Sex Industry and Sex Workers in Nevada*


Timeworn but true, it is undeniable that “sex sells” and perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in Las Vegas, the symbolic center of the commercial sex industry and America’s own “Sin City.” To understand the commercial sex industry in Las Vegas and the Nevada sex industry more generally, we need to understand how local patterns reflect the larger trends in the nation and the world.

Modern industrial societies share several important traits, such as growing service industries, deep economic restructuring, technological development, uninhibited commercialism and consumerism, as well as the dizzying cultural transformations that encourage alternative lifestyles and that have spurred social movements such as feminism and rights movements for racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities. These same global forces of economic, technological, social, and cultural change are also largely responsible for the rapid growth and expansion of the commercial sex industry and all sorts of adult-oriented businesses.

In a burgeoning service industry where TVs, VCRs, DVDs, and internet linked computers are increasingly the norm, the old methods of selling sexual fantasy and sexual services – books, magazines, blue movies, and seedy men’s clubs – have been supplemented by a range of new commercial sexual products and services. Consumers now have inexpensive, private home access to video pornography, adult content cable and pay-per-view services, phone sex with workers located all over the world and willing to play out any fantasy, and adult web sites providing everything from still photographic images to porno videos, adult chat rooms, live stripping and sexual performers delivering their services to anyone with access to a computer. More traditional commercial sex venues are expanding as well. Strip clubs, sex toy shops, and porn stores are moving from seedy alleys and dusty highway hangouts into more public view. Complete with logos and propelled by well-researched marketing campaigns, brand name adult stores and chain strip clubs have become a fixture in many U.S. cities and communities, especially in the last 15 years or so. The result is what Hausbeck and Brents refer to as the McDonaldization of sex in America (1999).

The present report will review the social and historical context in which sexually oriented commercial enterprises have flourished, discuss the general trends in the Nevada sex industry, provide a conceptual map of commercial sex outlets in the Silver State and Clark County, and make policy recommendations.  

“ Sin City ” in the Context of American Pornoculture

As the adult industry has reinvented itself and moved from the deviant margins of society closer to Main Street, USA , it has also increasingly employed standard business, marketing, and advertising techniques. At the same time, sexually suggestive images and messages, even blatant nudity, have become commonplace in mainstream American culture. As the traditional sex industry moves toward the mainstream, middle-American popular culture and advertising norms move ever closer to the pornographic. This convergence has resulted in a blurring of lines between the commercial sex industry and those industries that simply use sex to sell. This trend is evident in television programs, radio talk shows, music videos, commercials and print ads, billboards and magazine covers that line grocery store checkout lanes. Despite the occasional backlash evident in FCC sanctions against shock jocks like Howard Stern, or penalties for “costume failures” during Super Bowl Half-time extravaganzas – which themselves have been highly sexual for the last several years – the commercial sexualization of everyday life is pervasive and seemingly irrepressible. The result is what Brian McNair calls porno-chic (2002), which promotes a social climate marked by what the authors of this report refer to as the “pornographication of everyday life.”

To differentiate the two while still documenting the multiple points of overlap, it may be helpful to think in terms of two interrelated concepts: the Sex Industry and the Body Industry. The sex industry refers to all of those legal and illegal adult businesses that sell sexual products, sexual services, sexual fantasies, and actual sexual contact for profit in the commercial marketplace. The body industry covers mainstream businesses that use sexual images and messages to sell non-sexual goods and services for profit.

Pornoculture is part consumer market niche, part advertising chic, part youth movement, part lifestyle, and part publicly displayed eroticized aesthetic. It shapes women’s and girls’ fashion statements that favor high-cropped shirts and bust baring necklines, low-slung pants and skimpy thongs, micro-mini skirts, and – lingerie, lingerie, lingerie. Then, there is piercing and erotic body decor, slinky shoes and high boots, and leather and other accoutrements with none too subtle references to sadomasochistic subcultures.

