Buying sex as a privilege? - A qualitative study of middle class Turkish men and their views on sexuality, gender equality and prostitution.
Full recordShow full item record
AbstractTurkey is a country with regulated prostitution and an increasing number of migrant sex workers. It is also a country that has been going through a modernization process the last two decades; from a rural conservative to a more industrialized secular country. However, there are few researches targeting the Turkish sex industry, especially with a focus on the consumer side. Western researches regarding consumers have showed that sex buyers, in general, tend to have more conservative ideas regarding gender and sexuality. The aim of this study is to, by comparing sex buyers to non sex buyers, find out how ideas about gender and sexuality among Turkish middle class men, affect the understanding of the use of sexual services. Qualitative interviews with six middle class Turkish male sex buyers and non sex buyers, analyzed with discourse analysis, expose a pattern where conservative ideas regarding sexuality and gender equality, justifies a power structure were Turkish men are expected to utilize care from women. These structures are analyzed by theories regarding power in the male- female relationship and prostitution. The results show that there is a connection between conservatism and sex buyers, particularly a conservative view on male sexuality. There is a pressure on men in the Turkish society to sustain a position of superiority by sexual exploitation. In order to explain how the superior position is operationalized, the author has developed Westerstrand’s model based on Svalastog’s theory of the fragmented female sexuality. This model is called “The sustained male sex right” and it explains how the pressure to exercise the male sex right creates a privilege where exploitation and denial of women’s subjectivity is normalized. Turkish men that don’t buy sexual services are more convinced that sexual and social inequalities are socially constructed. Based on moral arguments, they are, to a bigger extent, able to deconstruct norms of exploitation and thus, abstain, the male sex right.