Husbands pay men for sex in Phoenix Park
MARRIED men are the most likely to seek out male prostitutes in Dublin.
Prostitutes have told researchers that between 40pc and 95pc of their clients were married men.
Wedding rings on the fingers of clients and baby seats in their cars were the main reasons for concluding the men were married, according to 12 male prostitutes working in Dublin's Phoenix Park.
The researchers interviewed the prostitutes who worked mainly around the Wellington Monument.
They revealed that childhood sexual or physical abuse, leaving school early, running away from home and a dependence on heroin led them to a life of selling sex.
The study found there was a "high level of family dysfunction" among the 12 men who participated in the study.
Five of them had been sexually abused and three of them had also been physically abused.
Four reported physical abuse alone and three said they had been sexually abused by members of religious orders.
In five cases the men's fathers had a drink problem and seven of the men themselves were dependent on alcohol. Ten of the 12 were heroin users and 10 said they were heterosexual.
The report, Male Street Prostitution In Dublin, was carried out by a team under Dr Ian McCabe and is published in the Journal Of Homosexuality.
It found that 10 of the 12 had left the family home before they were 18, mainly because of stealing, drug use or sexual or physical violence. The average school-leaving age was 14.
The men said they had gone into prostitution because they had run out of other ways to make money and all 12 said they used drugs when working with their clients.
They charged between €35 and €100 depending on the activity and earned an average of €240 a week.
Said the report: "The estimate of married men as clients ranged from 40pc to 95pc which was supported by reports of clients wearing wedding rings and having baby seats in their cars."
Six of the prostitutes had severe levels of depressions and three in this group reported having suicidal thoughts.
Of the other six, three said they had moderate depression and three had had suicidal thoughts.