Summer 2024 - CRIM 317 OL01

Sex, Work, and the Law (3)

Class Number: 2835

Delivery Method: Online


  • Course Times + Location:


  • Prerequisites:

    CRIM 101.



Examines the history of commercial sex in Canada, the related laws and their impacts; research on the breadth of the commercial sex industry, sex sellers, sex buyers, and third parties; theories about commercial sex involvement and its role in society; legal approaches to addressing commercial sex in other countries; current legal framework, including jurisprudence, relevant Criminal, Immigration, and municipal law. Students with credit for CRIM 313 (Specific Types of Crime) prior to Summer 2007 may not take this course for further credit.


Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
(1) Understand the historical development of, and political basis for, Canadian laws related to commercial sex activities;
(2) critically evaluate research from a variety of sources examining diverse forms of sex work including street-based, off-street, gendered form commercial sex activities, erotic entertainment, BDSM and fetish activities; and explain the diverse social contexts in which commercial sex activities take place;
(3) comprehend the ethical issues facing sex work researchers and the critiques of knowledge production on commercial sex activities;
(4) assess current research related to sex buyers, youth sexual exploitation, migrant sex work, and human trafficking,
(5) evaluate the various legal approaches to regulating sex work in other jurisdictions; and
(6) apply current research and legal principles to assess the various factors considered in Canadian law and policy related to commercial sex activities.


  • Video-based Exercises (Weeks1, 2, 12) 25%
  • Critical Reflections (3) (Weeks 3 or 4; 9 or 10; 13) 60%
  • Responses to Guests (TBD during weeks 5-8) 15%


  • This course is an online course; all materials are delivered asynchronomously. Students will need to log onto Canvas by the end of the first week of the term and then continue to check Canvas weekly and submit assignments through Canvas.
  • See the syllabus on Canvas for a complete list of all policies applicable to this course.



1. Durisin, E., van der Meulen, E., & Bruckert, C. (2018) Red Light Labour: Sex Work Regulation, Agency, and Resistance. Vancouver: UBC Press.
2. Online Materials accessible through Canvas.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

Department Undergraduate Notes:

If you have any Criminology course enrollment requests (course adds, course swaps), please contact a Criminology advisor. Please do not contact instructors for enrollment assistance as they will ultimately refer you to a Criminology advisor.

Criminology course enrollment requests should be sent to a Criminology advisor no later than the last day of the Second week of classes. Late enrollment requests are subject to approval and are not guaranteed. 

Enrollment requests for non-Crim courses should be directed to the advisor for the program offering the course. 

ATTENTION: STUDENTS WITH A DISABILITY: Please contact the Center for Accessible Learning, (MBC 1250 or Phone 778-782-3112) if you need or require assistance, not your individual instructors.  

  • N.B.: Students are reminded that attendance in the first week of classes is important. However, there are no tutorials in the first week.
  • ON CAMPUS COURSES ONLY: Assignments not submitted to the Professor/T.A. during class/office hours must be placed in the security box behind the General Office (SWH 10156), or submitted as per Professor’s instructions for courses taking place at Surrey Campus. The assignment drop box is emptied Monday to Friday at 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. only, with the contents date stamped accordingly. No other department’s date stamp will be accepted (e.g. Library/Campus Security).  For the Surrey Campus, assignments must be hand delivered to the General Office of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, located at SUR 5180, on Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30p.m., or placed in the assignment drop box located at the southwest corner of Galleria 5.  The Surrey assignment drop box is emptied Monday through Friday at 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., with the contents date stamped accordingly.  The School of Criminology is not responsible for assignments submitted in any other manner (e.g., slid under office doors).  The University does NOT accept assignments by fax or email.
  • A student must complete ALL aspects of a course (including assignments, exams, class participation, presentations, chat room components of Distance Education courses and other), otherwise they will receive a grade of N. 
  • The University has formal policies regarding intellectual dishonesty and grade appeals which may be obtained from the General Office of the School of Criminology.
  • Under GP18, the University has policies and procedures which respond to our obligations under the BC Human Rights Code to provide a harassment and discrimination free environment for the students, staff and faculty of this institution.  Members of this community have an affirmative obligation to safeguard the human rights of others.


Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university.


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the term are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.