(February 27, 2017)


Our study on occupational choice decision among sex workers made national news, including the Globe & Mail, CBC and the National Post.

 “Some sex workers choose industry due to benefits of occupation” – Globe & Mail (link) (PDF)

 “UVic study seeks to shed light on sex work as an occupation choice” - CBC (link) (PDF)

“Some sex workers enter the industry because it’s more lucrative than low-paying service jobs, B.C. study finds” – National Post (link) (PDF)

Several other papers picked up the story too, including The Indo-Canadian Voice, Victoria Times Colonist, Radio Canada and the Canadian Occupational Safety Magazine.

“Is sex work an occupational choice” – Indo-Canadian Voice (link) (PDF)

 “Study finds sex work can be an occupational choice for some in industry” – Times Colonist (link) (PDF)

 “Sex workers facing increased safety risks” – Canadian Occupational Safety (link) (PDF)

 “Le travail du sexe est souvent un choix, selon une recherche de l’Université de Victoria” - Radio Canada (link) (PDF)

 Cecilia was also interviewed by Radio Canada, CBC’s All Points West, CBC’s Daybreak North, CFAX Radio and Calgary's News Talk 770.

(April 15, 2016)

Our research on sex buyers is featured in the article "Decriminalizing Prostitution: Sould buying and selling sex be legal?" by Sarah Glazer in CQ Researcher (link) (PDF)


(February 29, 2016)

Great news! Our application to the CIHR Operating Grant competition was successful!

Researchers on the new grant are:

A huge thanks to all our community partners, including:

Knowledge Users from:

Collaborators from:

Supporters from:

We will be conducting a new round of interviews in Victoria, Calgary, Kitchner-Waterloo-Cambridge, Montreal and St John's starting fall 2017.

(November 4, 2015)

Our research on sex buyers is featured in the article "Thirty Years of Failure" in Policy Options (By Robert Matas) (PDF)

(October 15, 2015) 

Our team applied to the CIHR Operating Grant : Population Health Intervention Research (Fall 2015 Competition).

 "The purpose of this funding opportunity (FO) is to support research on timely interventions (e.g. programs, policies, social enterprises and resource distribution approaches) that have been initiated by others (e.g., policy makers, practitioners, communities) and have the potential to impact health and health equity at the population level. Population health intervention research involves the use of scientific methods to produce knowledge that attempts to capture the value, cost and differential effects of these interventions, the processes by which they bring about change and the contexts within which they work best.  Researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers are encouraged to work together to build the evidence base to support policy and program development and decision-making in health and other sectors." (CIHR website)

We described the overall objective of our project in our grant application this way:

"This project will be the first to gather rigorous, empirical evidence about the impact of PCEPA’s prostitution laws on the health and safety of sex workers. As an implementation evaluation study, our research will involve the systematic assessment of the effect of the legal intervention on health equity outcomes, while accounting and controlling for various mediating influences that also may be impacting health and safety outcomes of the targeted population. Our overall objective is to determine the impact of Canada’s new prostitution laws, as detailed in PCEPA, on sex workers’ health, safety and access to health, social and protective services.Our approach to this topic is grounded in intervention theory; we will apply an adapted version of Burris et al.’s (2010) public health law research model to our research questions (see Appendix A). The anticipated outcomes of this project will be to develop timely, evidence- and community-based recommendations to inform health and safety intervention protocols designed to address the health and safety needs of sex workers in Canada."

(August 18, 2015)

Cecilia, Mikael and Fran presented papers at the Second International Conference on Public Policy in Milan, Italy, 1-3 July 2015. See: Sex Industry Workers & Confidence in the Police in CanadaAnalyzing and evaluating recent prostitution legal change in Canada: The value of robust measures and a rigorous methodology. and Social and legal environments related to Canadian prostitution law: Exploring how place matters.

(May 7, 2015)

Chris and Cecilia interviewed for this article in the National Post: Barely illegal: New prostitution  laws may drive sex work underground — but can it stop it? (PDF)

(April 7, 2015)

Cecilia interviewed for article: Monitoring Week: Surveilling the Sex Trade (PDF)

(January 12, 2015)

Reports (French) and English) from our September 21-22, 2014 symposium and workshop are now available.

