Lynzi Armstrong

Dr Lynzi Armstrong profile picture

Senior Lecturer in Criminology School of Social and Cultural Studies

Research interests

Sex worker rights and safety, sex work law, street-based sex work, migration and anti-trafficking policy, stigma, sport, gender and crime, sexual violence.


Doctor of Philosophy, Criminology, Victoria University of Wellington (2011)

Master of Arts (Hons), Social Policy, University of Glasgow (2006)

Research specialties

As a critical feminist criminologist, my research is broadly focused on gender, sexuality and justice. I have a particular interest in sex workers’ rights, sexual violence, anti-trafficking discourses, stigma, and the impacts of laws on marginalised populations – particularly sex workers. My research projects to date have explored the experiences of street-based sex workers navigating risks of violence in New Zealand, sex worker led organising in response to anti-trafficking policies, and the experience of stigma and discrimination among sex workers.

My current project, funded by a Marsden Fast Start grant, explores how stigma and discrimination operates in relation to sex work in the context of diverse legislative frameworks, examining the relationship between stigma and sex work laws. In 2018 I undertook preliminary research with sex workers in New Zealand on their perceptions and experiences of stigma and discrimination in the context of decriminalisation. My Marsden funded project, which will be completed between 2019 and 2022, expands this initial work into an international comparative project on the experiences of sex workers, and representations of sex work, across four jurisdictions.

I am available to supervise postgraduate students who are interested in diverse topics relating to gender, sexuality and justice, particularly those interested in sex workers’ rights and safety, prostitution law reform, sexual rights, and gender-based violence.

Selected publications

Armstrong, L. (2019). Review of Wilton (2018) My Body, my business: New Zealand sex workers in an era of change. Oral History in New Zealand, 30, 22.

Armstrong, L. (2019). Protection from harm? Sex worker rights and prostitution law reform in New Zealand and Germany. In G. Teichert (Ed.), Das Prostituiertenschutzgesetz: Implementierung - Problematisierung – Sensibilisierung. Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag

Armstrong, L. (2018). Sex worker rights activism and the decriminalisation of sex work in New Zealand. In S. Dewey, I. Crowhurst, & C. Izugbara (Eds.), Routledge International Handbook of Sex Industry Research. Abingdon: Routledge.

Armstrong, L. (2018). Stigma, decriminalisation, and violence against street-based sex workers: Changing the narrative. Sexualities. doi:10.1177/1363460718780216

Armstrong, L. (2018). New Zealand. In Sex Workers Organising for Change: Self-representation, community mobilisation, and working conditions (pp. 73-107). Bangkok: Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW).

Armstrong, L. (2017). Decriminalisation, policing and sex work in New Zealand. In T. Sanders, & M. Laing (Eds.), Policing the Sex Industry : Protection, Paternalism and Politics. London: Taylor and Francis Ltd

Sanders, T. and Armstrong, L. (2017). Removing the fear of crime: The role of regulation in creating safer spaces for sex workers. In M. Lee, & G. Mythen (Eds.), The Routledge International Handbook on Fear of Crime (pp. 14 pages). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Armstrong, L. (2017). Commentary: Decriminalisation and the rights of migrant sex workers in Aotearoa/New Zealand: Making a case for change. Women's Studies Journal, 31(2), 69-76

Armstrong, L. (2016), From Law Enforcement to Protection? Interactions between Sex Workers and Police in a Decriminalized Street-Based Sex Industry, British Journal of Criminology; doi: 10.1093/bjc/azw019

Armstrong, L. (2015). “Who’s the Slut, Who’s the Whore?” : Street Harassment in the Workplace Among Female Sex Workers in New Zealand. Feminist Criminology. doi:10.1177/1557085115588553

Armstrong, L. (2014). Diverse risks, diverse perpetrators: perceptions of risk and experiences of violence amongst street-based sex workers in New Zealand. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy. 3(3).

Armstrong, L. (2014). Screening clients in a decriminalised street-based sex industry: Insights into the experiences of New Zealand sex workers. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology. 7(2), 207-222.

Armstrong, L. (2012). Reflections on a research process: Exploring violence against sex workers from a feminist perspective. Women’s Studies Journal. 26 (1).

Armstrong, L. (2010). Out of the Shadows (and into a bit of light): Decriminalisation, Human Rights and Street-Based Sex Work in New Zealand. In Hardy, K.; Kingston, S.; Sanders, T., New Sociologies of Sex Work, Surrey: Ashgate.

Media Commentaries

Armstrong, L. (2020). Stop blaming sex workers for their murders - they deserve to be safe. Stuff, January 9

Armstrong, L. (2018). It’s as legal as any other job. So why does stigma against sex workers persist? The Spinoff, August 6

Armstrong, L. (2018). Almost legal: migrant sex work in New Zealand. Open Democracy, June 6

Armstrong, L. (2017). Decriminalising sex work is the only way to protect women – and New Zealand has proved that it works. The Independent, May 27

Armstrong, L. (2017). Hassling and shaming prostitutes no solutions to community’s concerns. The Press, May 24

Barton, A and Armstrong, L. (2017). Constructing Rape. Criminology Collective, 6 March

Armstrong, L. (2016). Rugby bears some blame for off-field violence. New Zealand Herald, 30 September

Armstrong, L. (2015). Scotland should think carefully before criminalising clients of sex workers. The Conversation, June 30