Melissa Farley (born 1942) is an American research and clinical psychologist and feminist anti-pornography and anti-prostitution activist. Farley is best known for her studies of the effects of prostitution, trafficking, and sexual violence.
Since 1993, Farley has researched prostitution and trafficking in 9 countries. She is the author of several studies of prostitutes in several parts of the world, which claim high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder among the women studied. In September 2007, Farley published a book on prostitution and sex trafficking in the state of Nevada. In the book, Farley claims that, though Nevada has legal brothels, 90% of prostitution taking place in the state is conducted in Clark County which contains Las Vegas, and Washoe County, containing Reno, in both of which prostitution is illegal, or outside legally designated brothels. She also claims that Las Vegas in particular is a major destination for sex traffickers. She also claims that 81% of the 45 legal brothel workers she interviewed would like to leave prostitution, but in many cases are physically prevented from doing so. Farley additionally states that she had been threatened at gunpoint by one of the brothel owners during the course of the interviews.
Farley has also published several papers on the long-term effects of sexual abuse.
Criticism of her research
Her prostitution studies have been criticized by sociologist Ronald Weitzer, for alleged problems with their methodology and sampling bias toward highly marginalized groups of prostitutes (such as street prostitutes), and for the way the findings of these studies have been more generally applied to demonstrate the harm of sex work of all kinds. Farley's critics also claim that her findings largely reflect her radical feminist ideology.
Activism and views
Farley is a leading proponent of the abolitionist view of prostitution holding that prostitution is inherently exploitive and traumatizing, and should therefore be abolished. She is an opponent of across-the-board decriminalization of prostitution, instead advocating the "Swedish model" of prostitution laws, in which the buying of sex (including soliciting, procuring, and trafficking) is criminalized, while the selling of sex is decriminalized, along with the funding of social services to "motivate prostitutes to seek help to leave their way of life." Such an approach is based on the point of view that prostitutes are the weaker partner in the transaction and are exploited. She is also largely opposed to sex workers' rights activists and groups, such as COYOTE, which advocate legalizing or decriminalizing both prostitution and the purchase of sexual services. Many of these activists are likewise strongly opposed to Farley's perspective, holding that Farley's research discredits and misrepresents women working in the sex industry and lacks accountability toward them.
Farley is also an anti-pornography activist. In 1985, she led a National Rampage Against Penthouse alongside Nikki Craft. The "Rampage" was a civil disobedience campaign of public destruction of bookstore-owned copies of Penthouse and Hustler (which they denounced as violent pornography). Farley was arrested 13 different times in 9 different states for these actions. In March 2007, she testified in hearings about Kink.com's purchase of the San Francisco Armory, comparing the images produced by Kink.com to images of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib.
As of 2008, she is currently director of Prostitution Research and Education, a San Francisco nonprofit organization.
- Farley M. (2007). Prostitution and trafficking in Nevada: making the connections. San Francisco: Prostitution Research and Education. ISBN 0615162053
- Farley M (ed). (2004). Prostitution, trafficking and traumatic stress. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Maltreatment & Trauma Press. ISBN 0789023784 (hardcover) ISBN 0789023792 (paperback)
- Farley M. (2004). "Bad for the body, bad for the heart": Prostitution harms women even if legalized or decriminalized. Violence Against Women 10(10): 1087-1125.
- Farley M, Cotton A, Lynne J, Zumbeck S, Spiwak F, Reyes ME, Alvarez D, Sezgin U. (2003). Prostitution and trafficking in nine countries: Update on violence and posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Trauma Practice 2(3/4):33-74.
- Farley M, Patsalides BM. (2001). Physical symptoms, posttraumatic stress disorder, and healthcare utilization of women with and without childhood physical and sexual abuse. Psychological Reports 89(3):595-606.
- Farley M, Barkan H. (1998). Prostitution, violence, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Women & Health 27(3):37-49.
- Farley M, Baral I, Kiremire M, Sezgin U. (1998). Prostitution in five countries: Violence and posttraumatic stress disorder. Feminism & Psychology 8(4):405-426.
- Farley M, Keaney JC. (1997). Physical symptoms, somatization, and dissociation in women survivors of childhood sexual assault. Women & Health 25(3):33-45.
By Melissa Farley
- Prostitution Research and Education:
- Melissa Farley CV, 2004. - Includes list of publications as of 2004.
- The Myth of the Victimless Crime, New York Times Op-Ed by Melissa Farley and Victor Malarek, March 2008
- "Letter to the Editor" by Melissa Farley , Changing Men, September 29 and November 6, 1992.
- "Ten Lies About Sadomasochism" by Melissa Farley, Sinister Wisdom #50, Summer/Fall 1993, p. 29-37. (Archived at MediaWatch.com.)
- "Prostitution: The oldest use and abuse of women" by Melissa Farley, off our backs, May 1994. (Archived at FindArticles.com.)
- "Why I Made the Choice To Become A Prostitute" by Nikki Craft and Melissa Farley, Always Causing Legal Unrest (website), 1996.
- "Prostitution of Indigenous Women: Sex Inequality and the Colonization of Canada's First Nations Women" by Melissa Farley and Jacqueline Lynne, Fourth World Journal 6(1):1-29, 2005.
- href=\"http://sisyphe.org/breve.php3?id_breve=440\">sisyphe.org/breve... "Prostitution and sex trafficking as severe forms of violence against women" by Melissa Farely, Sisyphe (website), September 9, 2005. (Archived at Wayback Machine, May 4, 2006.)
- "The Demand for Prostitution" by Melissa Farley, Captive Daughters (website).
Criticism of Melissa Farley
- "A Feminist View That All Sexworkers are Abused and Sick", Sexwork.org, 2002.
- "The pimps are coming!: Opponents of Berkeley's prostitution measure use alarmist rhetoric" by Ann Harrison, San Francisco Bay Guardian, October 27, 2004.
- "Nevada Views: Vegas and the sex industry" by Kate Hausbeck, Barbara Brents, and Crystal Jackson, Las Vegas Review-Journal, September 16, 2007.
- "Bewildered, academics pore over sex-trade hysteria" by Abigail Goldman, Las Vegas Sun, January 31, 2008.
Debates between Melissa Farley and others
Panel and symposium discussions
News articles, reports, and editorials
- "Many Prostitutes Suffer Combat Disorder, Study Finds" by Abigail Zuger, New York Times, August 18, 1998.
- "Former Prostitutes Wage War Against Prostitution" by Edward Lawrence, KLAS-TV Eyewitness News, September 5, 2007.
- "City as Predator" by Bob Herbert, New York Times, September 4, 2007.
- "Escape From Las Vegas" by Bob Herbert, New York Times, September 8, 2007.
- "Fantasies, Well-Meant" by Bob Herbert, New York Times, September 11, 2007.
- "'It's like you sign a contract to be raped'" by Julie Bindel, The Guardian, September 7, 2007.
Index: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
This article is based on "Melissa Farley" from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org). It is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licencse. In the Wikipedia you can find a list of the authors by visiting the following address: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Melissa+Farley&action=history