(December 10, 2014)

Team grant results on sex workers' unmet health care needs in article in the Georgia Straight, "Canada's new sex-work laws ramp up risk for workers." (PDF)

(December 3, 2014)

Cecilia interviewed for Times Colonist article,  Stigma, fear keeps sex workers from doctors... (PDF)

Cecilia interview by on CBC On the Island, "Addressing sex workers' health needs". (audio file)

(November 9, 2014)

Rachel had a commentary in the Times Colonist, New prostitution law a missed opportunity. (PDF)

(November 7, 2014)

Cecilia spoke to Terry Moore about Bill C-36 becoming law.


(September 30, 2014)

Below are some media reports following the release of our working paper and international symposium and workshop:  


National Post - "Most sex workers satisfied with their jobs and don’t see themselves as victims, survey finds" (PDF)


Maclean’s -


Calgary Herald (reprint of NP Stephen Maher article above):


Ottawa Citizen (reprint of NP Stephen Maher article above): (reprint of NP Stephen Maher article above):


Editorial: Still plenty of value in debate over prostitution laws


Cecilia and Chris spoke to Debbie Wilson: CBC Radio Jo Ann Roberts Our All Points West (afternoon) program (Sept 22)

short link:


Cecilia interviewed by Liz Liz McArthur, News Director, CFUV 101.9 FM on September 30, 2014: link


Cecilia was interviewed for the Simi Sara Show Friday, September 26th - Fri Sep 26 - First National Study Sheds Light On Canada’s Sex Work Industry


Mikael Jansson was interviewed Sept 25 by Rob Breakenridge Talk 770, with Corus Radio in Calgary. (link)


Cecilia interviewed by SHELLEY JOYCE CBC interview radio Kamloops (sept 23)


Cecilia interviewed by Ardie Pasad (sp?) 100.3 The Q! phone interview (sept 22nd)


Cecilia spoke to Roszan Holmen and was interviewed by Terry -- C-FAX 1070 Terry Moore Show (Sept 22)


Cecilia spoke to Lisa Cordasco, Reporter, CBC Radio News (Sept 20)


Chris interviewed with Dave Taylor of NewsTalk 770 - September 24, 2014.


Chris interviewed: International Business Times.


(September 18, 2014)

We are pleased to present a copy of our Team Grant working paper, we look forward to receiving feedback from those who have been following our research. Our national report will be presented and critically assesed by a panel of international experts in Ottawa on September 22, 2014 at our symposium entitled, Building on the Evidence: An International Symposium on the Sex Industry in Canada

(July 16, 2014)

Chris Atchison and Natasha Potvin were mentioned in this CBC News report: "Prostitution bill critics treated as hostile witnesses at committee".

(July 15, 2014)

Fran Shaver has an op-ed in the Globe & Mail: "Prostitution laws: 30 years of Conservative failure".

(July 14, 2014)

Fran Shaver submitted a brief (English/French): "Bill C-36: Entrenched in Personal Moral Values and Inaccurate Stereotypes", to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

(July 11, 2014)

Fran Shaver argues in The Montreal Gazette that we already have the legal tools to make sex work safer.

(July 11, 2014)

Chris Atchison presented a brief to the Justice and Human Rights Committee examining Bill C-36.

(July 11, 2014)

This report summarizes the discussions at the fourth Team Meeting of the CIHR Team Grant on Gender, Violence and Health, Contexts of Vulnerabilities, Resiliencies and Care among People in the Sex Industry that took place on May 3-4 at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec: Team Grant IV meeting report.

(July 10, 2014)

Chris Atchison on CBC Ottawa Morning: "giving voice to the people who buy sex"

(July 7, 2014)

Chris Atchison says the government needs to take into account the research on the prostitution industry: CTV news

(June 30, 2014)

Rachel Phillips is welcomed as the new Executive Director of PEERS Resource Society in Victoria, BC in the Times Colonist on June 27.

(June 29, 2014)

Cecilia Benoit and Rachel Phillips took part in a media conference in Victoria on June 27 that was organized by faith groups opposed to Bill C-36. Here are two articles on their position, one in Victoria News and another in the Times Colonist in which Cecilia is quoted. 

