instruments developed to combat this phenomenon have thus far proved insufficient. In particular, current efforts help an alarmingly small number of individuals out of the multitudes currently understood as falling under the category of trafficked persons, and even in these few cases, the assistance provided is of questionable value. This Article thus calls for a paradigm shift in anti-trafficking policy: a move away from the currently predominant human rights approach to trafficking and the adoption of a labor approach that targets the structure of labor markets prone to severely exploitative labor practices. This labor paradigm, the Article contends, offers more effective strategies for combating trafficking. After establishing the case for the labor paradigm, the Article suggests how it can be incorporated into existing anti-trafficking regimes. The Article proposes five measures for implementing anti-trafficking policies grounded on the labor approach: prevent the criminalization and deportation of workers who report exploitation; eliminate binding arrangements; reduce recruitment fees and the power of middlemen; guarantee the right to unionize; and extend and enforce the application of labor and employment laws to vulnerable workers. Finally, the Article analyzes why this paradigm has yet to be adopted and responds to some of the main objections to a paradigm shift.

73 citations