Researching Prostitution and Sex Trafficking Comparatively

Abstract
This article examines different types of comparative research designs as applied to either prostitution or sex trafficking. I first present several comparative approaches that are found to be deeply flawed either because of the problematic assumptions of the analysts or because the data provided are insufficient to support the conclusions drawn. I then review research designs that compare two to four cases in depth and have the potential to yield stronger evidence-based findings and richer theoretical insights. The article concludes by discussing a set of methodological issues that face researchers who conduct comparative research on sex work.

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