(June 25, 2014)

Rachel Phillips wrote an op-ed about Bill C-36 in the Times Colonist on June 25, stating "C-36 dismisses the concerns of people in the sex industry, ignores three decades of Canadian research and, in a surprisingly arrogant manner, dismisses the spirit of the 2013 Supreme Court of Canada ruling."

Cecilia Benoit was interviewed about Bill C-36 on the Rob Breakenridge Show  (time signature 1:30) on June 24. 

(June 24, 2014)

University of Victoria Media Release:



Sex industry legislation perpetuates stereotypes: study

University of Victoria researchers have highlighted preliminary findings from the largest and most comprehensive study of the sex industry undertaken in Canada in a brief (English version/ French version) to the Justice and Human Rights Committee, which is poised to begin examination of Bill C-36—the proposed legislation governing the sex industry—in Ottawa on July 7.

Faculty members Cecilia Benoit and Chris Atchison are available for comment about the findings of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research-funded study as they relate to specific provisions of the bill. The study is based on coast-to-coast surveys in English and French of buyers and sellers of sex as well as industry managers, spouses and partners, and others involved with the creation, enforcement and regulation of applicable laws. The team expects to release the full report in early September.

One of the key findings states that the “commodification” provision of the proposed legislation—286.1(1)—is based on a false assumption that sellers of sex are weak, without control, and are always victims. Their research shows that over 80 per cent of sellers of sex agree or strongly agree that they feel empowered to set the terms and conditions of the service. Further, it shows that for buyers and sellers, advertising—internet advertising in particular—acts as a safety mechanism. Benoit and Atchison contend that proposed legislation will also make it impossible for either sellers or buyers seek police assistance if they've been victimized.

Benoit is a professor in the Department of Sociology and a scientist at UVic’s Centre for Addictions Research of BC. In the past 20 years, Benoit has interviewed over 500 female, male and transgender sellers of sexual services. Her research was referenced in the Bedford case.

Atchison is a research associate in UVic’s Department of Sociology. In the past 18 years, Atchison has interviewed close to 3,000 sex trade clients and has extensively researched the physical and virtual communities where sellers and buyers interact.

For more info:

(June 23, 2014)

Our research team has written a brief, "Bill C-36 and the Views of People Involved in the Canadian Sex Industry" in response to Bill C- 36: "The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act". The brief, which was recently submitted to the Justice and Human Rights Committee of the House of Commons, highlights some emerging findings from our national research program which suggest that the main provisions of Bill C-36 will result in a variety of harms affecting people involved in the Canadian sex industry. This brief is also available in French

(June 17, 2014)

Chris Atchison and Rachel Phillips are quoted in a June 5 Times Colonist article about the new prostitution legislation proposed by the federal government. Chris was also heard on CBC Radio Kitchener-Waterloo speaking about the proposed prostitution bill, and was quoted in MetroNews on June 6. Chris was also interviewed for a June 17  CBC News report on the newly proposed Bill C-36, noting that the new law does not demonstrate an understanding of the number of Canadian purchasers or their motivations to purchase. This article was also carried by the Huffington Post

(May 14, 2014)

Chris Atchison is quoted in a May 13 Georgia Straight article exploring speculations that the federal government may try the Nordic approach when it amends the criminal code to comply with a Supreme Court ruling that struck down prostitution laws. 

(March 26, 2014)

Cecilia Benoit published an online op-ed about decriminalizing prostitution in the Vancouver Sun on March 14, writing that "it is time for Canada to take the crime out of sex work" and to empower and protect all workers with effective social policies. She also spoke to CBC Radio on March 18 about the Ministry of Justice's public consultation on sex trade legislation in the context of her research with sex workers. 

(March 21, 2014)

Chris Atchison was interviewed on February 27 on CFAX 1070 (time signature 06:00) about the Supreme Court of Canada's decision to strike down Canada's prostitution laws. He also published an op-ed on March 6 in the Winnipeg Free Press, saying that to fail to acknowledge the complexities of the industry runs the risk of amplifying the harm the government says it is concerned about. Chris was also interviewed about his research study by the UK Telegraph

(February 10, 2014)

Cecilia Benoit was interviewed for the February 9 Calgary Herald about Calgary city councillors considering a motion that would make it more difficult for sex workers to work in the city.  

