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History professor publishes book on the history of sex trafficking in Southeast Asia

November 14, 2016

traffiking-author-portraitHistory Professor Trude Jacobsen has a new book out that sheds light on sex trafficking, family, debt and labor in Southeast Asia

Jacobsen will deliver a talk on the book, Sex Trafficking in Southeast Asia: A History of Desire, Duty, and Debt (Routledge), at a reception held from 2:30-4:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 18, in the Thurgood Marshall Gallery of Swen Parson Hall.

Jacobsen outlines the different types of social contracts which existed in the past that had sexual labor or activity as an inherent component: marriage, temporary marriage, debt bondage and slavery, which were recognized in local law, carried no stigma and endured for long periods. She discusses how labor pledged in return for a loan of cash often included sexual labor, and how even wives of different ranks, and children, were pledged as sureties for loans. The book, which covers the modern states of Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, argues that cultural norms are not static and that sexual contracts are more complicated than simply “marriage” or “prostitution.”

More information on the book can be found at Routledge Publishing.