How age matters. Contemporary Dutch debates on age and sex work.

Sara Vida Coumans
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This resource reflects on a Dutch proposal that would increase the legal minimum age for sex workers from 18 to 21. It aims to understand what is the role of ‘age’ in shaping social protection policies regarding sex work in The Netherlands by analysing the discourses on the meaning of age, shaped by those involved in the design and implementation of policies related to sex work in The Netherlands. The resource seeks to answer the following questions:

  1. How does age function as an indicator of resilience & agency in relation to sex work?
  2. How do the social constructions of age and gender inform each other in relation to sex work?
  3. How does the performing age construct the attractiveness of ‘young’?

The resource argues that increasing the minimum age for sex workers from 18 to 21 only looks at the number and ignores the social construction of the age. There is a need to deconstruct age and prioritise the realities and the rights of young sex workers.

You can download this 51 page document above. This resource is in English.