Much more than just fashion, pornoculture is about public images of seduction, sexuality, and eroticized objects, mixed with the youthful lifestyle options like bisexuality, sexed-up nightclub culture, as well as marketing flirtation, seduction, sexual expression, multiple sexual partners, playful intimacy, partying, and even parts of the actual sex industry – like pornographic films, strip and swingers clubs. Such is youthful culture, for the young in age and the young at heart, for today’s hip and cool.

But pornoculture is not just for the personal enjoyment of beautiful, privileged, hip young men and women. It provides the groundwork for integrating aspects of the commercial sex industry into mainstream culture where large segments of the population live, work, and play. The growth of the sex industry is evident in the following statistics:

  • Approximately one in four video and DVD rentals in the U.S. are adult or pornographic. Some 11,000 hardcore adult videos are made per year, not including the burgeoning market in homemade productions using ever more available and inexpensive video cameras. Even huge corporations are getting into this profitable enterprise, as conglomerates like GM, AOL/Time Warner, AT&T, Marriott, Hilton, and Westin jockey for a piece of the adult video distribution and pay-per-view porno business thriving in hotels and other similar venues.
  • More than 100,000 adult web sites are available on the internet. Profit estimates for online porn range from $50 million to$2 billion per year. Revenues from the purchase of sexual images and encounters online are typically neck-in-neck with non-adult online purchases.
  • Live sexual fantasy and interaction has not, however, gone out of style. It is widely estimated that there are 2,500 to 5,000 strip clubs operating from coast-to-coast in the U.S., and that average profits range from $500,000 to $5 million per year per business.
  • Although reliable figures are hard or impossible to come by, various estimates put profits from adult-oriented businesses at approximately $10 billion annually which, according to ABC News, makes the commercial sex industry bigger than the NFL, NBA, and major league baseball combined (

The “State of Sex ”: Nevada as Ground Zero 

Las Vegas is renowned for a vivid and thriving body industry. Nowhere is this more evident than in the tourist corridor along Las Vegas Boulevard and inside Vegas’ famous casinos. While one can find the same ads and erotic marketing anywhere in the United States (think of Victoria ’s Secret, young Brittany Spears paraphernalia, and the like), here in Nevada we have the ubiquitous skimpily dressed cocktail waitresses, striptease simulating bartenders, high-end erotic theatrical revues, super sexual billboards advertising nightclubs, strip clubs, outcall entertainment, and kindred businesses. Some of this is part of the adult sex industry proper and some of it is not, but this general pornocultural environment is backdrop for other, even more explicit, commercial sexual enterprises.

  •  The Southern Nevada sex industry includes internet and traditional porn production, adult content web sites, approximately 20 adult stores, 30 strip clubs, numerous outcall entertainment agencies that send strippers to homes and hotel rooms, five swinger clubs including the nation’s oldest, a thriving S & M subculture, and prostitution – illegal in Clark County and legal (in the form of brothels) in nearby Nye and nine other Nevada counties.
  • With respect to the exotic dance business, according to Dr. Robert Schmidt, a Las Vegas sociologist who studied the issue, as well as our own research, there are approximately 100,000 registered dancers in Clark County , with about 2,500 dancers working on any average day. The performers are mostly women, with approximately 500 men in this line of work.
  • The slow days in Las Vegas strip clubs are Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Weekends, during large conferences, and most holidays, the number of dancers soars to 3,500-4,000 performers. As many as one third to one half the dancers are travelers who come into Vegas to work and then return home. The percentage of visiting dancers increases during busy times.
  • The age of dancers varies considerably, from underage girls working illegally to 50+ year old women. According to Dr. Schmidt, the average age of an erotic dancer is about 23. Many dancers work in strip clubs, of which there are currently approximately 30 venues in the Las Vegas valley. Others work in the outcall entertainment businesses.
  • A perusal of the Las Vegas phone book will reveal 83 full pages of ads for ‘Entertainers’ containing approximately 850 listings. There are about six major businesses which own 90-95% of all these ads; the remainder are independent entertainers and small ‘mom and pop’ businesses. All advertisers must show a business license before being allowed to place an ad, thus discouraging independents to operate without proper licensing.
  • At any given time there are approximately 1,200 outcall dancers many of whom work on a circuit between Vegas and other large cities, especially Los Angeles. At any given time there are about 150-200 outcall entertainers working, with numbers rising to 500 or more on weekends, holidays and during special events like large conventions and major fights. Of these, approximately 10-15%, are male, transsexual, or transgender performers.
  • Prices for outcall exotic dancers coming to the customer’s room or home range from $250-$450 per hour, of which dancers may earn anywhere from nothing to $200 when sent on the outcall by a service. The dancers primarily work for tips, which leads many community leaders, law enforcement officers, and other professionals to assume that after the legal dancing and stripping, the outcall performers may negotiate with the customer to sell illegal sex acts. Outcall dancers earn anywhere from $50 to several thousands, and on rare occasions, even tens of thousands of dollars per performance, depending on the client, the services provided, and the amount of time spent.