(January 8, 2014)

Cecilia Benoit provided comment on the Supreme Court decision to strike down Canada’s prostitution laws for an article published in the December 20 Times Colonist. She was interviewed on CKNW  (use drop-down menu: Dec 21, 2 pm) on December 21  and again on December 23 on CBC Radio's On the Island. In both cases, she spoke about the court rulings on the three prostitution-related prohibitions now ruled as violations of constitutional guarantee to life, liberty and security. 

(October 8, 2013)

On June 6-7, 2013, the team assembled at the the Bedford Regency Hotel in downtown Victoria, BC, to share updates and to explore the successes and ongoing challenges of the research to date. This involved reviewing the emerging findings about the people involved in the Canadian sex industry (sellers, their partners, buyers and managers), the legal structures that regulate sex work in Canada, and the apparent consequences for the people involved in this industry. This included a discussion of the sites we have visited and how we have gone about collecting the data. Full Report

(July 9, 2013)

Listen to Cecilia Benoit's interview on CTV where she participates in a discussion called "The Real Face of Alberta's Sex Trade: A Debate on the Direction of Canada's Sex Trade Laws". The interview can be accessed by going to

(June 20, 2013)

Cecilia Benoit and Mikael Jansson have now finished interviewing in Calgary and are looking forward to returning home to Victoria in the next few days. If you would like to contact them, you can write to them at (Cecilia) and (Mikael). They are also reachable by phone: Cecilia at 250-853-3132 and Mikael 250-853-3134.

They are both very excited about documenting the opinions, experiences and suggestions that all the participants have shared with them ever since they started meeting with sex workers and their partners last year. They are humbled by the generosity and patience of the people that they have met and answered their many questions and discussed the many topics that Cecilia and Mikael asked them about - sometimes for hours on end.

(June 18, 2013)

Cecilia Benoit was interviewed last week by Jason Van Rassell who works for the Calgary Herald. The article appears in the paper today. You can read it here

(June 13, 2013)

Most people in Canada who are interested in sex work are aware of the challenge raised by Terri-Jean Bedford, Amy Lebovitch and Valerie Scott. They successfully argued in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice that three sections of the criminal code dealing with sex work were unconstitutional because these sections increased the danger of sex work. This ruling was appealed all the way up to the Supreme Court of Canada who heard the case today. It is a long recording but it is fascinating to listen to the argument made by the lawyers and the questions raised by the judges. It is possible to listen to the hearing on a link from this page.

1. Search for hearings in the "2013" year and the "spring" session.

2. Scroll down to "June 2013".

3. Click on "Archived" for the hearing on June 13.

This should open the recorded version of the hearing.

(June 12, 2013)

Cecilia Benoit was interviewed by CBC Victoria about some of the presentations at the conference on sex work in Victoria last week. You can listen to the interview here.

(June 10, 2013)

Cecilia and Mikael are now back in Calgary after a brief visit to Victoria last week. The annual conference for Sociologists in Canada happened there last week. Cecilia and Mikael and several other members of the research team discussed some of their analyses based on the information that participants have shared this last year. We hope to post their presentations on this website in a week or two for those who are interested. This is a link to the agenda and summary of papers presented at the conference.

Cecilia and Mikael are looking forward to hearing from you if you have any questions about the study or if you would be willing to sit down with one of them to share your experiences. Their numbers are: Cecilia 403-471-2126 and Mikael 403-471-4242. 

(May 11, 2013)

Rachel and Sinead would like to extend a very grateful "thank you" to all of the people in St John's who participated in our interview. Our time in the city was brief but the knowledge and perspective we gained through the interviews will take us a long way in better understanding management in adult industry businesses. St. John's is such a beautiful place and we tried to get in as many walks around the vibrant neighbourhoods as we could. These pictures are from our time in the city, including a picture of us at Middle Cove.

