Womens Support Project

Challenging Menís Demand for Prostitution in Scotland 2008

A Research Report Based on Interviews with 110 Men Who Bought Women in Prostitution

The authors of this research report realise that although it is essential to address the urgent mental and physical needs of women and children during prostitution and after their escape, it is also imperative to address men’s demand for prostitution which is at the root of the problem.  Acceptance of prostitution is one of a cluster of harmful attitudes that encourage and justify  violence against women. Violent behaviours against women have been associated with attitudes that promote men’s belief that they are entitled to sexual access to women, that they are superior to women, and that they are licensed as sexual aggressors. Men who use women in prostitution strongly endorse such attitudes toward women (Cotton et al., 2002, Farley et al., 1998). There has been considerable debate in Scotland on how best to address prostitution and other commercial sexual exploitation, including what is euphemistically termed adult entertainment.  The Routes Out of Prostitution Partnership and other projects that have challenged prostitution in Glasgow in the past decade have been informed by an understanding of prostitution as commercial sexual exploitation and as a form of violence against women. Prevention of prostitution is a key aim of this work. The findings of this research will contribute to an understanding of and strategies for challenging men’s demand for prostitution.

The Women’s Support Project (WSP) is a Scottish non-governmental organisation working against male violence. The work of WSP is informed by a feminist analysis of male violence and an understanding of the links and overlaps between different forms of violence, discrimination and oppression. 

Download report (pdf 332.03KB)


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