Two important facts are to be noted here. First, consistent and reliable data on the sex industry – even on legal businesses – is virtually non-existent, so all statistics are informed estimates. Readers should be cautious about any numbers presented here, or elsewhere for that matter, about the sex industry. Second, the data gathered below focuses more on Las Vegas than other parts of the state because the sex industry is larger and more visible in Vegas where it is a more central part of economy and culture, and because the authors have spent years gathering data from Southern Nevada (parallel data from other regions of the state is not readily available). Finally, though there are cities in the United States with more strip clubs, adult bookstores, porn shops, and pornographic production than Nevada, the Southern Nevada sex industry is the most iconic. Because of Las Vegas’ reputation as “sin city” and its current marketing campaign which brags, “What goes on here, stays here” – Las Vegas is recognized globally as a hyper-sexualized city. In short, Las Vegas is the symbolic center of the sex industry in the United States. This is particularly true with respect to prostitution, since Nevada is the only state in the country that has legalized prostitution in the form of the brothel industry.  

The Las Vegas Sex Industry: Illegal Prostitution

The Nevada Prostitution Industry is one of the things that makes the Silver State so unusual with respect to the commercial sex industry and the trends toward pornoculture. Nevada is the only state in the country to legalize prostitution. Yet many people fail to recognize that prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas and Reno . The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s catchy and controversial marketing campaign, “What Happens Here, Stays Here,” slyly reinforces this misconception as it sends the message to the rest of the world that there’s sin to be savored in Southern Nevada. And illegal prostitution does indeed flourish in Nevada. Commercial sex is offered by juveniles and adults, all of whom are marginalized and exploited in various ways and to various degrees as a result of their age, social class, race, ethnicity, and gender. While available data leaves ample room for guesswork, there are some facts and estimates related to illegal prostitution in Nevada worth pondering:

  •  Illegal prostitution flourishes throughout Southern Nevada in the form of street prostitution, independent call girls working in the bars, casinos and nightclubs, “house” prostitutes who service casino high-rollers, and juvenile prostitution. Some observers speculate that certain forms of human trafficking and modern slavery, sexual and otherwise, exist in Nevada today.
  • Illegal commercial sex is sold indoors and outdoors. Prostitutes working primarily outdoors tend to be located in limited geographic areas and tend to earn less and be subjected to greater risks of violence and arrest. Though the number of active prostitutes working on the streets of Southern Nevada or in the Reno area is not known, there is no evidence that the rates in Nevada are significantly different from those of other large metropolitan areas.
  • Indoor prostitution involves illegal sex sold via escorts, outcall entertainers, independent call girls, and in venues such as bars, casinos, and nightclubs. These prostitutes may earn the same as outdoor prostitutes, but some make considerably more. Women working indoors are occasionally earning tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. A more typical encounter will bring in hundreds of dollars, with unusual shows, features, or activities costing significantly more. Dr. Robert Schmidt, who researched the Las Vegas sex industry, estimates that there are approximately 3,000-3,500 indoor working prostitutes in Las Vegas at any given time.
  • There are approximately 4,000 annual arrests for prostitution and commercial vice in Clark County . Between 1999-2003, there were 752 arrests for juvenile prostitution and related offenses. During that same time frame, the age of arrest ranged from 11 (one case) to 19, with the modal age of 17, and median age of 16.

