Peculiarities of Self-Concept in Women Practicing Commercial Sex



The article presents the results of studying the specifics of self-concept in women, practicing commercial sex. 61 women aged 18-37 were examined, with 32 of them working in "intimacy parlors" (M±SD=25,94±5,30) and 29 socially adapted women (M±SD=27,69±4,69). It was checked whether there are differences in personality organization between the women engaged in prostitution and the socially adapted ones. It is revealed that the women engaged in sex-services don't feel themselves belonging to their professional community or their particular social standing. They associate their interests, resources and leisure time with the time they spend at work, and are also distinguished by deficient responsibility and inconstancy; from those around them such women expect stereotypical attitude towards themselves. In psychologically meaningful and stressful situations they tend to lower their mental and emotional strain or avoid it through deviant behavior. Prostitutes are distinguished by strong tendencies towards depression, suppressed aggression and self-aggression. Significant correlation has been established between prostitutes' self-attitude and their psychological make-up (sovereignty of their psychological personal space, aggressiveness, coping behavior).

General Information

Keywords: self-concept, commercial sex, prostitution, self-attitude

Journal rubric: Psychology of Deviant and Criminal Behavior

Article type: scientific article


Acknowledgements. The authors are grateful to Dmitrieva E.V. for the assistance in data collection.

For citation: Vartanyan G.A., Gorbatov S., Murtazina I.R. Peculiarities of Self-Concept in Women Practicing Commercial Sex [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologiya i pravo = Psychology and Law, 2020. Vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 166–184. DOI: 10.17759/psylaw.2020100412. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Gayane A. Vartanyan, PhD in Psychology, Senior Research Fellow, Saint Petersburg State University, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology of Health and Deviant Behaviour, Faculty of Psy-chology, Saint-Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Sergey Gorbatov, PhD in Psychology, Docent, Senior Lector of Department of Psychology, Saint Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Inna R. Murtazina, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Saint Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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