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Review 1 of “'I’m doing everything right all over again': How Women Manage the Prostitution Exiting Process over Time"

...Qualitative...Criminology

Published onApr 13, 2021
Review 1 of “'I’m doing everything right all over again': How Women Manage the Prostitution Exiting Process over Time"

Vote: Publish pending minor changes


[For votes to count, referees must reasonably explain why they voted as they did. Thus, please explain your vote. If you voted to publish pending minor changes, specify each change, why it is needed, and, possibly, how it should/could be done.]

This study provides an in-depth, longitudinal look at sex workers exiting the sex trade. They use the case study approach based on multiple interviews with the same participants over time. Qualitative longitudinal research (QLR) is an important technique especially to the topic of quitting or desisting, which is often a cumulative process. As there are only a few studies that applied the QLR approach to exiting sex work, their findings are important despite the low n size. They were effectively able to capture their oscillating feelings of quitting and participants feelings of yo-yo’ing or quitting and starting. Understanding how participants move in an out of the sex market and their feelings over time is essential to comprehending the long process of quitting. 

Additionally, they show how a turning point, such a relationship or job can shift from bad to good to bad. This can only be captured longitudinally, and it demonstrates how turning point influences are not fixed. This ability illustrates the beauty of a longitudinal versus a cross-sectional study. 

This paper is clear and well-executed. Each section is competently executed. I have some minor suggestions about language, adding to limitations and a bit more to the discussion. I am glad to see longitudinal research and I think their findings warrant publication. 

[Please put additional info below, as/if you see fit.]

I would suggest changing prostitution to sex work except in cases of legal explanations. It is dated and can be considered insensitive. 

What does it mean that she is lost to follow up? Just clarify (see below) 

She had two short and one long relapses during PDC and graduated successfully. Shortly after graduation, she relapsed and was lost to follow up

In limitations, acknowledge how being in a treatment setting may have impacted how participants constructed narratives, even over time. Maruna writes about this. 

Authors discuss how turning points such as relationships can be detrimental or positive as in the case of Keisha. The authors may want to reference a study that shows that turning points such as relationships can be bad (see below). They found that conventional lifestyles such as getting a job or having a relationship did not matter and they attributed this to the possibility of getting low paying jobs or having unstable relationships. Turning points are not always good. 

Giordano, P. C., Cernkovich, S. A., & Rudolph, J. L. (2002). Gender, crime, and desistance: Toward a theory of cognitive transformation. American Journal of Sociology, 107(4), 990–1064. doi:10.1086/343191  

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