Though documented cases of human trafficking for sex slavery or labor slavery are relatively rare, there is concern that the growing number of massage parlors may indicate a worsening problem. As of summer 2004, Nevada has established a working group on human trafficking and modern slavery with representatives from the US Attorney’s Office, the Attorney General’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office, the FBI, ICE, the Department of Labor, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and representatives of UNIV, along with various social service agencies and non-governmental organizations, to study and address this issue.

The Nevada Prostitution Industry: Legalized Brothels

The most unique aspect of the commercial sex industry in Nevada is the system of legalized brothel prostitution existing in 10 of Nevada’s 17 counties. Its size, location, and modus operandi are often misjudged, both inside and outside Nevada. Here are some scraps of data and bits of information to flesh out the bigger picture of this unique interactive service industry:

  • Prostitution is prohibited in counties with population exceeding 400,000. The counties and incorporated cities which allow and regulate brothel prostitution are generally remote counties. Currently, state law prohibits legal brothel prostitution in Clark County , and county regulation bans brothels in Douglas, Washoe, Lincoln, and Pershing Counties, as well as in Carson City. Eureka County is the only one that has no specific ordinance prohibiting or providing for legal brothels. All other counties in Nevada have one or more legal brothels.
  • There are 36 available brothel licenses across Nevada, of which approximately 28-30 are utilized. Counties with legal prostitution earn thousands to hundreds of thousands annually in brothel work card, application, licensing, and liquor license fees.
  • Nevada brothels employ between 1 to 50 legal prostitutes (and even more in a few cases). Ages of the sex workers range from 18-50 plus. Generally the workers are from out of state, and those who hail from Nevada do not as a rule work in their hometowns. The women are independent contractors, but in most cases they live in the brothel where they are working for periods stretching from a week to over a month at a time. Only women work as legal brothel prostitutes, and though the customers are primarily male women might be welcomed as well.
  • Legal prostitutes pay for and undergo mandatory health checks prior to becoming licensed each time they enter a brothel to work. They also have mandatory weekly pap smears and monthly blood tests for sexually transmitted infections. Condoms are mandatory in the Nevada brothels. For these reasons – the legality of the occupation and the safety of working in the confined community space of a brothel – many prostitutes report less violence and a heightened sense of security working in the brothel industry than plying their trade illegally in other venues (Brents and Hausbeck 2005).
  • Women working as legal prostitutes pay taxes, work card fees, “house” fees, and room and board expenses within the brothel. They typically earn 40-50% of what they bring in by servicing customers with the rest going to the brothel owner.
  • Owners have paid anywhere from $135,000 to upwards of $5 million to purchase brothels in recent years.
  • Overall, the Nevada brothel industry profits are approximately $35-50 million annually. (For additional information see Hausbeck and Brents 1999, 2000; Brents and Hausbeck 2001 and 2005).

Although Nevada ’s prostitution policies are unique in the otherwise ubiquitous criminalization of prostitution throughout the U.S., we should refrain from seeing Nevada as an exceptional case. The Silver State is in many ways at the forefront of broader changes toward more pornographied culture and the mainstreaming of the sex industry that are occurring coast-to-coast. In the process, the brothel industry is transforming. Some brothel owners run small, quiet brothels that have operated on virtually the same model for decades, other owners are rationalizing the work process to make it more profitable and to treat workers in much the same way as other service industry laborers. This typically translates into more autonomy for legal prostitutes. Workers often define their work in ways that are remarkably similar to other more mainstream service industry workers. It remains to be seen what lessons learned in and from the Nevada brothels will be employed in other jurisdictions in response to the mainstreaming of the sex industry and the growth of pornoculture.

