Prostitution: The Oldest Trade
An Economic and Health Problem
Prostitution by definition is described as sexual intercourse in exchange for remuneration (Bhunu,C.P, & Mushayabasa,S.S, 2012). Prostitution has a variety of forms: Brothels, escorts, prostitution and street prostitution. Brothels are established buildings specifically dedicated to prostitution; escort services can take place at the payer’s residence or hotel room, and street prostitution is usually seen in urban areas on street corners. Women involved in prostitution are a cause for concern from both public health and economic perspectives (Murphy, 2010). The promiscuity involved in the life of prostitution creates a high risk population for contractive sexually transmitted diseases (STD). Through research it was found that women involved in prostitution are considered to be at great risk for STD’s and HIV because they engage in sexual behavior more frequently and with more partners than is usual in population (Murphy, 2010). While promiscuity is a direct reasoning for higher HIV rates among prostitutes, injected drug use has a direct correlation as well. Research shows that twenty five percent of all males in the United States have solicited a prostitute at some time in their lives (Murphy, 2010). Bhunu,C.P, & Mushayabasa,S.S, found that HIV prevalence among female sex workers (prostitutes) varies widely but in some countries it is more than twenty times higher than the HIV prevalence of the general population. Prostitution is a social problem in itself; however there are other problems that are linked to the entry into prostitution. It is driven by a number of factors which are mainly peer pressure, homelessness, drug addiction and poverty just to mention a few of the driving forces (Bhunu,C.P, & Mushayabasa,S.S, 2012).
Widely, prostitution is considered an offense that demoralizes society’s principles and ethics. In the preamble to the International Convention, it is stated that “prostitution and the accompanying evil, human trafficking for prostitution, are incompatible with human dignity and values of people, and endanger the welfare of the individual, family and communities” (Ţălnar, I., & Himcinschi, C,2012). The act of selling one’s body for money is degrading. For radical feminism, prostitution is defined as male domination, exploitation, and violence against women—whether entered into voluntarily or not, whether legal or illegal. As the most prominent radical feminist organization, the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, proclaims on its website, “All prostitution exploits women, regardless of women’s consent (Weitzer, 2006). Prostitution is one of the more widely known and condemned forms of sexual deviance (Goode, 2011). Prostitution touches all women, rationalizes the sale of any woman, and condenses all women to sex.
In the area of public health, prostitution may play a decisive factor in the
spread of STDs to third parties. One should not...