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The Problem With Sell Sex Essay

1036 words - 5 pages

Violence in prostitution cannot end purely through eradication or by becoming legal. Elimination of prostitution will only drive the sex industry further underground, making violence more likely. Although prostitution is largely illegal, it flourishes in those countries, like China and America. Many of the laws prohibiting prostitution only work to control the sex workers (Brock and Thistlewaite 128). Because the laws which regulate prostitution only control them, sex workers feel like they have to avoid law enforcement officers. The situation where prostitutes have to be secretive in their business creates the underground business of the sex industry. In an underground business, things ...view middle of the document...

If the stigma placed on prostitutes were to go away, more sex workers would be willing to come forward to the police and try to file charges against their assailant. On the other hand, as Kimberly Klinger, a PhD student studying gender and sexuality, observed streetwalkers living in fear of arrest, assault and even sexual abuse from the police (16). Because of the persistent stigma, often even the police are the attackers that prostitutes have to face. The end result is a society of people who cannot believe that sex is a saleable commodity and want to persecute people who treat it as such and a legal system that has taken advantage of those people as well. While trying to eliminate prostitution is clearly not the answer, the other possibility, legalization, is just as flawed.
If the practice is made legal, it will only help to perpetuate violence against women by making things like pimps into legal business men and being attacked as a job hazard, rather than a crime. For example, because of the restrictions placed on prostitutes, women aren’t allowed to have friends in the town, talk to certain people and there are restrictions on what time the prostitutes are allowed to go into town. In Nevada, the clear benefactors of the system are the men who frequently brothels, the owners of said brothels and the state (Davis 312). Thus creating a situation where the women are more restrained than ever and cannot control how they are treated by the system. Once a sex worker no longer has control over her business, she must put all her trust into another person and this is where the violence can occur. Such is the situation for women in a private brothel in Taiwan, an investor in the brothel, Yesd, describes how sex workers who no longer want to work are punished with gang rape to dehumanize and degrade the women (Peng 17).Women who want to leave the sex industry are horrifically abused by the men who are in control of them and this causes the violence to be continuously perpetrated against women who are sex workers. In Boston, an effort was made to keep sex workers clustered into one area, to make it easier...

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