Understanding Sex-Buyers Through Media Content Analysis

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Understanding Sex-Buyers Through Media Content Analysis

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The issue of human sex-trafficking permeates not only on an international scale, but a domestic scale as well. Sex-buyers play a critical role is feeding the economy of the demand of sex trafficking victims. Minnesota is not exempt from this reality. This research project examines the formulation of the group protocol established to assess how sex buyers (Johns) are depicted in published media through coded content analysis. First, a search for news articles with the keywords "Minnesota, “prostitution”, and “sex trafficking” was conducted; then, a content analysis was carried out using a detailed codebook protocol, which serves as a guideline for identifying sex buyers and sex buyer information in this article pool. This research study focuses on the challenges the research team faced in terms of defining who is a sex buyer and how much information is needed to be identified to specify an individual as a sex buyer in the articles. Since language is varied and different terms can be used to communicate the same meaning, it was important for the research team to agree on which terms would constitute “sex buyer language” in the studied articles. The creation of the research protocol is a guideline for how to code for quantitative data in an effort to communicate qualitative findings from published news articles.


This research was under the supervision of Lead Researcher Dr.Lauren Martin.

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This research was supported by the Undergraduate Research Scholarship Program.

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Odhiambo, Tori. (2016). Understanding Sex-Buyers Through Media Content Analysis. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/180196.

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