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

CapRadio
May 7, 2021
Nevada lawmakers are weighing a bill for the fifth time in a number of years that would convert minor traffic violations from criminal offenses into civil infractions and remove the threat of incarceration.
Daily Beast
April 23, 2021
For the past 14 months, Madam Dena has sat on a sprawling, abandoned ranch outside Las Vegas, overseeing an empty empire of themed bungalows, hotel rooms, and tennis courts.
ABC News
March 18, 2021
Seven of the eight people killed were women; six were of Asian descent. The suspect, according to police, appeared to blame his actions on a “sex addiction."
Associated Press
March 18, 2021
Seven of the eight people killed were women; six were of Asian descent. The suspect, according to police, appeared to blame his actions on a “sex addiction.”

Articles Featuring Barbara G. Brents

students dance outdoors on UNLV's campus
Campus News | May 11, 2021
A collection of news stories highlighting remembrance, recovery, and progress at UNLV.
vice president kamala harris watches unlv student administer COVID vaccine to another local college student
Campus News | April 14, 2021
A collection of news stories highlighting health, recovery, and celebration at UNLV.
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.