||Donald J. West and Buz de Villiers
||Haworth Press, Inc. © 1993
The Haworth Press, Inc.
10 Alice Street
Binghamton, NY 13904
$32.95 (c) $19.95 (p)
This 358-page book is written by Donald West, a physician, and Buz de
Villiers, an attorney who heads the social agency, "Streetwise," in
London. It consists of a descriptive study of 50 male prostitutes
and contains many case histories, a glossary of slang, a copy of the
interview schedule, and a good set of references. Later, a sample of
25 "street workers" were added. In 20 chapters the authors cover the
topic thoroughly and the book closes with a good author and subject index.
The book is limited to male prostitution and there is no discussion of
heterosexual prostitution, female clients, or HIV.
The commercial aspects of the sex industry are well covered and those
interested in male prostitution's relationship to child sexual abuse will
want to read chapter 4. One finding is that 34% of the subjects
reported a history of sexual abuse, although few connected their present
lifestyle to their childhood sexual experiences. The book's main
conclusion is that many of the myths about prostitution fall by the
wayside when research is done and the moral-police roles are dropped.
The authors see child neglect and broad social problems as major causal
agents rather than just childhood sexual abuse.
This is an excellent study of a neglected, overlooked social problem.
Reviewed by LeRoy G. Schultz, Professor Emeritus of Social
Work, West Virginia University,
Morganstown, West Virginia.