Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Barbara Brents

Second Committee Member

Simon Gottschalk

Third Committee Member

Kate Korgan

Fourth Committee Member

Jiemin Bao

Number of Pages



This research is an ethnographic study of female sex tourism in Bangkok, Thailand and explores how women, as consumers, participate in activities and spaces that were historically reserved for male tourists. Much of the existing scholarly literature investigates the way men from the global North participate in sex tourism practices. Very little attention, however, has been given to the way female tourists engage as consumers in the global sex tourism industry. Studies conducted in the Caribbean suggest that sexual consumption practices among female tourists are dichotomously different from men because of traditional gender roles and sexual scripts. To guide this research, I asked three questions. First, how do female tourists participate in Bangkok’s sex tourism industry? Second, what common characteristics do female sex tourists display? Finally, how is the sex tourism industry organized? I answered these questions by creating a typology of sex tourists that shows the different ways in which women visitors consume sex, romance and the public spectacle. In developing this typology, I spent nearly two years in the field making observations, participating in touristic activities, engaging in guided conversations and conducting interviews. My findings indicate female tourists are realizing that many establishments and service providers are facilitating a welcoming environment to a variety of sexual orientations by actively and passively soliciting their presence. Recognizing that female is a socially constructed category, I draw attention to the way consumers engage these spaces as well as contest traditional notions of gender roles and sexual scripts. I conclude by providing a more nuanced explanation of the participants and services provided.


Female Sex Tourism; Romance Tourism; Sex Tourism; Sexual Commerce; Spectacle


Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Gender and Sexuality | Sociology

File Format


File Size

1337 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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