Periodicity of Sex Worker Touring: An Image Assisted Analysis

Thursday, 27 April 2023, 3:30pm (HKT) at CVA 1022 and on Zoom (mixed mode)

In recent years, technologies such as the internet and smartphones have made the sex markets flourish in cyberspace. In Macau, sexual services advertised via the internet have been booming since 2005. Although private commercial sex trade is not illegal in Macau, manipulating prostitution is a serious crime. By taking advantage of web-based research methods, we retrieved 19,608 posts and 49,008 pictures from a popular forum in Macau. The current project aims to generate original empirical data and provide a better understanding of the online sex market in Macau. In particular, by intergrading text mining and image analysis on advertisement posts, the study shows strong periodicity of sex worker touring. For instance, based on three sources of information, such as nickname, portrait, and phone number, the chance of recurrence for a sex worker is much higher with a period of seven, which is consistent with the visa policy for entering Macau. This research provides an opportunity to examine the efficiency and efficacy of using web-based research for monitoring commercial sex in the region and promoting the health and safety protection for both sex workers and local clients.

TIANJI CAI (Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), is Professor and Associate Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences at University of Macau. His research interests concentrate on new forms of data and new methods of analysis. Reflecting on his broad intellectual pursuits, his research topics are diverse, ranging from methodological, such as quantitative methods and data mining, to substantive ones, such as gene-environmental interplay and adolescent health behaviors. He has published widely in leading international journals including American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Demography, Sociological Methodology, Sociological Methods & Research, Chinese Sociological Review, etc.

For enquiries:

Organised by Centre for Media and Communication Research