Sex Trade an Issue that Affect Everyone

My blog is inspired by Martin, L. (2013). Sampling and sex trading: Lessons on research design from the street. Action Research, 11(3), 220-235. It resonated with me because our city, San Antonio TX, has a major human trafficking problem. The main message that resonated with me is that becoming involved in the sex trade and sex work could happen to anyone. The author expresses that “Local knowledge suggested that sex trading in the community was intermittent, linked to poverty, hidden, off-streets, and not frequently touched by police”. Many of us don’t think that this would happen to us but when push comes to shove, and there’s a need to put food on the table, things can get messy— particularly, where there are other people depending on us, such as our own children or disabled parents.

As a PhD student I also found it very insightful to learn the dangers that come when performing action research. For example, at one point during the research the author found herself caught in a gun crossfire at an open air drug market. The article challenges glamorized ways of thinking about research by showing in reality it can be very dirty and downright life threatening. At the same time the article also shows how action research is uniquely placed to support the generation of knowledge for change in difficult environments. In this particular case, the researcher involved the community in order to gather information, and at the same time providing information on how to combat sex trading and sex trafficking.

Whereas sex work could be by choice, being sex trafficked is never by choice. Both are prevalent in our country, in our states, in our cities, and in our communities and it is up to us to make a change and provide the help that these workers need in order to get out of the danger that thrives in that industry.