Many people believe that prostitution is a free choice. However, after researching several studies of prostitutes, Melissa Farley disagrees. Since 1993, Farley has been researching prostitution and human trafficking in several countries. Her research shows high rates of post traumatic stress disorder among the women studied, who worked as prostitutes whether on the street, in a brothel, or in strip clubs. Farley and her coauthors found this research to contradict the popular myths about prostitution such as the idea that people who are in prostituion have freely consented to it. Farley’s research has lead her to believe that prostitution is commonly not a free choice. Farley reports in her studies that 89% of the respondents interviewed wished to leave prostituion but lacked the means to do so. I agree with Farley and understand that this ‘profession’ is a dangerous and life threatening one. I don’t believe that any person would willingly dream of becoming a prostitute, however I understand that in some circumstances it becomes the only way for an individual to survive. For example, 84% of women interviewed in Farley’s studies reported a history of homelessness.
It is debated whether legalizing or decriminalizing prostitution would reduce it’s harmful effects. For example, countries such as Germany and New Zealand have legalized prostitution. The differences between leagalized and decriminalized prostitution are not experienced by the prostitute. Legalized prostitution is a state- sponsored activity in which the state collects taxes from this profession, just like any other. Decriminalized prositution means that all laws regarding prostitution would be removed, resulting in prostitution and all it’s forms becoming legal. Melissa Farley is opposed to both legalization and decriminalization of prostitution claiming that it does nothing to decrease the harmful effects both physically and psychologically that the women in prostitution endure. It is not the legal status of prostitution that causes the harm, it’s the act of prositution itself. Some claim that legalization or decriminalization of prostitution would decrease the shame and isolation that many prostitutes feel because of their view in society, however women in Dutch prostitution rarely register as legal prostitutes, depriving themselves of legal benefits such as retirement, simply because they are ashamed to be labeled as one. I agree with Farely and do not believe that prostituion should be legalized or decriminalized, simply because I do not believe it would allieviate any of the problems caused by prostitution. We can see this proven by the countries who have decriminalized prostitution, many of them seeing an increase in illegal, hidden and street prostitution. Countries who have legalized prositution are seeing an increase in human trafficking which brings new horrors and more problems to deal with.
Prostitution can be seen as an intersection of race, sex, and class oppression due to the fact that oppressed people are forced into this type of work by poverty and lack of education. People who view prostitution as a free choice and form of sexual liberation should analyze more closely the relationship between sexual liberation and prostitution. Sexual liberation implies the release of oppresive factors such as people, beliefs, and conditions that would control a person’s sexuality. However, studies such as those found by Melissa Farley assert that prostitution degrades and exploits those who engage in such acts, ultimately contradicting the values that sexual liberation promotes.
Some people in the world view prostitution as something that an individual is free to choose, that deciding to go into prostitution/trafficking is mainly just a life work decision, a way to make money.
However Farely argues that that isn’t so. Farely first states that “Prostitution is many kinds of violence against women, but it is often not clearly understood as such.” She says that because it is so profitable, the real reasons women go into the sex business are concealed. These reasons could include sexism, racism, poverty and child abuse.
My view on prostitution can go both ways, but mainly I agree with Farely and her side of the argument. The only thing that sways me in the other direction is the fact that some women actually do enjoy that kind of life ad I say that because I have seen interviews with women that actually choose that life style and have a solid clear perspective on what they are doing and the reasons they enjoy it. Also these women had careers and could have continued on with them. But who knows if there aren’t some deeper issues even with these women who freely choose to become a part of the sex business.
Many women become prostitutes because either their race, sex or class oppression left them with no other choice.Race plays a part by in prostitution women are purchased for their appearance, including skin color and characteristics based on stereotyping. There are also other factors that involve race. The female sex is the gender that is most prevalent in prostitution and trafficking however there is a small percentage of men who are also involved. Also factors (such as sexual abuse, physical abuse, job opportunities,etc.) that can propel people into prostitution are more common occurrences in woman’s life than in a mans life. Class oppression also plays a role in deciding to go into prostitution. As Farely states “The economic vulnerability and limited career options of poor women are significant factors in their recruitment into prostitution.” When a survey was conducted amoung 854 people in prostitution from nine different countries, it was discovered that 75% of the people were currently or previously homeless. Education which isn’t available to alot of people in lower classes affects ones ability to get a job and build a career. Which even though a woman might not want to go into prostitution , it’s their only option left to survive.
