Violence and Legalized Brothel Prostitution in Nevada Examining Safety, Risk, and Prostitution Policy

Document Type



This article examines violence in legalized brothels in Nevada. Debates over prostitution policies in the United States have long focused on questions of safety and risk. These discourses inevitably invoke the coupling of violence and prostitution, though systematic examinations of the relationship between the two are sparse. This article explores the issue of violence in the Nevada brothel industry. By drawing on interviews with prostitutes, managers, and policy makers, this article examines both prostitutes’ perceptions of safety and risk and brothel managers’ practices designed to mitigate violence. Discourses relate to three types of violence: interpersonal violence against prostitutes, violence against community order, and sexually transmitted diseases as violence. The authors conclude by arguing that the legalization of prostitution brings a level of public scrutiny, official regulation, and bureaucratization to brothels that decreases the risk of these 3 types of systematic violence.


Community-Based Research | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Gender and Sexuality | Sexuality and the Law | Women's Studies


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