Prostitution Essay

1081 words - 5 pages

Prostitution: A Problem of Equality, Dignity and Integrity
There is much argument and debate in society about the issue of prostitution. Gunilla Ekberg, co-executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women states that “in order to successfully find solutions to the problem of prostitution, it is necessary to think about and discuss among ourselves what kind of society we wish to live in.” Before this discussion, however, we need to take a step back. The first question that needs to be addressed is whether we as a society see prostitution as a problem. Do we see prostitution as an inevitable, inescapable and necessary profession - a profession that has always existed as the ...view middle of the document...

The practices that men pay to carry out on women in prostitution are those that would be illegal if carried out without such monetary exchange. The buyer’s economic power means that he determines how the sexual act will be played out. There is no requirement for respectful interaction or ethical treatment of the woman. The result is often physical and psychological trauma - prostituted women experience feelings of numbness, shock, fear, loss of control, nightmares, depression, anger, desensitization, shame and guilt.[ii] A problem for integrity

A study published in 2003 found that 89 % of women in prostitution want to escape.[iii] Yet, the government offers no assistance or retraining programs to enable the high percentage of women who wish to exit the industry to do so. In 1994, the Victorian Liberal Government stated that a function of the Prostitution Control Board should be to assist organisations involved in helping prostitutes leave prostitution and to disseminate information about the dangers of prostitution. Despite this clear responsibility to sponsor exit programs, no such programs were created.[iv] The prostitution industry takes advantage of the fact that vulnerability remains the prime reason why women ‘choose’ prostitution. A survey of prostitutes in Queensland found that 90% of women working in legal brothels entered the industry because they ‘needed the money’.[v] These women’s circumstances are often exacerbated by the fact that women in prostitution have a statistically significant higher incidence of mental illness, substance addiction, or histories of sexual abuse than the general population.[vi] So it appears that for so many women wishing to escape, prostitution is an inescapable profession. An inevitable and necessary profession? A pro-prostitution argument states “just as the war on drugs has been an abysmal failure, the war on prostitution has merely led to a giant loss of tax dollars and police time. Where there are willing buyers and sellers, a market will exist, and no amount of vice police or moral lecturing will change that.” So then shall we acknowledge that prostitution is a problem, but it is inevitable? The answer to this question is a resounding, NO! The country of Sweden has a long-standing commitment to gender equality. They see prostitution as a gender-specific crime and a serious barrier to gender...

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