Rachel and Caitlin are in Kitchener-Waterloo interviewing for the management project this week. They can be reached at 226-791-0287.

(May 6, 2013)

Cecilia and Mikael are going to Calgary today and they have just received notice of their local Calgary phone numbers: Cecilia 403-471-2126 and Mikael 403-471-4242.

They look forward to hearing from those who are interested in participating in the study and will answer any questions that you might have about the study. Mary Clare already sent out many messages over the last two weeks to those who advertise their services in Calgary. A few sex workers have already responded and arranged for interviews this coming week.

(April 13, 2013)KWC map of posters

Cecilia and Mikael have been busy putting up posters in Waterloo and Kitchener. Their posters have been welcomed almost everywhere. You can now see them in local coffee shops, bars and restaurants, tattoo places, smoke shops, and of course in all of the better sex toy shops. They are now working their way south towards Cambridge with their posters. Be sure to let them know if you have seen their posters or if you can suggest other places where they should put them up. You can reach Cecilia at 226-808-3444 and Mikael at 226-220-9192.

(April 12, 2013)

We are pleased to report that data collection for Project 2 has wrapped up in Victoria! Thank you to all our participants here for their valuable insights. We are also pleased to report that we have NOT been experiencing the freezing rain or electricity problems Mikael and Cecilia have had to navigate in Kitchener and Waterloo! Not to rub it in, but check out this photo of what Victoria's Dallas Road looked like yesterday.

Rachel and Sinead have just arrived in St. John's to begin interviewing sex work managers for Project 5. Good luck!

(April 11, 2013)Freezing Rain

The coffee shops in the neighbourhood where Cecilia and Mikael are staying were busy this morning. The freezing rain in the Tri-Cities was a new challenge for the researchers. They were among the many people who woke up to discover that they were without electricity and, what may be worse for some of us, without access to the internet. Cecilia and Mikael and the other people lucky enough to get refuge in the café were anxious to charge up their computers and use the internet.

Fortunately, the interviews they had scheduled for today happened to be planned for places that were open. Nevertheless, travelling to and from the interviews was challenging for participants.

We are a little curious as to whether the many outages and closures today might affect the business for sex workers in the area. It might be that potential clients feel isolated at home and choose to make appointments. On the other hand, we expect that clients and workers had difficulty keeping their appointments.

(April 1, 2013)tri city poster

Cecilia and Mikael have left St. John's and are now starting to contact sex workers in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge. If you care about health, safety and sex work, they would like to hear from you. The new posters with the local phone numbers are just back from the printer. You can contact them by email, text or phone: Cecilia(, 226-808-3444) and Mikael (, 226-220-9192). They look forward to hearing from you.

(March 25, 2013)

Rachel is currently in Fort McMurray interviewing for Projects 2 (experiences of people working in the Canadian sex industry) and 5 (managers of adult entertainment businesses). If you are in the Fort McMurray area and would like to participate in a confidential interview, please contact Rachel at 250-516-1042 or

(March 8, 2013)

cape spears bikeThe weather in St. John's was beautiful today and Mikael rode his bike out to Cape Spear when one of his interviews was cancelled. This is about a one-hour bike ride from St. John's and is the most easterly point in Canada. There are often big waves there and if you look carefully in the distance you can see Iceland to the left and Scotland pretty much straight ahead. 

(March 7, 2013)

Mikael and Cecilia are learning that there are very few support services for sex workers in St. John's. On the other hand, there are great organizations that seek to help those in need there. One that we learned about recently is a program called Choices for Youth. They have a shelter for young men and run a number of support programs. Kerri (Ext 24)  and Steven (Ext 61) work there and the phone number is 754-3047. Another great place is Thrive. When we visited, there were ads for male only counselling groups around a number of different issues. Angela Crockwell is a very nice person (709-754-0865).

(March 6, 2013)

About 25 people came to hear Cecilia's presentation in the sociology department lecture series today. Many asked her interesting questions about the information she collected from sex workers in Victoria during the pre-test in the summer of 2012. One person in attendance argued that their personal values and morals did not agree with the data and analysis that Cecilia presented and therefore believed that the information given to Cecilia and her team by the participating sex workers was false. 