Prospects for the Future and Policy Considerations

Predictions about the future are always difficult. Predictions about the future of the sex industry in Nevada are especially problematic. Even the powerful gaming industry was banished from the Silver States in the past – not once but twice. But if current global, economic, and cultural trends continue, and no dramatic policy reversals take place, it is safe to say that the international, national, and regional sex enterprises will be a growth industry in years to come. We can forecast that they will become more technologically sophisticated, more mainstream, and more bureaucratized, increasingly resembling other, non-adult industry businesses.

To face the future effectively, we need to know the present much better than we currently do. Gathering data on the nature, extent, and impact of the commercial sex industries in Nevada and beyond is extremely difficult. Much of what we know is incomplete or based on approximations. Why is it so difficult to get good, reliable information about an industry many parts of which are legal, which is large, growing, very profitable, and culturally influential? There are four primary reasons:

  • Moral judgments that impose social stigma and encourage marginalization
  • Repression and denial of the nature, extent, and impact of these industries
  • Economic imperatives that make many of these businesses work on a cash and tip basis, leaving few official financial records for review
  • Political interests and tensions between the need to maintain community morals, laws, and standards and the need to grow urban and tourist economies and protect free speech

Ignorance is not bliss, and knowledge is power. Politicians, community activist, and sex industry workers need to bear this in mind. The absence of systematic and reliable information about the commercial sex industry in Nevada threatens to erode public confidence and undermine community wellbeing. It also breeds injustice in the industry that has been historically ripe with oppression and exploitation. Hence, the urgent need to promote data gathering and systematic inquiry that can help us understand:

  • Social, cultural, and economic practices that affect supply/demand in sex industry
  • The nature and structure of specific segments in the sex industry
  • The life situations, experiences, choices, and needs of the sex workers
  • The relationship between structural constraints and personal agency (aspirations, motives) of “sex workers”
  • The economic, social, and cultural impact of the body and sex industries on local communities
  • The relationship between sex work and other practices
  • The effect that the legal environment and police practices have on existing social problems
  • Policy options, possible reforms, and the implications that policy changes are likely to have on the economy, culture and communities across Nevada
  • Research, data, and more insight into this growing and highly visible component of our state economy and culture

To achieve necessary reforms in the domain of sex industry and help sex workers to carry on in a safe environment, we need to do the following:

  • Employ a demand-centered, human rights approach that empowers women and seeks innovative policy solutions to persistent patterns of inequality, exploitation and unequal treatment within the sex and body industries, as well as beyond.
  • Alternate sentencing programs for arrested sex workers comparable to those available for customers.
  • Provide healthcare, condoms, and other support programs to sex workers so that those who remain in the business, legally or otherwise, are safe, supported and empowered.
  • Understand the differences among various types of sex workers and body/sex industry businesses via policy, practices, and services in order to avoid practices based on mistaken assumptions and stereotypes far removed from the complexities and differences between different segments of the sex and body industries and the labor practices therein.
  • Develop and fund additional health education programs, intervention strategies, and preventive care measures protecting sex and body industry workers.
  • Offer broad-based sexuality education programs that can foster prevention and help inoculate teens and adults against the hyper-sexualized trends in contemporary culture.
  • Institute labor protection regulations and pass rights statutes for “sex workers” that are comparable to other interactive service industry workers.
  • Initiate training, education, and assistance programs for low skill, low income women to minimize the economic appeal of the sex industry.
  • Devise sex workers’ empowerment programs for former and current sex workers, including services and support for leaving the business.
  • Establish a statewide clearinghouse of data, resources and assistance to sex workers, customers/clients, researchers, policy makers and the community at large.
  • Work with the Department of Labor, the State Attorney General’s Office, Unions and other governmental and non-governmental organizations to ensure that sex workers are protected by the same workplace rights, occupational health and safety laws, and employee benefits as other non-sex industry laborers. Prosecute vigorously where employment and labor laws are violated in the legal sex industry.
  • Continue to support organized, state-wide efforts to address both labor and sex trafficking and modern manifestations of human slavery.
  • Support, fund and empower law enforcement agencies to work assiduously against child prostitution and juvenile abuse at the hands of pimps and predators.

