Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Conflict Analysis & Resolution


Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Ismael Muvingi

Second Advisor

Cheryl L. Duckworth

Third Advisor

Jason Campbell


Caribbean, conflict, sex, tourism, trafficking, Virgin Islands


St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands, is similar to other tourism dependent Caribbean nations where the tourism industry is dependent upon the `4 S's'- sun, sand, sea, and sex. This researcher posited that the phenomenon of sex tourism exists in St. Thomas as it does in other tourist destinations in the Caribbean like Jamaica, Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and Barbados (Bailey and Ricketts, 2003; de Albuquerque, 1998; Munshi, 2006; Ryan and Kinder, 1996). The lacuna of any U.S. Virgin Islands sex tourism literature prompted this researcher to conduct an exploratory case study in St. Thomas to learn whether or not sex tourism exists in the U.S. territory. Using a qualitative approach, this study finds that sex tourism does exist in St. Thomas. This information is pertinent to Conflict Analysis and Resolution because of sex tourism's strong involvement with the spread of sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS, human rights violations, gender based violence, human trafficking, and other social challenges. Examining sex tourism from three different sources, this researcher uses Human Needs theory and feminism to frame the research. The findings of this study are of interest to academia, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and tourism industries.

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