Thursday, February 25, 2010

How Russian Prostitution Is Linked To Russian Mail Order Brides

Researcher Donna Hughes discusses the rise of "marriage agencies" in response to a growing supply and demand for "Russian brides". The introduction of Russian women into the market (of pre-arranged marriages) saw demand grow even greater. In 1998, there were over 200 agencies operating in the United States which had helped spur 747 U.S. fiancee visas issued to Russian women and 282 visas issued to women from Ukraine in 1997.

The results from such arranged marriages vary... However, many women are willing to take the chance, whether through marriage agencies or through independent migration to Western sex industries. As scholars Sue Bridger and Rebecca Kay argue, when conventional employment prospects are so poor, ordinary jobs are by no means risk-free and the spectre of years of poverty haunts millions, they may well feel they have very little to lose." Scholar Laura Agustin’s research with various sex workers in Europe vividly demonstrates the dilemma. In one interview, a Ukrainian woman who had migrated to Spain reflected on her decision to migrate:

    Life is very hard there, because there is no work. Today I sent money to my mother… to pay for her house. You work, work, work and then they don’t pay you, because there’s no money. For example, I worked in an ashtray factory, and when there was no money to pay me they said "take ashtrays", 100 ashtrays. So? Can you eat ashtrays?


From the October 2006 research by Katherine P. Avgerinos "From Vixen to Victim: The Sensationalization and Normalization of Prostitution in Post-Soviet Russia".

Katherine P. Avgerinos graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Slavic Studies and History from Connecticut College, where she served as both the Chair of the Slavic Studies Student Advisory Board and the President of the Russian Club.

1 comment:

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