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Investigación y Educación en Enfermería

Print version ISSN 0120-5307On-line version ISSN 2216-0280


SANTOS COUTO, Pablo Luiz et al. Social representations of female sex workers about their sexuality. Invest. educ. enferm [online]. 2020, vol.38, n.1, e03. ISSN 0120-5307.


To know the social representations of female sex workers about their sexuality.


Qualitative study based on the Theory of Social Representations. Thirty-nine women from a health region of Alto Sertão Produtivo Baiano - Brazil agreed to participate. For the production of empirical data, the techniques of Free Word Association and in-depth interviews were used. The answers were analyzed based on Constellation Target Content Analysis and Semantic Content Analysis.


Two thematic categories emerged: “negative representation of sexuality”; “my pleasure is the money”. Therefore, the theme sexuality and meanings derived from the social representations elaborated by the sex workers about sexuality, based on their experiences and daily life, showed that the work involved a negative representation of sexuality when associated with sexual satisfaction with the client, in addition to the allusion to sex as a source of income.


The social representations about sexuality constructed by sex workers are linked to the feeling of denial of pleasure and obtaining money for subsistence. Reflecting on sexuality points out ways to rethink the care to be provided for a stigmatized and vulnerable group.

Keywords : female; sex workers; pleasure; sexuality; sexual behavior; qualitative research..

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