Citation: Blessing Stephen Essien, Bari-ika N Vite, and Aniekan Ephraim Harry (2022) Is Commercial Sex Work Really Work in Nigeria? The Motivations, Dimensions and Policy Implications, International Journal of African Society, Cultures and Traditions, Vol.10, No.1, pp.11-26
ABSTRACT: The sex industry is one of the non oil industries that are booming in recent times especially in Nigeria. The industry has a lot of prospects in view of the fact that youths particularly the women aged 15-35 years who hardly find legitimate jobs engaged in transactional sex for money. In Akwa Ibom State, it is common knowledge that such trade exists. Sex workers are commonly found in places like night clubs, dance bars, brothels and red light streets like Maitama, Ibom Plaza and Ikpa Road. This study therefore sought to unravel the meanings with which commercial sex workers attached to their work; the motivation, dimensions and the implications of the sex trade. The study adopted purely qualitative approach with the use of in-depth interview and content analysis. Twenty (20) commercial sex workers participated in the study. Some commercial sex workers considered sex work as work in view of their disadvantaged economic positions and lack of alternative economic engagement. Beyond the economic consideration, many of them were aware that sex work has legal, socio-cultural and moral implications; and since sex works infringes the country’s laws, offend societal norms and values, and erodes the moral standards, it is not considered really as work by people generally in Nigeria. In view of this, the study suggested legitimate jobs to be provided, training programmes to be instituted, rehabilitation to be executed and prosecution to be implemented for those caught in the web of sex trade.
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