The purpose of this study was to explore the motivations for entry into the sex industry. The narratives of four Japanese female psychiatric patients with a past experience of sex work were used for analysis. I identified not only practical factors such as financial difficulties or lack of job skills, but also various psycho-social factors, namely: weak emotional ties with their mothers since infancy, their mothers’ tendency to prioritize sons over daughters, unremitting needs for maternal care, fear of rejection and object-seeking behavior, desire to control others, envy and aggressive self-destructive behavior, difficulties in establishing female peer relationships during adolescence, proneness to dependency on male objects through sexual relationships, past histories of crime and delinquency, weak internal motivation, frequent acting out, and addictive behaviors. In this article I discussed whether their mental maladjustment was purely the product of their past experiences as sex workers, or whether in fact both the maladjustment and the motivations for entry were derived from personality characteristics developed since infancy. Although not applicable to every Japanese sex worker, this article presents a preliminary hypothesis regarding the contribution of the above multi-dimensional factors to the motivations for entry, and the following mental maladjustment.
Cite this paper
Uji, M. (2015) Sex Work, Motivations for Entry, and the Combined Impact of Both on Mental Health: A Case Report of Japanese Female Patients within Therapeutic Relationships. Open Journal of Psychiatry, 5, 214-227. doi: 10.4236/ojpsych.2015.52026.
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