Ten reasons for not legalizing prostitution and a legal response to the demand for prostitution
ABSTRACT Since the mid-1980s, the debate about how to address prostitution legally has become a subject of legislative action Some countries in Europe, most notably the Netherlands and Germany among others, have legalized and/or decriminalized systems of prostitution, which includes decriminalizing pimps, brothels and buyers, also known as "customers or johns." Other governments, such as Thailand, legally prohibit prostitution activities and enterprises but in reality tolerate brothels and the buying of women for commercial sexual exploitation, especially in its sex tourism industry. Sweden, has taken a different legal approach --penalizing the buyers while at the same time decriminalizing the women in prostitution. This article offers ten arguments for not legalizing prostitution. These arguments apply to all state-sponsored forms of prostitution, including but not limited to full-scale legalization of brothels and pimping, decriminalization of the sex industry, regulating prostitution by laws such as registering or mandating health checks for women in prostitution, or any system in which prostitution is recognized as "sex work" or advocated as an employment choice. This essay reviews the ways in which legitimating prostitution as work makes the harm of prostitution to women invisible, expands the sex industry, and does not empower the women in prostitution.
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ABSTRACT: Stigma is a widely used concept in social science research and an extensive literature claims that stigmatisation contributes to numerous negative health outcomes. However, few studies compare groups that vary in the extent to which they are stigmatised and even fewer studies examine stigma's independent and mediating effects. This article addresses these gaps in a comparative study of perceived stigma and drug use among three low-income feminised service occupations: sex work, food and alcoholic beverage serving, and barbering and hairstyling. An analysis of longitudinal data shows positive associations between sex work, perceived stigma, and socially less acceptable drug use (for example, heroin and cocaine), and that stigma mediates part of the link between sex work and the use of these drugs. Our overall findings suggest that perceived stigma is pronounced among those who work in the sex industry and negatively affects health independently of sex work involvement. © 2015 The Authors. Sociology of Health & Illness © 2015 Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness/John Wiley & Sons Ltd.Sociology of Health & Illness 02/2015; · 1.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Sex work in South Africa is poorly understood. Sex work and paying for sex are still considered illegal in South Africa. Research focus thus far has been on sex workers and their experiences. There exists a paucity of research literature on the perceptions of the client. This research focused on how South African men construct paying for sex. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore male clients’ experiences of paying for sex. Through thematic analysis various themes emerged. Three main themes were identified: justifications, motivations, and deterrents. Our findings offer insight into South African heterosexual male clients’ constructions of paying for sex. By gaining insight into the clients’ constructed perceptions of paying for sex, we begin to understand the demand factor in sex work. Further research into the demand of male clients may deepen our understanding of the nature and consequences of sex work. This has the potential to impact legislation around sex work and aid in their construction of aspects of gender and sexuality.Psychology Research. 01/2013; 3(12):749 - 761.
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ABSTRACT: Three main ideological stances exist regarding sex work issues: abolitionism, sex-positive feminism, and decriminalization. We argue for decriminalization based on decades of research results. Research on female sex workers is most often done through feminist theory and focus on gender relationships and on the experience of oppression and/or agency. Such studies examine the motivations to do sex work, the experience of being objectified, the stigma related to sex work, and, finally, the impact of this kind of work on self-esteem, on couple relationships, and on social relationships. Research on male sex workers examines power dynamics, representations of masculinity, self-perception, and the socioeconomic conditions that lead to sex work and influence safe-sex practices. Usually, feminist approaches do not take the experiences of male sex workers into account. However, taking these experiences into consideration would give a broader perspective to the understanding of sex work, as the experiences of male sex workers show many aspects similar to those of female sex workers. We contend that a woman’s sexual experience has been socially constructed as being part of her identity, in such a way that she becomes socially devalued whenever she does not comply to norms, thus making sex work a ‘degrading’ experience even though it is not intrinsically so.Sexuality & Culture 03/2014; 18(1).