Barbara G. Brents

Professor, Sociology
Expertise: Political Sociology, Social Policy, Gender, Sex Industry, Sexuality

Biography

Barb Brents has spent more than 25 years studying politics, sex and gender. She is considered one of the world’s leading academic experts on the sex industry and Nevada’s legal brothels. Her numerous books and publications use research on sexual commerce to understand the politics of sexuality; the intersections of culture and economics; sexual markets and consumption, and the emotional and bodily labor of selling sex.

Her most recent co-authored book, Paying for Sex in the Digital Age: US and UK Perspectives (Routledge Press, 2020), provides one of the first comprehensive, cross-cultural examinations of the dynamic market for sexual services, an evidence-based look at the multiple factors related to purchasing patterns and demand among clients who have used the internet

As co-author of the book, The State of Sex: Tourism, Sex and Sin in the New American Heartland (Routledge Press, 2010), Brents examines Nevada's brothels and their connection to contemporary tourism. She is also involved in a variety of organizations and projects to promote healthy sexuality and  advocate for the human rights of sex workers.

She is also involved in a variety of organizations and collaborative research projects to promote evidence-based reform to the criminal legal system and prostitution law, promote healthy sexuality, and advocate for sex workers’ human rights.

Her research has been featured in the New York Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Wall Street Journal, Time, Rolling Stone, the Daily Beast, Marketplace, Forbes and Business Week. She is also the author or co-author of publications including "Are Men Who Pay for Sex Sexist? Comparing Client Attitudes on Gender Role Equality in Different Prostitution Markets” in Men and Masculinities, “Violence and Legalized Brothel Prostitution in Nevada” in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence," “The Mainstreaming of the Sex industry: Economic Inclusion and Social Ambivalence” in the Journal of Law & Society and "EXPOsing Men’s Gender-Role Attitudes as Porn Superfans" in Sociological Forum.

Education

  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of Missouri
  • M.A., Sociology, University of Missouri
  • B.A., Journalism, University of Missouri

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Barbara G. Brents In The News

Nevada Current
February 18, 2021
Following summer protests calling for reforms to policing, the newly launched Nevada chapter of the Fines and Fees Justice Center along with UNLV sociology students began probing local data on traffic tickets to see who is most likely to receive citations.
AGORARN
February 3, 2021
Savannah Benavidez stopped working as a doctor's secretary in June to look after her two-year-old son after the nursery closed. Having to survive, she created an account on OnlyFans - a social networking platform where users sell original content to monthly subscribers - and started posting photos of herself naked or with a piece of lingerie.
exame.
January 28, 2021
Savannah Benavidez quit her job collecting medical bills in June to look after her two-year-old son after the daycare center closed. Needing a way to pay her bills, she joined OnlyFans - a social media platform on which users sell original content to monthly subscribers - and started posting pictures of herself naked or in lingerie.
New York Times
January 14, 2021
Savannah Benavidez stopped working at her job as a medical biller in June to take care of her 2-year-old son after his day care shut down. Needing a way to pay her bills, she created an account on OnlyFans — a social media platform where users sell original content to monthly subscribers — and started posting photos of herself nude or in lingerie.

Articles Featuring Barbara G. Brents

Campus News | February 3, 2021
A collection of news stories from the new year highlighting the experts and events at UNLV.
People preparing to cut ribbon on new Fertitta Complex
Campus News | November 1, 2019
A collection of local, national, and international news stories highlighting the people and programs of UNLV.
hand holding cell phone with social media apps on screen
Research | June 7, 2019
UNLV sociology doctoral students study how two politically polarized activist groups use social media to organize and impact legislation.