Victoria Bungay

Canada Research Chair in Gender, Equity and Community Engagement

Tier 2 - 2017-11-01
The University of British Columbia
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council


Research involves

Identifying and describing the complex aspects of marginalization to address gender and sexual inequality in sex work policies and programs.

Research relevance

This research will help identify policies and practices that worsen or downplay marginalization, and show how improving community engagement can put social change in motion.

Promoting gender equity for social change

The adult commercial sex industry is part of most societies, and is complex and multidimensional. Yet it is often treated as a simple interaction between a sex worker and a client, and viewed as being the same experience for all sex workers. This leaves us with large gaps in what we know about the organizational features of how the sex industry works and the varied experiences of those involved.

Dr. Victoria Bungay, Canada Research Chair in Gender, Equity and Community Engagement, is looking at the diversity of the sex work industry and people’s everyday experiences within it. She asks male, female and transgender sex workers, their clients and those who work in other aspects of the industry (such as security, booking or advertising) about how they engage with one another. She studies the extent to which social, economic and legal policies and practices affect these relationships. Her research also examines how the social aspects and structure of the sex industry affect the safety and overall quality of life for sex workers.

Bungay’s research is part of a larger research agenda to understand how gender and sexuality are viewed and valued in society, and how the commercialization of sexual activities can resist or support discriminatory attitudes about sexual relationships.

This research will fill gaps in understanding about the sex work industry and the diverse needs of those involved. By actively engaging with sex work communities, Bungay will create innovative recommendations to help develop policies and practices to create a more just society that address the needs and rights of all sex workers.