Date of Award

Spring 5-17-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Forensic Psychology



First Advisor

Elizabeth Jeglic

Second Reader

Sean Murphy

Third Advisor

Cynthia Calkins


It is estimated that the majority of prostitutes are victims of violence, including rape and homicide. Some research has suggested that the clients of sex workers perpetrate most of these acts of violence. While several qualitative studies have examined specific incidents of violence, the prevalence and causes of violence in prostitution remain largely unaddressed by the existing literature. This study compares attitudes towards sexual violence and prostitution between men who have purchased sexual services and those who have not. Participants were 170 men recruited online, with 35 (20.6%) participants self-identifying as those who had previously purchased sex. Overall, a significant difference was found between the two groups on attitudes towards sexual violence, and no significant difference was found between groups for attitudes towards prostitution. These findings are discussed as they pertain to the legalization and criminalization of prostitution, intervention by law enforcement, and violence in prostitution.



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