Sex Work and HIV Status Among Transgender Women is the title of an article that was utilized to complete a modern assignment. It is created by Don Operario, Toho Soma, and Kristen Underhill, three reputable researchers. On July 19, 2007, they submitted the article for peer review to the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome editorial staff. On February 15, 2008, the study was released. The aforementioned journal is based in Philadelphia and communicates the student concerns regarding the HIV epidemic.
The two topics relating to transgender women form the basis of current research. First off, it was determined that transgender women are generally more likely than other women to become HIV positive based on the information that were gathered. Secondly, multiple epidemiological investigations concluded that transgender women involved in sex work are upon the higher risk to become HIV infected compared with transgender women who are not involved in sex work and all groups of transgender males. All in all, the primary problem the contemporary discussion attempts to address is an evaluation of this idea. Due to the collecting of the quantitative data, the authors of the article investigate the prevalence of HIV status among transgender women.
2) Since the researchers attempt to find out transgender women’s predisposition to acquiring HIV status despite the clear understanding of the potentially dangerous consequences of sex work, it is investigated the theory of structural functionalism. This social theory discusses why people act in the way they act. Thus, it considers an entire society or a particular group of people like transgender women involved in sex work and explains the reasons for their actions. In the contemporary study, the authors also consider the specific attributes inherent to transgender women involved in sex work to find out why HIV is such spread infection among them. This statement also confirms an idea that social functionalism fits in with the research.
II. LITERATURE REVIEW
Based on the reference list, the authors of the study have provided at the end of the article, it was used 53 works to support discussed arguments. These are mostly scholarly article focused on the same topic though the monographs are also employed. It is important to mention that the contemporary research is fully an original one. However, within the non-experimental parts of the paper, the researchers referred to the previously conducted analyses. Thus, within the introduction, Don Operario, Toho Soma, and Kristen Underhill referred to the 14 studies.
Most of these studies report on HIV status that is the broadest phenomenon among transgender female prostitutes compared with the other gender groups. This suggestion is experimentally proved in Elifson, Boles, Posey, et al’s, Gattari, Spizzichino, Valenzi, et al’s, Kellogg, Clements-Nolle, Dilley, et al’s, Kenagy’s, Reback, Lombardi’s, Spizzichino, Zaccarelli, Rezza, et al’s, and Varella, Tuason, Proffitt, et al’s studies. These authors presented their conclusions in 7 different and independent articles. However, these experiments were intended to find out the only issue – prevalence of HIV status among transgender prostitutes. It is important to mention that the foundations for the mentioned articles were different attributes.
Thus, in the first study, Elifson, Boles, Posey, et al. observed risk of acquiring HIV status by transgender male prostitutes whereas Gattari, Spizzichino, Valenzi, et al., as well as Spizzichino, Zaccarelli, Rezza, et al., discussed the behavioral patterns of all transvestite groups in Rome. For instance, Kellogg, Clements-Nolle, Dilley, et al. focused on the same processes in San Francisco. Kenagy did not limit the research by the gender or geography of transgenders’ sex activity. Reback and Lombardi analyzed behaviors of transgenders while participating in harm reduction programs. Eventually, Varella, Tuason, Proffitt, et al. focused on HIV risk behavior inherent to imprisoned Brazilian former transvestite prostitutes.
The next five studies the authors of the contemporary experiment referred to discuss the factors that appear to be the favorable stimuli for transgender female prostitutes’ acquiring HIV status. Clements-Nolle, Marx, Guzman, et al., Nemoto, Operario, Keatley, et al., Sausa, Keatley, Operario, Nemoto, Sausa, Operario, et al., and Clements, Wilkinson, Kitano, et al. converge in opinion that the primary factors that contribute transgender women’s infection with HIV are unprotected sex, permanent use of drugs, and social stigma. A few reports recognize that the same factors are inherent to transgender women who are not involved in sex practices. In his article titled Another Decade of Social Scientific Work on Sex Work, Vanwesenbeeck states other factors that appear to be the contributive factors for transgender women’s infection with HIV. Among them, it is important to mention an involvement in sex activity with the partners with unknown serostatus, transgender women’s homelessness, and poor socioeconomic status.
Assessing the methodologic quality of the experiment, the authors of the article refer to Wells, Shea, O’Connell, et al. These authors have developed the scale used while assessing a quality of the studies. Nowadays, it is the most used and respectable scale for sociological research. Those articles used within the introduction are frequently mentioned in the description of included studies. In general, this part is dedicated to the comparison of the obtained results within the contemporary experiment with those received previously.
These sources are not used while the direct experiment though they are included in the other parts of the article to support proposed arguments. They serve a basis for the further discussion and, in some cases, state the problem the authors of the contemporary research examine experimentally. It is important to mention that these articles are peer-reviewed and thus, do not cause any doubts concerning the credibility of the provided information. All in all, their use in the analyzed research make it saturated with the scientifically proved and examined views and opinions on the relevant topic.
III. CURRENT STUDY
Variables appear to be the determinative attributes of any study as they directly affect the results of the experiment. Thus, the researchers are needed to consider all the factors that might influence the outcome of the investigation. Variables are divided into the two types – dependent and independent ones. The first one is, usually, the subject of the researcher’s interest. In other words, this is the attribute the researcher attempts to measure. Independent variables are the phenomena that might affect the measurements of the dependent variable. The researcher, usually, may control or change independent variables in order to broadly discuss an experiment.
