ABSTRACT

This chapter on male sex workers in the Dominican Republic (DR) draws attention to the difficulties faced by those who have emigrated to the United States and then been deported to the DR. Many of them find that they have no real roots in the Dominican Republic and that they are stigmatized by virtue of having been deported. Consequently, they feel that they are forced to participate in the economy of sex tourism and drug trafficking in order to survive. The authors argue that the problems faced by the deportees—especially their social exclusion and their inability to find consistent wage or skilled labor—contribute to their exploitation within the sex tourism industry. In response, the deportees often resort to self-medication or trade in illegal substances. Although their English-language ability and cultural knowledge push them toward informal tourism work, the deportees are likely to depend on the income they receive from sex work and from the trade in illegal substances that put many of them on the road to deportation in the first place. The chapter attempts to trace the influence of social processes on individual lives in order to explain how multiple factors intertwine to place individuals in vulnerable positions. The authors consider these processes little-understood expressions of global forces.