The most important condition for undertaking the research, community dialogues, and policymaking that the initiatives above require, is adoption of a human rights-centered perspective. This means acknowledging the complexity involved in issues related to the sex industry and resisting any over-simplified or poorly informed efforts, based on stereotypes or soap boxes, that may make better headlines and politics than practical policy. To do so would make Nevada a national leader in addressing issues that reach far beyond our state lines and into every community in the nation.


In both legal and illegal form, the sex industry is present in every state in the country. Yet, it is only in Nevada that sex industry is legalized in the form of brothel prostitution. While prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas, the city is internationally recognized as a highly sexualized tourist destination with a flourishing market in commercial sexual entertainment and services.

If the Nevada sex industry affects the state’s social health and its quality of life, it doesn’t do so in a uniform, easy-to-judge manner. The growth of the sex industry or pornoculture in the Silver State has a negative impact where it condones exploitation, oppression, crime, and continued stereotyping and stigmatization of women. The abundance of sexually charged entertainment can have a positive impact when sex workers have a range of viable economic options, when they are not forced into commercial sex against their will, and when Nevada’s tourism-based economy cultivates arenas of safe sexual expression and enjoyment.

There is little reason to think that the broader trends toward more sexualized everyday culture will play out differently in Nevada than in other parts of the country and the world. Las Vegas is likely to remain at the forefront of these cultural shifts and will continue to benefit economically from the current trends. This presents a significant opportunity for Nevada to move to the forefront of the national debate about these cultural trends, and to take the lead as an innovator in policies, programs, and practices that confront head-on the dangers and pitfalls associated with a growing, and most likely inevitable, sex industry in ways that minimize risk and exploitation and maximize safety and empowerment.

Data Sources and Suggested Readings

Alberts, Alexa. 2002. Brothel. New York: Ballantine Books. 

Alexander, P. (1997). "Feminism, Sex Workers and Human Rights". In J. Nagle (Ed.), Whores and Other Feminists (pp. 83-97). New York: Routledge. 

Bales, Kevin. 2000. Disposable People. CA: University of California Press. 

Bales, Kevein. 2005. Understanding Global Slavery. CA: University of California Press. 

Brents, Barbara and Kathryn Hausbeck. 2005. “Violence and Legalized Brothel Prostitution in Nevada,” Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Vol. 20(3):270-295. 

Brents, Barbara and Kathryn Hausbeck. 2001. “State-sanctioned Sex: Negotiating Formal and Informal Regulatory Practices in Nevada Brothels,” Sociological Perspectives, Vol. 44, No. 3, Pages 307-332. 

Butler, Anne M., Daughters of Joy, Sisters of Misery: Prostitutes in the American West 1865-90. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1985. 

Chapkis, W. (1997). Live sex acts: women performing erotic labor. New York: Routledge. 

Doezema, J. (1999, Feb. 1999). Loose Women or Lost Women? The Remergence of the Myth of 'White Slavery' in Contemporary Discorses of 'Trafficking in Women'. Retrieved June 15, 2000 , from 

Egan, Danielle (2006). Dancing for Dollars and Paying for Love. New York: Palgrave McMillan. 

Egan, Danielle, Katherine Frank, Lisa Johnson (2006). Flesh for Fantasy. New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press. 

Frank, Katherine (2002). G-Strings and Sympathy. Indiana: Duke University Press.

