The Wisdom of Whores

She explained, as if to an enthusiastic but slightly dim child, that a waria who is hanging around on a street corner to be interviewed by a research team is a waria who is not with a client.  ‘You are talking to all the dogs, obviously’.

Not something I learned in the lecture halls of London…but Ines is quite right.  Our sample is biased towards the ‘dogs,’ who get picked up less than the cuter girls.  So the study results underestimate the true number of clients per seller…

Ines’s comments…prodded us into changing the sampling strategy…now we work with the powers-that-be (the mami, the pimps, the brothel owners) to arrange off-hours time for data collection.  The principle….is that you are not cutting into people’s work time, so there is less chance of talking only to the remnant sex workers who can’t get a client.


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