A Systematic Review of the Attitudes of Different Stakeholders Towards Prostitution and Their Implications

Polly H.X. Ma, Chung Yee Zenobia Chan, Jean Tak Alice Loke Yuen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


However, there is little consensus on the ideal legal framework for prostitution. Obtaining a good understanding of the opinions of different stakeholders will provide policymakers, health care professionals, and social workers with the necessary information to make decisions on how to protect the health and safety of sex workers and to propose laws on prostitution. This is a review of the literature on the attitudes of different stakeholders towards sex workers. A search of the literature identified a total of 49 studies that could ultimately be included in this review. The studies explored the attitudes towards prostitution among law enforcement officers, professionals in health and social services, clients of sex workers, the general public, and other multiple stakeholders. There was a lack of consensus among these stakeholders on accepting sex workers, and not everyone supported the decriminalization or legalization of prostitution in their countries. Although the debate over the legal status of prostitution seems unlikely to end in the foreseeable future, the findings of this review provide some indications that interventions among different professional groups are needed to improve the health and safety of sex workers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalSexuality Research and Social Policy
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 10 Jul 2017


  • Attitudes
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Prostitution
  • Sex workers
  • Stakeholders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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