Marywood University Professor Co-Authors Article

Sunny Sinha, Ph.D., associate professor in Marywood University’s School of Social Work, recently co-authored an article titled, “Community-Based Strategies for Harm Reduction Among Sex Workers in Kolkata, India.”

In the article, Dr. Sinha and her co-author explore research that was conducted with diverse groups of sex workers in India as well as around the globe, which has shown that decriminalizing sex work can promote the health, safety, and security of sex workers. Nonetheless, in many countries, including India, legislations criminalizing buying of sex—that is punishing clients of sex workers—have gained momentum with the accompanying rationale of rescuing/saving women trapped in sex work.

These legislations ignore the reality that sex work is an economically viable vocation for a majority of women, men, and transgender people in India—especially when compared to low-paying jobs with long, fixed hours of work. Consequently, such legislations have also not deterred people from choosing sex work as a livelihood option. In addition, little information is available about the community-based harm reduction responses.

In addition to her role as an associate professor in the School of Social Work at Marywood University, Dr. Sinha is also a Fahs-Beck Scholar, a doctoral dissertation grant program that helps support dissertation expenses of students in the U.S. and Canada. She earned her Ph.D. degree in Social Work form the University of South Carolina, Columbia. Her research and scholarship focus on a wide range of global issues, including HIV prevention, trafficking, and issues related to gender, race, class, and sexuality. She has published mostly on the issues of non-brothel-based female sex workers in Kolkata, India. Dr. Sinha is also the recipient of the Michael H. Agar Lively Science Award for 2018.

For additional information about Marywood University’s School of Social Work, please visit, or call the Office of Admissions at (570) 348-6234. To read the paper, “Community-Based Strategies for Harm Reduction Among Sex Workers in Kolkata, India,” please visit