Legal Geographies, Controlling Sexually Orientated Businesses: Law, Licensing, and the Geographies of a Controversial Land Use

21 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2011  

Jane Scoular

University of Strathclyde - School of Law

Date Written: June 20, 2011

Abstract

In this article, we explore both a neglected geography (the location of sexually oriented business) and a neglected instrument of sociospatial control (premises licensing). Arguing the former is increasingly shaped by the latter, we suggest that licensing provides a flexible means by which the state is able to reconcile the growing demand for “adult entertainment” with concerns about community standards, urban aesthetics, public safety, and property prices. We demonstrate this through an examination of the role of UK licensing legislation in controlling the location and visibility of such controversial businesses in London’s West End. It is demonstrated that, in this case, licensing has encouraged the “upscaling” of sex-related businesses while reducing their overall number and visibility. We conclude that licensing, as a means of controlling contentious urban land uses, constitutes a “field of governance” whose legal geographies remain to be adequately theorized and explored.

Keywords: sexuality, legal geography licensing, sex related business

Suggested Citation

Scoular, Jane, Legal Geographies, Controlling Sexually Orientated Businesses: Law, Licensing, and the Geographies of a Controversial Land Use (June 20, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1868141 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1868141

Jane Scoular (Contact Author)

University of Strathclyde - School of Law ( email )

Lord Hope Building
John Anderson Campus 141 St. James' Rd
Glasgow G4 0LT, Scotland G4 0LT
United Kingdom

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