What are your thoughts on sex work? Cecilia and Mikael are in St. John's until March 30, and welcome hearing from sex workers who would like to have their voices heard. Please contact them if you would like to learn more about the research project and, in particular, if you would like to participate in an interview. Call Cecilia at 709-351-4415 or Mikael at 709-351-6774. 

(February 25, 2013)

Cecilia was interviewed by a reporter from the St. John's newspaper, The Telegram, and the discussion was covered in an article about sex work in today's edition (read it here in Acrobat format, 2.6Mb). The ad that Cecilia placed in the classified section about her study appeared in the paper for the first time today. It appears in the Escort section. She has already received quite a few calls as a result of the article and the ad.

(February 24, 2013)

Cecilia is giving a talk in the Sociology Speakers Series at Memorial University on March 6, 12:00-13:15, in the Arts and Administration Building, Room A1045. The title of the talk is "Contexts of Health, Safety & Resiliency in the Canadian Sex Industry." Click here for an Acrobat copy of the poster for the talk (200kb).

(February 23, 2013)

Posters in St. John's cafeThere are now posters about the the sex worker study and the imtimate partner study in many places in St. John's. Coffee shops and fancy lingerie stores have been very welcoming. Hopefully we will get some more posters up in more places this coming week. 

(February 22, 2013)

It is still winter and lots of snow in St. John's. Nevertheless Cecilia and Mikael have been busy since their arrival on the 19th with several meetings. They have already scheduled and conducted several interviews for the research projects.  

(February 21, 2003)

This is one of the posters that we made for St. John's. It would be great if you would let us know where you have seen it by sending us a message, texting or phoning. 

(February 19, 2013)

Cecilia and Mikael arrive in St. John's today and now have new phone numbers that are local numbers: Cecilia 709-351-4415 and Mikael 709-351-6774.

They look forward to hearing from you. Please get in touch with them if you would like to schedule an interview or if you have suggestions about where and how they should contact potential research participants. 

(February 13 2013)
Project 4 lead investigator Chris Atchison interview

Guest authors Dalia Vukmirovich and Chris Atchison turn the focus from sellers of sex to buyers of sex and say we know very little about them - so they are out to study them, men and women, and are looking for participants. Please read the full interview here:

If you are interested in topics related to sex work, sex, sexuality, and/or sex and gender roles and stereotypes, check out Chris's website ( or subscribe to his Sex, Safety and Security facebook page which provides daily updates on current research being conducted on these topics around the world.

(February 8 2013)
Update on Project 5

Sinead, Natasha and Rachel had a successful time in Montreal interviewing managers, meeting community members, and spreading the word about the management project. It was a great trip and a wonderful chance to visit a marvelous city. We are very grateful to all of the managers who participated in the project so far - we have learned a lot! Sinead and Rachel have returned to Victoria but Natasha, who speaks English and French, is still available to do interviews in Montreal. Her email is and her phone number is 438-932-4043. If you are interested in the management study in Montreal, please give Natasha a call. Our contact information in Victoria is / 250.853.3232. 

(February 2, 2013)
Going to Edmonton

Highway 63 from Fort McMurray

Cecilia and Mikael completed the data collection in Fort McMurray on February 1, 2013 and today took the bus to Edmonton to spend a few days visiting family and meeting with other researchers at the University of Victoria. The picture shows what Highway 63 looks like when one of the many trucks with big loads come the other way.

We are planning to start data collection in St. John's, Newfoundland on February 18. 

(January 25, 2013)
Private dances at the clubshowgirls in fort mcmurray

The club located on Fort McMurray's main street, just across from Keyano College, has a new service available to escape the chills of Old Man Winter. "Private Dances" are now offered to customers in addition to the usual options—dancing and drinking every day. 

(January 24, 2013)
Poster at MacDonald Island complex. Not posted in the public library. Poster was not "deemed worthy"  by the marketing committee because the poster was "not family friendly."poster at the macdonald island complex

We have experienced great cooperation from the organizations that we have approached about putting up the recruitment poster. Mikael took a picture today of the poster in the aquatics area of the MacDonald Island Park complex which is the largest community recreation, leisure and social centre in Canada. We were a little surprised that we could not see the poster in the public library located in this complex because when Cecilia phoned before we dropped the poster off at the front counter, the person she spoke to expressed strong support for the research project. 

