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Sex trade among men: negotiating sex, bodies and identity categories. Commercial sex is a marginalized and highly stigmatized activity in Brazilian culture. In this article we aim at investigating the discursive strategies used by young men who trade sex in order to resist stigmatization and social exclusion. We interviewed 24 young men who trade sex in a medium sized city in Brazil.
Discursive strategies used by the interviewees to avoid social stigma could be summarized as 1 a reduction of sexual activity to its commercial sense by employing a conceptualization of masculinity that focuses on moral values and disregards sexual intercourse, 2 an emphasis on the anatomic characteristics as a criterion to delimit sexual identification categories, and 3 a shifting of sexual systems from one based on sexual object choice to one based on sexual aim.
The discussion highlights that the interviewees were actively negotiating with normative assumptions of sexuality and thus producing either its subversion or conservation. Keywords: sexuality; sex discrimination; juvenile prostitution. Sex trade among men is a marginalized and highly stigmatized activity in Brazilian culture.
It is also overlooked in national scientific studies, specifically when compared to the number of studies about women who trade sex Santos, , As our discussion unfolds, we expect to challenge two common trends in scientific and cultural representations of sex trade among men. The first one refers to the common narrative that associates sex trade with poverty and victimization. Although scientific literature broadly uses these terms, young men who we interviewed rarely would do so. As we could see in our interviews, young men who trade sex constantly articulate their narrative about their life and work in response to these two trends.
In order to challenge these two common trends, it is useful to view scientific knowledge as a cultural production, which is to say that scientific knowledge is contingent upon time, context and the conventions of a specific community.