The legalization of prostitution involves state, country or city ordinances that regulate prostitution. Decriminalization is a legal approach that decriminalizes the enforcement of all laws against prostitution. Decriminalization would normalize commercial sex.
Farely is opposed to both because no matter if prostitution is legalized or decriminalized, violence will still be prevalent among the women involved. I agree with Farely that either way with the legalization or decriminalization of prostitution physical and mental harm will occur in the sex business.
Melissa Farley discusses the issue of prostitution and how it has become a worldwide buisness of sexual exploitation. Many are in denial about how many people this effects from every culture. It has become a part of almost every country and is swept under the rug alot of the time. This involoves violent crimes against particulary women and children which is not always obvious to people. The factors that effect prostitution are sexism, racism, poverty and child abuse. Alot of women and children that are raised in a violent enviroment whether it be psychical, pshychological but mainly sexual abuse escape their home situations but often go to a pimp or a john to earn money by selling their bodies. There are many situations where a child or woman is forced into the sex trade buisness. Many people feel that this population gives consent to engage in thses sexual acts however is it really consent if they are forced or left without no other options? Children are easily controlled and influenced into this buisness and are raised not to know any different. When children are emotionally and sexually abused they often feel helpless and turn to prostitution later in life. This vulnerable population is often looked at as unequal due to their situations.
Trying to escape this sex trade buisness can be nearly impossible. Many of these people are trafficked into another country and are rbought far away from home. There is not alot of help out there to assist these people in escaping prostittion. They often need drug and alcohol detoxification/ rehabilitatation, safe homeless shelters PTSD and Stress disorder therapy and lack of social services. Extreme phsycial violence and sexual abuse leads these women and children to feel completley controlled by a pimp. In alot of these cases they become very sick, due to sexual abuse and lack of healthcare services. I think that decriminlization of prostitution would out women and children at a greater risk for sexual, psyhical and emotional abuse.
In the World today we have seen and heard an unimaginable amount of stories about prostitution that can either lead us to agree with it or be against it. Melissa Farley disagrees with the view that it is a free choice. She wishes people would see it for what it really is, “a particularly lethal form of male violence against women.” The truth behind prostitution is usually concealed and or accepted depending on the person or the country. Farley doesn’t believe it is a free choice because for numerous cases she has found that women and children are either forced into it, find it as a better support system, or are seeking escape from a “worse” lifestyle. In my opinion I think some may feel it is a free choice because they are brainwashed into believing it is their only option to a more “stable” life. After reading this article it is clear that more than 50% of prostitution comes from abuse as a child, force, or escape from a harder life; usually all three combined into one. They may feel that it is a free choice but that’s because they haven’t experienced something better. It is a very common thing that women partaking in prostitution are of a certain race and have a lack of education. Men have certain preferences, which affects many races such as Asian and African Americans. Also, some men desire a younger “women” which brings children into the picture. With a lack of education, it is easier to get into prostitution because they may feel they cannot move up to something greater and this in turn keeps them employed. Some also feel a sense of control because it’s their body but this usually isn’t the case. In most cases of the “sex-sellers” they have been mentally and or physically abused throughout life, have had a poor education, and ultimately feel wanted and in control leading them to ignore the real truth and consequences. By legalizing prostitution, “the state acts as a pimp.” Even if the act of prostituting was legalized, the women knew they would still be exposed to some sort of violence. The act of decriminalizing would just “remove the social stigma associated with prostitution.” Along with legalization, the trauma of the reality would still be there. The difference between the two is, decriminalizing would give a man “permission” to women and children. Farley disagrees with both because there would still be violence and many would be forced to deal with it. Legalizing or decriminalizing would just mean accepting something that is a form of abuse and there would never be a hope of escape. I agree with Melissa Farley because for many women and children it isn’t a “free choice” despite beliefs; it is a form of abuse that is ignored because of several reasons including the power of money.
Prostitution is a big issue in today’s society. Some women do it as a means to pay the pills. They feel that they have no other options to make money, so they sell their body to make a living. For those women, I don’t think it should be illegal. If you have absolutely no other way to support yourself and/or your family, then you should not be judged by how you make your money.
