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Article

“Sexual Exploitation” as a Logic, and Its Effects of Power in Contemporary Brazil

1
School of Public Health, University of São Paulo, São Paulo 01246-904, Brazil
2
School of Nursing, University of São Paulo, São Paulo 05403-000, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Cecilia M. Benoit
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(2), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10020041
Received: 4 December 2020 / Revised: 14 January 2021 / Accepted: 18 January 2021 / Published: 27 January 2021
The present article analyzes the category of “sexual exploitation” based upon the practices that are generally pointed to as part of this category, paying particular attention to its implications and effects on the lives of adolescents and upon state, social movement, and academic abilities to understand the social relationships framed by this category. Our analysis is based on ethnographic fieldwork carried out between 2010 and 2015 among state agents and youth in the sex markets of two Brazilian cities in the Amazon border region. Our empirical data are connected to national and international literature, institutional documents, and our participation in educational activities regarding “sexual exploitation”. Our work indicates that “sexual exploitation” has been institutionally constructed as a poorly defined device that mobilizes conservative moralities regarding youth, sexuality, money, mobility, and gender experimentation. We also find that the youth involved in sex markets do not recognize the legitimacy of the policies carried out in the name of “combatting anti-sexual exploitation”. We conclude that the performative production of “sexual exploitation” as a logic of governmentality feeds back into an institutional grammar of distancing, perplexity, immobility, and excuses. This grammar does not contemplate—let alone care about—the gender experiences, sexualities, economic lives and affective troubles of the youth it targets for surveillance and tutelage. View Full-Text
Keywords: governmentality; sex work; adolescents; anthropology; state; excuses; Amazon governmentality; sex work; adolescents; anthropology; state; excuses; Amazon
MDPI and ACS Style

Olivar, J.M.N.; Farias, N. “Sexual Exploitation” as a Logic, and Its Effects of Power in Contemporary Brazil. Soc. Sci. 2021, 10, 41. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10020041

AMA Style

Olivar JMN, Farias N. “Sexual Exploitation” as a Logic, and Its Effects of Power in Contemporary Brazil. Social Sciences. 2021; 10(2):41. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10020041

Chicago/Turabian Style

Olivar, José M.N., and Natália Farias. 2021. "“Sexual Exploitation” as a Logic, and Its Effects of Power in Contemporary Brazil" Social Sciences 10, no. 2: 41. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10020041

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