PhD graduate Kat Kolar on Condom Use in the Indoor Sex Industry

PhD graduate Kat Kolar, in collaboration with Ingrid Handlovsky and Vicky Bungay (UBC), published an article in Culture, Health & Sexuality. The article analyzes condom use in the indoor sex industry in Vancouver. The authors argue that context has an important impact on whether condoms are used and initiatives to encourage condom use must take this into account.

Kat Kolar obtained her PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 2018. Her dissertation is titled Differentiating the Drug Normalization Framework: A Mixed Methods Investigation of Substance Use among Undergraduate Students in Canada. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at UBC researching the social integration of substance use and health inequities impacting people who use illicit drugs.

We have posted the citation and abstract from the article below. The full text is available through Research Gate here.

Handlovsky, Ingrid, Kat Kolar, and Vicky Bungay. 2012. “Condom Use as Situated in a Risk Context: Women’s Experiences in the Massage Parlour Industry in Vancouver, Canada.” Culture, Health & Sexuality, 14(9):1007-1020.

Investigation into condom use in sex work has aroused interest in health promotion and illness prevention. Yet there remains a dearth of inquiry into condom use practices in the indoor sex industry, particularly in North America. We performed a thematic analysis of one aspect of the indoor sex work by drawing on data from a larger mixed-methods study that investigated women’s health issues in the massage parlour industry in Vancouver, Canada. Using a risk context framework, condom use was approached as a socially situated practice constituted by supportive and constraining dynamics. Three analytic categories were identified: (1) the process of condom negotiation, (2) the availability of condoms and accessibility to information on STI and (3) financial vulnerability. Within these categories, several supportive dynamics (industry experience and personal ingenuity) and constraining dynamics (lack of agency support, client preferences, limited language proficiency and the legal system) were explored as interfacing influences on condom use. Initiatives to encourage condom use must recognise the role of context in order to more effectively support the health-promoting efforts of women in sex work.

Read the full article here.