The more clandestine area known as Zona Centro was located in downtown Nuevo Laredo, which was known for its flashy highly trafficked retail district that catered to American tourists, Mexican shoppers from the interior of Mexicoand other foreign visitors.
A total of venues in Nuevo Laredo and 76 venues in Ciudad Juarez were identified. It is within this context of violence that these women live and work. Nevertheless, gendered practices are influenced by social structural constraints that are realized through embodied social action Messerschmidt, Power is an important structural feature of gender relations because, historically, power relations among women and men have been constructed on the basis of gender as well as sexual preference; Messerschmidt, The concept of hegemonic masculinity is conceptualized as the form of masculinity that structures and legitimates hierarchical gender relations between women and men, between femininity and masculinity, and among men Connell, Within the context of Mexico, two cultural concepts are used to show the proscribed difference in power and status between men and women: machismo and marianismo.
Sxe in Mexico is quasi-legal. Prostitution in this area is illegal. Nuevo Laredo is unique among Mexican border cities in that its zona de tolerancia was geographically located outside the central free of the city in a physically enclosed compound with individual businesses that cater specifically to prostitution. We explore the case of FSW in Nuevo Laredo and Ciudad Juarez to understand the everyday violence associated with sex work within the unique context of Mexico.
Life history interviews were conducted with FSW revealing violent acts by clients and other sex industry employees bar owners, police, other FSW. The risk of violence by different types of persons associated with the sex work industry varied by venue and geographic area.
This article will contribute to the existing body of knowledge by describing the violence that women Laredo as sex workers face on a daily basis at the hands of their clients.
The U. The area includes four U. It is estimated that Bureau of the Census, One of the largest cities in the state of Tamaulipas, Nuevo Laredo has an estimated population ofGobierno Municipal de Nuevo Laredo Tamaulipas, Ciudad Juarez is one of the largest cities in the state of Chihuahua, and the fourth largest in Mexico, with an estimated population of 1. Female sex workers FSW represent a population confronted with an array of intersecting social problems. We elaborate on the contextual constraints contributing to violence including the influence the venue context and the geographic context of prostitution areas have on victimization experiences.
Rapport was established and informed consent was obtained from all study subjects before participating in the study. Mexicans less integrated into the formal economy structure have had to take advantage of opportunities in the unstructured sectors of the informal economy.
Informed consent was obtained from the institutional review board at the University of Texas at San Antonio. The social structural as well as contextual constraints associated with violence are also addressed. Each sex worker working in this area had to submit to a physical examination for sexually transmitted diseases on a weekly basis and had to carry a validated health card. Moreover, free has consistently shown that outdoor versus indoor prostitution is associated with higher levels of violence perpetrated by clients Church et al.
Sxe particular, high rates of physical and sexual violence are reported among FSWs Beattie et al. The women in this study were recruited from two Mexico border cities: Nuevo Laredo and Ciudad Juarez. Moreover, the violence was shaped by the social structural constraints of dominant gender ideologies. Finally, we document the violence perpetrated by other industry employees including bar owners, other sex workers, and the police. Each interview lasted approximately 60 to 90 min.
During the course of fieldwork, outreach specialists generated detailed field notes documenting the physical space of Laredo venues and surrounding areas as well as descriptions of people and activities related to sex work and drug use.
Given the illegal nature of the activity in this area, prostitutes reported being employed as waitresses or dancers in the bars and clubs. Adjacent to both these places was a public health clinic staffed by two medical doctors, a nurse, and a male receptionist our interview site on the premises.
Finally, one study conducted on a U. The Laredo argue that there are many protective factors connected with the bar setting free health registration system. For example, from intensive interviews with Free in the United States reveal lifelong patterns of abuse and victimization. Similarly, Raphael and Shapiro found in a study of FSWs in Chicago that women who work in outdoor venues generally reported higher levels of physical violence whereas women who work in indoor venues were frequently victims of sexual violence.
However, sex workers report a wide range of violent victimization. In sum, research has shown that within Mexico, sex work is highly stigmatizing for women given their gendered expectations. The life history interviews for this study were conducted face-to-face in Spanish with respondents in the field.
Beginning in and continuing to the present, approximately women and young girls have been murdered in and around the industrial border town of Ciudad Juarez Arsenault, Reports indicate that most of the victims were young female maquiladora employees who were sexually assaulted, tortured, and mutilated. Conversely, the domestic and inferior nature of women is symbolized by marianismo.
Nonetheless, although distinctions have been made with regard to types of venues and risk exposure, it is important to note that in general, FSWs are vulnerable to experiencing violent victimization regardless of where they work see Laredo, However, there is little information on the violence experienced by FSWs in Sxe and specifically along the U. This is an important omission given that the U. Therefore, we contribute to existing research by examining the distinct types of violence to which Mexican FSWs are exposed at sxe within the unique context of the U.
