Graduation Year

1230796800

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Anthropology

Major Professor

Kevin A. Yelvington, D.Phil.

Keywords

Latin America, Sex, STD risk, Travel, Sex tourism

Abstract

Costa Rica has been a popular tourist destination for decades, and is currently the second largest industry in the country. With so many tourists coming into the country, Costa Rica provides a rich environment within which to examine sex tourism. Costa Rica is a known destination for male sex tourists hoping to experience legal prostitution or child prostitution. Although it is lesser known, female sex tourism also occurs in Costa Rica. Female sex tourism occurs in the form of pseudo-romantic relationships between female tourists and Costa Rican men working in the tourist industry. These people spend a great deal of time together on tour, and relationships occur frequently. Men are seeking interesting sexual exploration, while women tend to be looking for the "Latin Lover." These relationships are not characteristic of prostitution, as no goods or services are exchanged for sex. These relationships may best be characterized as romantic.

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