Sex work is one of the oldest means of earning one’s livelihood known to humankind, but it has always been look down upon by the upright in society since time immemorial. The aim of the study is to find the relationship between self-esteem and sexual attitude among female sex workers. Female sex workers do face a great deal of financial problems, social stigma, persecution and violence, suffer exploitation in their workplace, face harassment at the hands of their so-called caretakers or employers, law enforcement officials and the public including their clients.
The term “sex worker” was coined in 1978 by sex worker activist Carol Leigh. Its use became popularized after publication of the anthology, “Sex Work: Writings by Women In The Sex Industry” in 1987, edited by Frederique Delacoste and Priscilla Alexander. The term “sex worker” has since spread into much wider use, including in academic publications, by NGOs and labour unions, and by governmental and intergovernmental agencies, such as the World Health Organization.
A sex worker is a person who works in sex industry. Some sex workers are paid to engage in sexually explicit behaviour which involved varying degree of physical contact with clients like call girls, escorts, some but not all professional dominants, while others are paid to engage in live sexual performance such as webcam sex and performers in live sex shows. Some sex workers perform dance or other acts to entertain audience ( strip tease, pole dance ).
For the conduction of this study I’ve taken three hypotheses and each hypothesis can be stated with valid empirical research as part of the literature review;
· H00 – There will be significant relationship between self-esteem and sexual attitude among female sex workers.
Christensen (1985) conducted a study on “self-esteem and adolescent sexual behaviour and attitudes”. The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between self-esteem and sexual behaviour and attitude on young female adolescents. Results showed that in a most conservative normative context there was a negative relationship between self-esteem and sexual attitudes and behaviours in frequent church visitors and Mormons and no significant relationship between self-esteem and sexual attitudes and behaviours among the more moderate sample groups
H10 -There will be significant difference in self-esteem among female sex workers and comparable population.
In a study conducted by Kalemi (2017) states that despite the stigma that female sex workers are facing, no change in self-esteem is found among female sex workers and stable coping behaviours are seen.Coping strategies such as the avoidance of self-blame for their condition (HIV-positive), the disregard of public’s discriminating comments and behaviours, the acknowledge of their competence in specific issues they have to deal with in their everyday life, in common with the existence of a strongly supportive network .Another study supervised by Kewalramani (2017), “self- efficacy and positive life orientation among prostitutes” stated that self- efficacy was seen higher in general population compared to female sex workers and the positive life orientation was stable in both the population. This might be due to disrespect or taboo existing in the society, which might affect their family, children and their future.
RATIONALE OF THE RESEARCH
In Indian scenario, talking about sex is very uncommon and people do find it hesitant to talk in public. Likely every sex worker is considered a taboo and sex work as filthy profession. Female sex workers are not provided with proper physical and psychological health services and they are totally thrown out from the society. From the articles that the researcher has worked, many factors yield young girls and adults to take up this profession. Factors like low socio-economic status, homelessness, education dropouts, childhood physical or sexual abuse (Soni Kewalramani,2017) contribute them to fall in for such practises where they are offered quick and easy money. Thus, the rating of this profession is increasing day by day. Majority sex workers (full-time based sex workers basically) are exteriorised with stigma, domestic violence, intimate partner violence, stereotyping and insecurity from the society. This psychological morbidity does oscillate their cognitive distortions and certain other psychological disorders like depression or due to violence. If proper coping strategies are taken, then one can justify that their self- esteem is not affected (Gkioka,et.al, 2017) . Proper self-esteem would stimulate healthy sexual attitude in female sex workers, since sexual attitude is a person’s belief about one’s own sexuality which is culturally based and of his/her previous sexual experience. If on the other hand improper coping strategies including, over consumption of alcohol, drug abuse, etc is showed up, which indicates that they have low self-esteem. This in turn lowers their sexual attitude. Hypothetically the current hypothesis can be verified, but the researcher could not report any empirical research on this field. Thus, the researcher tries to empirically connect the relationship between self-esteem and sexual attitude in female sex workers.