We are not sure what the opposite of "family friendly" is, and Cecilia was unable to obtain further clarification from the responsible person. We now have a small competition among the members of the research team to come up with a term and definition. We are pretty certain that this is another example of discrimination that leads to the stigma felt by sex workers and their families.

(January 23, 2013)
Panic button for sex workers developed at the University of British Columbia

A group of researchers, including Isabel Chen, is developing a panic button specifically for sex workers who do not have a safe place to deliver their services to clients. More here

(January 17, 2013)
Mikael Jansson presents at Keyano College in Fort McMurray

About 70 students attended the talk on research methods that Mikael gave at Keyano college on Thursday night. There were many students there who study nursing and social work. A smaller number of students were in education, engineering and general interest programs. Following the talk, the students had many interesting questions about the talk that used the research project Understanding Sex Work to illustrate sociological research methods. Many of the questions reflected their professional interests but many questions also reflected a desire to understand the differences and similarities between sex work and other work. A copy of the presentation is here (pdf, 400kb).

(January 10, 2013)
Posters in Fort McMurray

We have many posters for Project 2 in Fort McMurray now. We have approached many health and fitness centres and all have been very welcoming to us. We post there because some participants in Victoria and Montreal have seen our posters where they work out.

Cecilia had a very postitive conversation about the research project at one of the health and well-being centres this morning. We have learned a great deal from sex workers in Fort McMurray already and are hoping to reach more workers before we leave at the end of the month.

Please get in touch with us if you can suggest some other places for our posters.

(January 8, 2013)
Cecilia  Benoit will give talk at Keyano Colleage in Fort McMurray on Monday, January 14 at noon

The talk will be held in the Doug Schmidt Theatre (Room 273). The slides are posted here (pdf, 330kb).

(January 3, 2013)
No Men's Sleeveless Shirts

We noticed ths interesting dress code restriction on the door of one of the nightclubs in Fort McMurray. 

(January 2, 2013)
Fort McMurray Today!

Fort McMurray Today ad

The ad for Project 2 is now in the Fort McMurray daily. 

(January 1, 2013)
Update on Project 2: National Study of Health, Safety and Rights of Sex Workers

My research team and I have been conducting interviews with sex workers since November, 2012. Thus far, we have interviewed a large sample of sex workers from different backgrounds who are working in the regions of Victoria and Montreal. Female, male and transgendered sex workers have come forward for interviews and many of the interviews have been conducted in French.

We will continue to conduct interviews in Montreal and Victoria for a few more days in January 2013.

We have also begun to conduct interviews in the Fort McMurray region, which is another one of our research sites. We are looking for sex workers from the area who are 19 years and older. We are offering $60 for participating in an in-person interview that will be approximately 1.5-2 hours long. We plan to be in Fort McMurray until the middle of February 2013.

If you are willing to participate, please contact me on my cell (text/voice) at 780-972-0166 or send me an email to

I look forward to hearing from you.


(January 1, 2013)
Update on Project 3: Survey of People Working in the Canadian Sex Industry and Their Romantic/Intimate Partner

We are now in Fort McMurray and are looking forward to learning from sex workers and their partners.

This project explores key issues related to sex workers' romantic partnerships. Our main goal is to better understand the nature of the intimate relationship and the challenges partners face in supporting sex workers to keep safe and healthy.

Our research team is hoping to discover .....

  • How sex workers and their partners work together to achieve a strong and fulfilling romantic relationship.
  • How the actions of partners promote sex workers' workplace safety and health.
  • The link between partner characteristics (for example, employment status and income) and sex workers' risk behaviours.
  • The impact of laws, regulations, policies and services on the health and safety of sex workers, their partners and families.

Throughout the fall of 2012, we met with a wide spectrum of sex workers and their partners in Victoria and Montreal and have already learned a great deal from them.

I look forward to hearing from you if you would like to participate in our research project with your partner.

Happy New Year!


cell 780-972-9890 or email