Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Criminalising clients: some evidence from the UK

Della Giusta, Marina and Di Tommaso, Maria Laura and Bettio, Francesca and Jewell, Sarah (2018): Criminalising clients: some evidence from the UK.

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Abstract

We discuss the role of stigma in the sale of sexual services and the effect that policies increasing stigma have on sex markets and the welfare of the actors therein, presenting the different sides to the debate and the evidence in their support. We then examine changes in legislation in the United Kingdom, which ended the relatively permissive regime established with the Wolfenden Report of 1960, to a much harder line aiming to crack down on prostitution with the Prostitution (Public Places) Scotland Act 2007 and the Policing and Crime Act of 2009 in England and Wales. We make use of two waves of the British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles, a representative sample of the British population (Natsal2, conducted in 2000-2001 and Natsal3, conducted in 2010-2012) to investigate changes in both the amount and composition of demand for paid sexual services between the two waves, and draw some implications on the likely welfare effects of considering prostitution a form of crime.

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