Prostitution in Print Media

Heil, Misty
The way in which the public engages with prostitutes is informed and influenced by news print media. This creates a biased understanding of these women and the issues that lead them to, and keep them in the sex-industry. This study aims to examine the ways in which print media is communicating the conditions that lead women to this lifestyle as well as the situations that prevent them from leaving. The objectives of this study are to: 1) identify the themes and word corpus presented in news print media regarding prostitutes; 2) identify the frequency of the presented themes and word corpus. This study analyzed the themes and word corpus of 340 newspaper articles from the Denver Post from 2004-2014 retrieved from a database. Preliminary results of this work report prevalent themes regarding the trafficking and prostituting of minors as well as violence and crimes against prostitutes. Preliminary results of the word corpus portray a narrow use of descriptors that refer to violence, substance abuse, and victimization. Results of this study reveal that print media portray a biased and limited representation of prostitution and prostitutes. This inadequate representation of prostitutes further reinforces the stigma and marginalization of this already vulnerable group.
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University of Wyoming Libraries