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Invisible no more: An exploratory geospatial typology of illicit massage businesses in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan Area

Authors: Sean Crotty*, Texas Christian University, Mark Daku, Texas Christian University
Topics: Economic Geography, Urban Geography, Landscape
Keywords: Illicit Economy, Business Geography, Landscape, Crime Geography
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Illicit massage businesses (IMBs) make up the largest sector of the commercial sex industry in the United States. To date, very little research examining the spatial dimensions of this industry exists, and what limited research exists treats all IMBs as equivalent features in space. This research addresses this shortcoming of previous research by drawing on analysis of landscape photographs of 440 IMB storefronts in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metro area, attribute data for each IMB drawn from online review websites, and neighborhood demographic profiles, this paper presents the first geo-spatial typology of illicit massage businesses in North America.

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