Pimps: they’re not all alike
- Mathieu-Robert Sauvé
A doctoral candidate in criminology has studied the world of prostitution and discovered three distinct varieties of pimps.
Put away the cliché from the movies: not all pimps are violent men, known to the police, who steal and sell drugs in addition to living off the proceeds of selling sex.
“The stereotypical pimp does exist, but the majority of them do not conform to that stereotype,” says Véronique Chadillon-Farinacci, a doctoral candidate in criminology at Université de Montréal.
For her thesis, the young researcher is doing in-depth research on “third parties” also known as “intermediaries” or “facilitators” in the sex industry.
The average pimp is discreet. Often unknown to the police, he (and sometimes she) doesn’t commit any crimes other than, for example, earning a living from the prostitution of others or running a brothel.
“One out of every four pimps is a woman,” notes Chadillon-Farinacci, who has studied the histories of 481 people suspected or accused of crimes related to pimping in Montreal between 2000 and 2014.
3 types of pimps
They divide into three distinct categories:
· “Low-profile” pimps get arrested two times less often than the average individual suspected or accused of pimping. Most of the women in the sample (87 out of 107) are in this category.
· “Hustlers” (the term is borrowed from a study by French sociologist Loïc Wacquant) make up about one-fifth of the sample (83 people). The vast majority are men (92 per cent), and they are more violent – the stereotypical pimp.
· Then there are the “abused”. Forty-four people are in this group, approximately nine per cent of the sample, evenly made up of men and women. They may commit violent acts but are more likely to be victims of violence (threats, assault, assault with a weapon) than instigators.
According to Chadillon-Farinacci, having a clearer picture of the men and women who earn their living from sex workers will help police develop more efficient tools to deal with them. “Better understanding the problem makes it possible to carry out better-targeted and more objective investigations,” she says.
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