Prostitutes, Porn Stars Need Mental Health Care – And It’s Your Fault

“Intense stigma” drives hookers, strippers to the psychiatrist 

| Headline Health – An advocate for prostitutes and porn stars says that these “sex workers” are in need of specialized mental health care because they have been stigmatized by society.

Sex workers are victims of being “marginalized” by traditional values, says Victoria Hartmann, a clinical sexologist and the director of the Erotic Heritage Museum in Las Vegas.

They need “access” to health care to help them cope with the “intense stigma” around their occupations, asserts Hartmann, who also runs an online sex toy business.

“Access” is an oft-used code word for “free.” More from the Huffington Post …

Sex Workers Deserve Mental Health Care, Too

This sex researcher is fighting for their rights.

(Catharine Smith, Huffington Post) Sex work is a difficult job. Many in the field have few (if any) workplace rights, and there’s a high risk of abuse and violence.

Anywhere from 45 to 75 percent of sex workers around the world experience workplace violence in their lifetime, according to a 2014 review.

Plus, intense stigma around the profession can both negatively affect mental health and dissuade people from seeking treatment.

Yet sex workers ― a term that describes a plethora of jobs related to sex and eroticism, from adult film stars and strippers to people who work at brothels or on the street ― rarely feature in discussions about mental health.

There are few studies on the topic, and the research that does exist is limited in scope, often omitting male and transgender sex workers, for example. In fact, trans people and people of color make up an outsize segment of the sex worker community, yet they’re often left out of the conversation entirely.

Sex workers are regular people, says Dr. Victoria Hartmann, and they deserve access to mental health care just like anyone else. Hartmann, 48, a clinical sexologist, certified mental health counselor and executive director of the Erotic Heritage Museum in Las Vegas, has spent over 10 years working with sex workers.

An advocate for the rights of sex workers ― a community that includes her own husband ― Hartmann fears that recent legislation will intensify the stigma they face.

In April, President Donald Trump signed the FOSTA-SESTA bill package aimed at curbing online sex trafficking.

Critics of the legislation say it conflates voluntary sex workers with victims of trafficking ― and puts at risk the privacy and physical safety of sex workers, many of whom use online forums to advertise their services and screen clients. See the full story at Huffington Post

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