Sexual risk among female workers on cruise ships

Data were combined from two studies—qualitative interviews with 19 female cruise-ship workers in a Florida port and 192 quantitative interviews conducted with male and female cruise-ship workers in a European and a Florida port. High rates of partner change were reported in the latter sample: 39 % reported two or more sexual partners in the past year. Logistic regression analysis of 16 different variables showed that gender was the variable most strongly independently associated with a new sexual relationship: women were six times more likely than men to report a new private sexual relationship on their last contract (OR 6.20, 95 % confidence interval 2.01–19.09); 39 % of the female crew reported a new private relationship on their last contract, compared to 16 % of the men. Qualitative data suggest some reasons for this gender imbalance: sexual harassment by male superordinates, the taking of a lover for protection from harassment and the liminal character of shipboard life. Parallels are drawn with other studies depicting risk behaviour as situated actions (i.e. shaped by the material and social circumstances in which the action occurs), and with studies which see women’s greater propensity to risk behaviour in some settings as shaped by power relationships.


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  • Accession Number: 01603907
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 16 2016 9:23AM