The data were collected in Ciudad Juarez and Nuevo Laredo and are presented by focusing on four types of individuals with whom sex workers experienced violent encounters: clients, coworkers, police, and bar owners. Thus, in the U. In addition to their low economic status, FSWs in the border region have other poverty-related risk factors such as low educational attainment, multiple financial dependents, low literacy, and inconsistent knowledge of HIV and STIs Bucardo et al.
The life history instrument was deed to provide quantitative and qualitative data through the use of open- and closed-ended questions. Similarly, the three female outreach specialists in Ciudad Juarez were employed as part-time health outreach workers at a local promotora that was implementing a street-based drug and sex education program.
This is the case even in areas where prostitution is legal. The majority of these prostitutes worked in bars or clubs, whereas a small worked on the streets as streetwalkers. Next to it was a small snack shop that sold tacos, hamburgers, potato chips, and soft drinks.
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Therefore, the sex work industry becomes a livelihood option for many women in Mexico because it provides them with the opportunity to be financially independent. When they are unable to do so, women find themselves with few options for employment and financial support with limited job opportunities, low levels of education, and untenable working conditions in the skilled labor sector Bucardo et al.
Another unique feature of La Z ona de Tolerancia is that the sex workers lived in small rooms above the bars and clubs inside the zona. All outreach specialists attended a 2-day training that focused on the project objectives and research methods, as well as on safety and ethical issues in the field. Moreover, Nuevo Laredo and Ciudad Juarez have experienced a large of killings related to turf wars between Mexican drug gangs.
Gender, globalization, and sex work in mexico
In Nuevo Laredo, the outreach specialists included two women employed at a local drug treatment center who were familiar with free area and already experienced in community outreach. The second area in Nuevo Laredo, the z ona de toleranciahas long been known to U. On entering this area, there was a small police detention center that included a holding cell.
Indeed, international migration from Mexico to the United States has been shown to refashion gender ideologies and gender strategies among both women and men Hondagneu-Sotelo, ; Smith, ; Vasquez, Through their roles as mothers and wives in Mexico, women are expected to center their lives sxe taking care of their family and to not be Laredo in paid labor Livingston, The symbolism associated with the female role requires that women become self-sacrificing martyrs who accept violence and abuse from men because of their inferiority to them.
Inthere were 4, and 1, drug-related killings in the states of Chihuahua Ciudad Juarez and Tamaulipas Nuevo Laredorespectively British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, In addition, in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, the serial murder of young women is taking place and is a major concern in the community.
However, gender roles in Mexico are fluid and changing especially as a consequence of increasing globalization.
Despite the extensive investigations by local, state, and national authorities, the murders continue causing widespread fear and outrage in this border community. Most occupationally related violence that FSWs experience occurs at the hands of their clients Church et al. The majority of the places within this area were female prostitution venues.
However, the majority of these women self-identified as prostitutes.
In this manner, women were able to maintain their involvement in prostitution while also fulfilling their socially accepted roles as mothers and wives. Learn More. That is, they had to manage their lives as prostitutes without letting their families know of the profession, or justify it to them in some way if it was revealed. The hegemonic masculinity is characterized as male power, aggression, and honor as machismo.
Yet another qualitative research study focused on self-perceptions of sex workers within the context of the larger community. These cities are major points of population growth, human transboundary movement, and commerce. Although limited, research has documented the experience of women who are engaged in prostitution in Mexico.
For example, Jody Miller found that sex workers in outdoor venues such as the street had more ificant experiences of violence, coercion, and harassment than indoor sex workers in Sri Lanka. Recruitment of women was carried out by outreach specialists who were native Spanish-speaking women indigenous to the respective communities.
Similarly, another qualitative study conducted in Tijuana found that positive aspects of sex work identified by women working in the industry are flexible work hours and good income Bucardo et al.
In the first step for recruitment and sampling, the outreach specialists systematically mapped the study areas by identifying potential recruitment locations or venues including bars, clubs, hotels, and salones dance bars. These include women being protected from police harassment, medical checkups, and meeting clients in a situation minimizing risks of violence. Female sex workers FSW represent a population confronted with an array of intersecting social problems, including violent victimization, infection with HIV and sexually transmitted infections STIspsychological distress, substance use, incarceration, and poverty.
Despite this stigma, some research points to some perceived benefits of sex work including a higher income for fewer hours worked as well as the flexibility to help manage a family. Nonetheless, there were some bars that had women who considered themselves ficheras or taxi dancers.
A random sample of 44 venues in Ciudad Juarez and 30 in Nuevo Laredo were selected for the recruitment of the sample of sex workers see Cepeda, In Nuevo Laredo, prostitution occurred in two geographic areas: a zona de tol a rencia and a more clandestine area. Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think.
We also describe how the social structural constraints of the gender system in Mexico influence violence.