Plachy, Sylvia and James Ridgeway (1996). New York: Powerhouse Books. 

Galliher, John and John Cross. 1983. Morals Legislation Without Morals: The Case of Nevada. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. 

Hausbeck, Kathryn and Barbara Brents. 2000. “Inside Nevada’s Brothel Industry,” in Sex for Sale: Prostitution, Pornography, and the Sex Industry, Ronald John Weitzer, Editor. New York: Routledge. 

Hausbeck, Kathryn and Barbara Brents. 1999. “The McDonaldization of Sex,” in Primis, McGraw Hill. 

Hursley, Timothy and Alexa Alberts. 2004. Brothels of Nevada. NJ: Princeton Architectural Press. 

Kasindorf, Jeanie.1985. Nye County Brothel Wars: A Tale of the New West. New York: Linden Press/Simon & Schuster. 

La Croix, Catherine. 1995-97. “On Our Backs, Off Our Knees: A Declaration of Indepenence by a Modern Sacred Whore” 1995-97 copyright by Catherine La Croix and Cerridwen Corporation. 

Maverick, Michelle (2004). Diary of a Legal Prostitute. Florida: Brown Walker Press. 

McNair, Brian. 1996. Mediated Sex. London: Arnold Publishers. 

McNair, Brian. 2002. Striptease Culture. London/New York: Routledge. 

Pillard, Ellen. 1983. “Legal Prostitution: Is It Just?” Nevada Public Affairs Review 1983(2):43-47. 

Pillard, Ellen. 1991. “Rethinking Prostitution: A Case for Uniform Regulation.” Nevada Public Affairs Review 1991(1): 45-49. 

Reynolds, Helen. 1986. The Economics of Prostitution. Springfield, Ill: Charles C. Thomas. 

Rocha, Guy.1975. Brothel Prostitution in Nevada: A Unique American Cultural Phenomenon . Master’s Thesis. San Diego State University. May.

Rocha, Guy. 1997. “Nevada’s Most Peculiar Industry: Brothel Prostitution, It’s Land Use Implications and Its Relationship to the Community.” Unpublished paper, Nevada State Archives, December.

Schmidt, Robert. Nov. 2004. Personal Interview as part of the Sex and Body Industry Research Project.

Shaner, Lora. 1998. Madam: Chronicles of a Nevada Cathouse. Las Vegas : Huntington Press. 

Symanski, Richard. 1974. “Prostitution in Nevada.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 65(3): 357-377, September. 

Vogliotti, Gabriel. 1975. The Girls of Nevada. Secaucus NJ: Citadel Press. 

Weitzer, R. (1999). Prostitution Control in America: Rethinking Public Policy. Crime, Law and Social Change, 32(1): 83-102. 

Weitzer, R., Ed. (2000). Sex for Sale. New York: Routledge.

This chapter has been prepared by: Kathryn Hausbeck, Associate Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, University of Nevada Las Vegas, 4505 Maryland Parkway, Box 455033, Las Vegas, NV 89154-5033. Tel. 702-895-0265,; Barbara G. Brents, Associate Professor of Sociology, UNLV Tel., 702-895-0261,; and Crystal Jackson, Graduate Student, Department of Sociology, UNLV, 702-895-3322,

Community Resources

Family, Sexual Abuse, and Domestic Violence Resources in Nevada 

Women’s Health State-by-State Resources: 

Nevada Coalition Against Sexual Violence: 


Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence: 

Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence, 2100 Capurro Way, Suite E Sparks NV 89431, 702-358-1171. 

State Hotline: (800)500-1556. Lander County Committee Against Domestic Violence P.O. Box 624 Battle Mountain NV 89820, 702-635-2117. 

Hotline/Crisis: 702-635-2500, Advocates to End Domestic Violence P.O. Box 2529 Carson City NV 89702, 702-883-7654

Hotline/Crisis: 702-883-7654, Committee Against Domestic Violence P.O. Box 2531 Elko NV 89803, 702-738-6524. 

