MYTH: Decriminalizing prostitution would save a lot of money because police wouldn't have to arrest prostitutes or johns or pimps.
FACT: Decriminalization of prostitution has resulted in expensive legal challenges because no one wants prostitution zoned into their neighborhood or near their kids' schools. Mustang Brothel was shut down because of tax evasion. Pimps are simply not going to hand over the massive profits that they make from the business of sexual exploitation.
MYTH: Prostitution is ugly, but we have to do something to make it a little better.
Legalization is better than nothing at all.
FACT: Prostitution can't be made "a little better" anymore than domestic violence can be made "a little better." Women in prostitution tell us clearly: they want the same options in life that others have: a decent job, safe housing, medical care and psychological counseling. They deserve that, not just an HIV test to make sure that they are "clean meat" for johns or a union to ensure that they get an extra dollar or two for being paid to be sexually harassed, sexually exploited and often raped.
MYTH: Legal prostitution is a progressive solution to an age-old problem.
FACT: A progressive law promotes women's equality, not women's prostitution.... A 1999 Swedish law describes prostitution as a human rights violation against women. Understanding the massive social and legal power difference in the prostitution transaction, Sweden arrests johns but not the women in prostitution. Trafficking and prostitution have plummeted in Sweden since the law was introduced....Women in prostitution do not want to be in the brothels: 81% of the women in the Nevada legal brothels urgently want to escape prostitution
Brown et al. (2003) argues that women who frequently "share histories of abuse, violence, residential instability, racism, and discrimination." Most individuals became involved prostitutions as a means of survival. Along with a lack of formal educational or job experience, these recurring combined experiences, contribute to economic insecurity. (Brown et al., 2003) Prostitution not only scars and marks victims, it "marks" one of the more common "revolving door" offenses routinely occurring in many major metropolitan areas. Even though the behavior rarely reaches the felony level, Nelson (2004) argues that dealing with prostitution presents one of the more perplexing challenges within the criminal justice system. Using an earlier landmark study on criminal justice costs for prostitution, Nelson (2004) reports estimated 2001 costs in Chicago for each prostitution arrest was $1,554, with $9,089,252 estimated to be the legal system total.
In a 1994 study of health consequences of prostitution, it was found that women engaged in a variety of prostitution activities, including at strip clubs, in the street, at crack houses and through escort services. The study also found that prostitution had a profound impact on the women's personal health and that of their children. (Parriott, 1994, cited by Nelson, 2004). There also are the added burdens to welfare, child welfare, and neighborhoods and communities, which experience more costs and deterioration in quality of life. (Nelson, 2004)
Commercial sexual exploitation of minors by international tourists, Andrews (2004) notes, is one particularly disturbing aspect of prostitution.
Tourism, one of the largest, most lucrative global industries, and the sex industry mutually reinforce each other with some vacationers paying for sex with a male or female in their destination country. Every year, foreign travelers from predominantly Western countries, including the U.S., spend billions of dollars to purchase sexual services. This usually illegal practice, referred to as "sex tourism," has become widely acknowledged. (Andrews, 2004) Prostitution of children in developing countries, Andrews (2004) reports, continues to rise basically due to the increase in the number of foreign tourists. Some individuals contend the U.S. is one of the "sending" countries contributing to the market flourishing because of more wealthy and willing and customers. As the U.S. recognizes and understands more about the problem of prostitution regarding children, it also needs to establish more laws to counter international child prostitution. President Bill Clinton signed one such law, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, also known as the Crime Bill. This Bill states it constitutes "a criminal offence to travel abroad for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity with a minor." (Andrews, 2004)
No country, including the U.S., Matthews (2005) argues, is immune from the drama and tragedy of international child sex trafficking for prostitution. "Ling was thirteen years old and living in Burma when her family sold her to a neighbor under the guise of becoming a domestic worker in another country.
The neighbor transported Ling to the Thailand border where she crossed into more than a new country -- she walked into a terrifying new life.
Her captors took her to a brothel and forced her to have sex up to ten times per day, primarily with clients traveling from wealthy countries where such activities are illegal.
All the money she earned went to the brothel manager, who forced Ling to live with the most meager of possessions.
After enduring a year of this life and being exposed to the AIDS virus, police arrested Ling in a raid on the brothel and charged her with prostitution.
Upon completion of her sentence, officials deported Ling to Burma where there are no laws to protect victims of trafficking.
Her perpetrators remain unpunished.
In neighboring Cambodia, however, the police arrested sixty-nine-year-old Michael Clark, an American tourist, for participating in illicit sexual conduct with two boys under the age of fourteen.
Clark has since become the first person in the United States to be indicted under the PROTECT Act -- the U.S. legislation designed to curb sexual abuse of children.
Due to this strong new legislation and Cambodia's willingness to cooperate with U.S. law enforcement, the Cambodian victims may see punishment meted out, unlike the young girl in Burma. 9) Due to this strong new legislation and Cambodia's willingness to cooperate with U.S. law enforcement, the Cambodian victims may see punishment meted out, unlike the young girl in Burma.
Sexual exploitation and trafficking in children is a growing affront on human dignity that has gained greater international attention in recent years.
Trafficking in persons is one of the most rapidly growing transnational criminal enterprises, with child prostitution skyrocketing despite legislation designed to prevent and control the illegal activity.
In response, countries must pool their efforts and unify in the fight against the international trafficking trade -- both in those where children are forced into prostitution, as well as those providing a market for such trade.
Much legislation has been passed in response to this problem.
To date, this legislation has been "all bark and no bite," professing the importance of ending trafficking, but lacking the necessary force to impact this insidious crime.
Despite slight efforts by the United States and the international community, the system has not worked to protect children.
A multinational response with international coordination of law enforcement is required to thwart the enormous problem of trafficking.
The United States is not immune to the atrocities of sex trafficking in children. (Matthews, 2005)
Steps Away From Prostitution Taking steps to help reduce prostitution of children in developing countries, however, requires more than the U.S., taking steps to help reduce the problem. It also needs other countries to join forces with each other and the U.S. To do whatever needs to be done. On April 30, 2003, President Bush signed the Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today Act (the "PROTECT Act"). This law significantly improved the United States government's ability to pursue American citizens and resident aliens who commit sexual crimes against children outside of United States territory. (Messigian, 2006)
Counters to "the World's Oldest Profession" as time has passed, Saban (2006) reports, the prostitutes' lot constantly shifted, as "whores and harlots have been elevated, abused, exploited and commodified sic)." Prostitution, nevertheless continues to constitute a "resilient profession that has defeated all attempts to suppress and control it." A current concern noted by several sex workers Saban (2006) interviewed questions if in the age of the internet and the cyber-hooker, the profession can ever be kept under check. A "John School," considered a success in combating prostitution, reported in the Washington Times, constitutes one current counter being implemented to try to check prostitution, also known as "the world's oldest profession." "Only one of the more than 500 men who have taken the District's 2-year-old anti-prostitution course has been arrested again for solicitation. 'I think it's certainly fair to say [the program is] a resounding success,' said Anthony Asuncion, chief of the misdemeanor section of the U.S. Attorney's Office. 'The only big change that has happened in the last two years is we have become very successful.'" ("John School' Called, 2003, p. a" B01)
One male participant of the John School reported: "All parts of the program were appropriate because I found I was responsible for my own actions...." Another man wrote, "They put a scare into me that will have more…