You must have heard...
‘PROSTITUTION IS THE OLDEST PROFESSION’
‘PROSTITUTION PROTECTS ‘GOOD’ WOMEN AGAINST RAPE’
‘MEN NEED TO RELEASE TENSION’
‘MALE BIOLOGY IS DIFFERENT FROM FEMALE BIOLOGY AND REQUIRES MULTIPLE WOMEN FOR SEXUAL SATISFACTION’
‘IF PROSTITUTION IS DECRIMINALISED THEN PROSTITUTED WOMEN WILL BE SAFER HEALTH WISE’
‘WOMEN CONSIDER PROSTITUTION AS LEGITIMATE WORK’
‘PROSTITUTION IS EASY MONEY’
‘HIV/AIDS CAN BE EFFECTIVELY FOUGHT IF PROSTITUTION IS DECRIMINALISED’
‘CONDOM PROMOTION AND SAFE SEX PRACTICES WILL MAKE PROSTITUTION SAFER’
Well we hear these things on a regular basis…by some who claim to know it all and a majority of others who have absolutely no clue what they are talking but would like to parrot what others say as they consider it as a dominant view point. But what is the reality.
Is prostitution which is also called by many “sex work” a choice of millions of women and children... who think this is a legitimate option? Is it exciting and glamorous offering easy money and wealth?
Is prostitution a deterrent to sexual crimes such as rape?
Well maybe facts can speak for themselves...
• After prostitution was legalized in Netherlands it is estimated that between 1996 and 2001 the number of children in prostitution increased by over 300% going from 4000 to 15000 and that 5000 of these children were trafficked from other countries.
• Not a single country across the world where prostitution is legalized have reported even a marginal decrease in crime against women or children
• Most studies across the world with prostituted women indicates a high percentage of physical injuries/abuses and psychological disorders ranging from verbal abuses, traumatic brain injuries(TBI), post traumatic stress disorders(PTSD) and mood disorders.
• Following legalization of prostitution in Victoria, Australia although the number of legal brothels doubled the greatest expansion was in illegal prostitution and in 1 year(1999) there was a 300% growth of illegal brothels(Sullivan and Jefferys,2001)
• Most studies show that prostituted women did not choose prostitution among a range of options such as medicine, law, teaching, nursing or politics. Their “options” were more in the realm of survival for themselves and their children.
• Over 70% prostituted women and children across the world were initiated into prostitution when they were less than 14yrs of age.
• Not a single prostituted person can control any transaction in prostitution. The person must do what the buyer wants to do. Research across the world shows that most women in prostitution report being subjected to acts that include burns with cigarettes, slashes with blades, being tied to bedposts, bodily mutilated, gang rape, sadism and various forms of sado machoism.
• Most prostituted women and children have little or no bargaining power on condom usage. Reports from across the world indicates that men would not hesitate to pay more for sex without condoms.
• More than 50% of prostituted women in countries were prostitution is legalized reported in a study that they do not think legal prostitution made them any safer from rape and physical assault( Farley et al.,2003)
• As an exploitative industry prostitution is controlled by the procurer, pimp, broker and madams where the prostituted women has little or no stake in her earnings. Most studies report in the first 3yrs of prostitution the person is in a debt trap paying up for the cost of her procurement.
• Most prostituted persons are subjected to repeated abortions, substance abuse, alcohol addiction, recurrent STI and RTI and vulnerability of being physically and psychologically assaulted.
• HIV/AIDS, STD’s, Cervical Cancer, TBI(traumatic brain injury) and all forms of psychological disorders are the various health issues that can effect most prostituted persons.
• Discussion with over 500 prostituted persons revealed that customers would always prefer different kinds of sexual services such as anal or oral intercourse which a prostituted person may or may not like. With limited time frame most acts of sex would be violent and rarely the consent of the person was sought regarding the act.
How is it possible to protect the health of someone whose “job” means that they will get raped on an average once a day?
How can something that is dehumanizing and violating become a dignified choice?
How can male violence be legitimized?
Does any of the above said appeal to us if our own daughter or sister made a choice to become a prostituted person.
So how does something that is so distasteful for majority of us,be supported and sanctioned, all because we are too preoccupied to collectively work towards dignified options and our afraid to address the male demand?
Can we be party to legitimize sexual slavery?