In the current study, the behavioral patterns of transgender female prostitutes and the factors that put them at the risks of infection with HIV serve the independent variables. These are the social stigma, poor socioeconomic state, sex with the partners with unknown serostatus, careless use of contraceptive means, permanent use of drugs, rapes, belonging to the particular ethnic and gender community, abuse, and homelessness. These variables are ones the researchers are able to control and change. Besides, as it was mentioned, Reback and Lombardi have discussed the prevalence of HIV status among transgenders within participation in harm reducing programs. From this, employing the specific measurements, it is possible to change the outcome of the experiment.
In the current study, the researchers consider the natural behavioral patterns inherent to the everyday life of transgender female prostitutes. These are, actually, the independent variables measured within the investigation. In a case of the dependent variables, it is important to mention that the authors of the article focus not only on the prevalence of HIV status among transgender female prostitutes. For instance, it was discussed the behavioral patterns of transgender women who are not involved in sex work, transvestite males, and transgender males who are not involved in sex work, and the general population concerning these groups’ predisposition to acquiring HIV status. In sum, there are 5 major independent variables mentioned above.
The contemporary research proposes two hypotheses. First of all, as the researchers themselves have stated, biological differences between transgender female prostitutes and the other social groups are the primary reasons why the first group is more predisposed to acquiring HIV status. The second hypothesis examined in the research is as long as the mentioned biological distinguishes play the role of determinative factors for acquiring HIV status among transgender female prostitutes, it is proposed that this group is not for the higher risk compared with transgender women who are not involved in sex work.
To start with, it is important to state that the current study is not based on the direct observation but rather focuses on the discussion of the obtained information on HIV status among the discussed social groups. All in all, the researchers have examined an information retrieved from the six electronic databases that contain the studies concerning the prevalence of HIV status among different social groups. Those also include gender minorities such as transgenders. These electronic databases have contained 25 studies on 6405 residents of 14 randomly selected countries. The 6405 participants of the contemporary experiment are living in the urban areas and suffer from HIV. These are transvestite transgenders, transgender people who are not involved in sex work, and the general population. Within the experiment, it was used simple random sampling technique that is based on the accidental selection of the participants for the research. Thus, the researchers have focused on the databases that contain as broader as possible information. Eventually, such an approach promotes obtaining an accurate data concerning the prevalence of HIV status distributed by the specific gender groups.
4) Research Method
The method the researchers used for collecting data is an observation. This approach is based on the idea of the examiners’ non-intervention analysis of the information concerning the particular question or issue. Since the contemporary research is designed to find out the specific statistics, observation fits in with such an objective. Besides, it does not require additional discussion from the researcher except the direct data collecting. As it was mentioned, data were collected in 14 countries all over the world. This also includes the United States and the most populous urban areas. The specific territories were not noted in the article analyzed. Though the data were collected in 2008, the study remains to be the esteemed, original, and progressive research. It is important to mention that the authors of the article themselves, Don Operario, Toho Soma, and Kristen Underhill, have collected data. Eventually, the researchers employed the quantitative type of data analysis. There are no proposed ideas for solving and issue or reflections on the significance of the collected information. For instance, the collected data are divided into the specific groups related to the particular social group. From this, the conclusions the researchers have presented are the statistics only.
IV. CONCLUSIONS AND LIMITATIONS
To conclude, the current study is a progressive discussion of the issues of the considerable social importance. It violates two topics broadly discussed in the contemporary world on the side of the leading scholars. The major result the researchers found out is there numerous factors associated with the prevalence of HIV status among transgenders. The authors of the study argue that these are mainly related to the specifics of work of transgender prostitutes. Another conclusion drawn due to the in-depth research is the biological differences between the males and females appear to be an important attribute for why transgender women are more predisposed to acquiring HIV status than transgender men. On the other hand, the current study is Don Operario, Toho Soma, and Kristen Underhill’s attempt to examine if transgender female prostitutes indeed have the particular characteristics that put them at the higher risk of becoming infected with HIV. This hypothesis was discussed above. Besides stating its correctness, the authors of the article insist on the other factors that contribute to the prevalence of HIV status among this sex group. This is about the higher females’ predisposition to different infections. All in all, these conclusions confirm the hypotheses proposed at the beginning of the article. At the end of the article, the researchers have included their results into the table that presents the prevalence of HIV status among discussed gender groups in percents.
In the discussion section of the article, the authors include the major limitations they faced within conducting their research. First of all, it is stated that most data the article focuses on is based on the previously obtained information. This appears to be an important issue as on the one hand, these investigations were conducted in different periods of time and, on the other hand, they might contain an outdated information. Secondly, the authors of the article argue that the previous studies they used are saturated with the biases concerning the sampling methods the researchers employed to conduct their analyses. The authors Don Operario, Toho Soma, and Kristen Underhill refer to did not select the participants for their experiments randomly. This is a considerable issue as eventually, it might lead to the incorrect conclusions. Besides, the research is limited by the specific geographical territories. The study focuses on the English-speaking countries and uses the literature published there. Thus, the current research does not present the conclusions that might be perceived as those associated with the state of the issue on the global extent. In my opinion, despite these limitations, the researchers have employed hard efforts to present the accurate results. These focus on the giant group of people and propose on-time conclusions.
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