Hotline/Crisis: 702-738-9454, Support, Inc. Family Crisis Center P.O. Box 583 Ely NV 89301, 702-289-2270. 

Domestic Violence Intervention, Inc. P.O. Box 2231 Fallon NV 89407, 702-423-1313. 

Hotline/Crisis: 702-423-1313, Toll Free 800-500-1556. 

Mineral County Advocates to End Domestic Violence, P.O. Box 331 Hawthorne NV 89415, 702-745-2472, Hotline/Crisis: 702-745-2434.

Temporary Assistance for Domestic Crisis, Inc. P.O. Box 43264 Las Vegas NV 89116, 702-368-1533, Hotline/Crisis: 702-646-4891. 

Pershing County Domestic Violence, P.O. Box 1203 Lovelock NV 89419, 702-273-7373, Hotline/Crisis: 702-273-7373. 

Douglas County Family Support, P.O. Box 810 Minden NV 89423, 702-782-7565, Hotline/Crisis: 702-782-8692.

Lincoln County Family Crisis Center, P.O. Box 485 Pioche NV 89043, 702-962-5888. 

Committee to Aid Abused Women, Sparks NV 89431, 702-358-4150, Hotline/Crisis: 702-358-4150. 

Intercept, P.O. Box 891 Tonopah NV 89049, Hotline/Crisis: 702-482-2273. 

Committee Against Family Violence, P.O. Box 583 Winnemucca NV 89446, 702-623-3974, Hotline/Crisis: 702-623-6429. 

Alternatives to Living in Violent Environments, P.O. Box 130 Yerington NV 89447, 702-463-5843, Hotline/Crisis: 702-463-4009; Toll Free, 800-465-4009. 

The Shade Tree Shelter, Las Vegas, NV: 

State of Nevada Social Services, Health, Welfare, Social Services: 

State of Nevada Health Division : 

Clark County Health District: 

Washoe County Health District: 

Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth: 

Nevada Child Seekers: 

Child Prostitution and Exploitation 

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: 

Child Prostitution Resources, National and International: 

Child Prostitution and Sexual Abuse:,_Youth_and_Family/Child_Abuse/Sexual_Abuse/

Human Trafficking Information and Resources

List of Reports and Information on the World Wide Web:

Online Information on Human Trafficking:

US Department of State:

US Human Trafficking Report 2005:

US HHS Rescue and Restore Campaign:

Human Trafficking:

Vital Voices:

Polaris Project:

Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking:

PLAN Child Trafficking:

Free the Slaves:

Prostitution, Sex Work, Global Reform

Sex Worker Outreach Programs, a clearinghouse for national and international resources by, for, and about sex workers and sex work issues, 1-877-776.2004 or

1996 San Francisco Prostitution Task Force Final Report:

The Canadian Guild for Erotic Labour, a national organization of workers and allies who have come together to support and promote labour rights and labour organizing for women, men and transsexual/transgendered workers engaged in erotic labour in Canada.

New Zealand Office of Safety and Health guidelines for sex workers

John Lowman's Prostitution Research Page, Canadian site run by Dr. Lowman, the School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC.

British Home Office Research, Study 279, Tackling Street Prostitution: Towards an Holistic Approach.

The Center for Sex and Culture:


*This report stems from the J & D forum on the Leading Social Indicators in Nevada that took place on November 5, 2004, at the William S. Boyd School of Law. The report, the first of its kind for the Silver State, has been a collaborative effort of the University of Nevada faculty, Clark County professionals, and state of Nevada officials. The Social Health of Nevada report was made possible in part by a Planning Initiative Award that the Center for Democratic Culture received from the UNLV President's office for its project "Civic Culture Initiative for the City of Las Vegas." Individual chapters are brought on line as they become available. For further inquiries, please contact authors responsible for individual reports or email CDC Director, Dr. Dmitri Shalin