Theresa Dyrvig Henriksen defends her PhD thesis at Department of Sociology

Theresa Dyrvig HenriksenCandidate

Theresa Dyrvig Henriksen


On the complexities of sex selling – Social background, sexual scripts, and social identity

Assessment Committee

• Associate professor Jakob Demant, Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark (chair)
• Professor Jo Phoenix, The Open University, UK  
• Associate professor Anna Hall, Department of Social Work, University of Gothenburg, Sweden


Head of Ph.D. programme, Professor Bente Halkier

Time and venue

Venue: On-line via Zoom, use this link:
Time: 27 May 2020, 1 PM

The PhD dissertation will be available via Academic Books as an e-publication. Also available for reading at the Department of Sociology, after the re-opening of the University Campus by contacting


This PhD dissertation is a sociological study examining the social phenomenon of prostitution in Denmark. The purpose of the study is to explore the complexities of prostitution by analysing sex sellers’ stories of prostitution and the stories ‘derived’ from administrative register data.

The dissertation consists of four articles in which the phenomenon of prostitution is studied from a variety of sociological perspectives. The four articles, their findings and the general contribution of these findings all speak to a wish to contribute to a multidimensional and contemporary understanding of prostitution.

The dissertation as a whole shows variations and contradictions in prostitution experiences and contributes to the ongoing debate on how to theoretically comprehend the nuances and diversity of contemporary prostitution. Furthermore, the introduction of register data creates space for a great deal of further research on the mechanisms behind prostitution. In particular, the question of causality between social background and prostitution deserves further consideration.