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Title: A fine romance? : tourist women and local men's sexual economic exchanges in the Caribbean
Authors: Sánchez Taylor, Jacqueline.
Award date: 2001
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: Existing research on the phenomenon of 'sex tourism' has focused on the practices of Western heterosexual male tourists who pursue sexual contact with local females in South East Asia. These men's behaviour is widely understood as a form of prostitute use which rests upon global inequalities and racist fantasies, as well as gender inequalities. A number of studies have shown that female tourists also enter into sexual liaisons with local men in poor and developing countries, but these women's behaviour is not interpreted in the same way as that of their male counterparts. Although researchers generally acknowledge that sexual relationships between local men and tourist women involve an exchange of money or goods and gifts, there is a tendency to view sexual encounters between tourist women and local men as a Tine romance', rather than as a form of sexual exploitation. This thesis is based upon ethnographic and survey research that explored sexual economic relationships between tourist women and local men in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. It explores the complexity of power relations which shape these relationships and shows how both parties draw upon dominant discourses on prostitution, sexuality to obscure the commercial basis of their relationships and to downplay the significance of the economic and other inequalities which exist between them. Above all they interpret their relations through a lens of gender essentialism and popular beliefs about racial difference. This tendency to essentialise gender and oversimplify questions about race can also be found in many feminist theoretical accounts of sexuality, prostitution and sex tourism. The thesis argues that there is a need for more complicated and nuanced theoretical models of prostitution, sex tourism, sexual exploitation, victimization and consent, and the kind of power that is exercised within heterosexual relationships.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, Dept. of Sociology
Leicester Theses

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