Some places are legitimate businesses that you can go and pay to have a good time. The people who work there chose to be there and are not disappointed in their jobs. That’s how they make their money, and again, I don’t think it should be illegal. It’s that persons choice to do what they want with their body.
But for the people who kidnap and force girls into sexual laborers should be stopped. Young girls who do not have a choice and are being pimped out need help to get out. This is illegal and yet it’s still happening all over the world. People just ignore the fact that women and girls are being sold as a sex slave, raped, and beaten with no way out. To me, that doesn’t count as prostitution. Prostitution is when a person chooses to sell their body for money. Not when they are forced.
According to Farely, of 130 interviewees, “82%… reported having been physically assaulted since entering prostitution.” If prostitution was made legal for those who choose to do it, less assaults and rapes would happen because the women would be able to go to the police about it. With it being illegal, women and girls are getting beat up and assaulted without any justice.
Prostitution is a business. People chose to be in this business. If it stays illegal, lots of women will continue to get beaten and raped without any help, for fear of getting into trouble with the law. As bad as people may see prostitution, nothing is worse than letting women get assaulted and the offenders get away with it.
Farley argues that prostitution is not a free choice. People especially men use the women as sex slaves. The women from the poorer countries will more often be prostitutes than a middle income lady living in the United States. Children both genders are introduced into the sex trade at young ages (even by the age of 12). A lot of women of that are different races are targeted by pimps easier because they come from a lower income country. In this world today there are not as many male prostitutes as there are as women prostitutes. Farley thinks that many of these women and men prostitutes could be runaways from their homes where they might not of gotten along with their family or homeless kids that never had a family to begin with, or got rejected by them. Most likely women that have been abused while growing up as a child will are more likely to become a prostitute than another lady who was brought up in a nice and healthy home. Women are transmitting sexually transmitted diseases. Being a prostitute women are being raped and hurt badly. For all the women Farley has interviewed about seventy percent of them had gotten raped. I have not lived in an area that I have ever seen prostitutes out on the street looking for business; I have only driven by strip clubs that must be full of them. I had a friend, whose sister was a prostitute. She did not enjoy the job, but it’s what brought the food home for the family. The husband didn’t work, so it was up to her how to bring the money home. She picked Prostitution because it was easy and convenient with her schedule. She did not enjoy the job, but she never got abused or taken over when she was doing her work. I think Prostitution be illegal in every country. It would stop the discrimination towards women. Hopefully in the near time future these horrific things that are going against the women will stop, and this world will stop Prostitution all together.
Melissa Farley disagrees that prostitution is a free choice, her report about women in Vancouver showed that 63% of the women prostitutes they interviewed were abused as children. Many of the articles in this chapter talk about women having little to no choice growing up as to what they will do. The trafficking of women starts when they are children forcing them to become something of ownership, they do not get an education and when they are older they have little choise on another occupation. I think most prostitutes were raised in a manner of abuse, from what i read in this chapter you could make this connection all over the globe.
Prostitution reflects the intersection of race, sex and class oppression by where prostitution is popular. Cities that are of a lower class seem to have more prostitution than an upper class city, making prostitution for some people the only meens of making a living. “For example, in Minneapolis, a city that is 96% White European American, more than half the women in strip club prostitution are women of color.” Seeing Ourselves.
The legalization of prostitution would make it an occupation and a government run job, paying taxes and having laws other than, prostitution is illegal. This differs from decriminalization because it makes it normal, like decriminalizing but the government is now responsable for certain aspects of public health. Decriminalizing it would keep the risk off the government.Farley is opposed to both because either way you look at it, women are still experiencing violence and being treated very poorly. I agree with her position, women in prostitution are treated very poorly. Legalizing or decriminalizing prostitution would just make it more “ok” for pimps and johns to abuse, mistreat and take possesion of women.
Melissa Farley argues that prostitution is not a free choice and that women are sex slaves. It is known that women from poor countries are more often involved in prostitution. Young children, both boys and girls, are introduced into this sex trade. They can start as young as 12. Many women of color are targeted by pimps because they come from lower income neighborhoods. If you compare the numbers in the US, they are overrepresented in prostitution. There are not as many male prostitutes as women but it is still a problem. She believes that many of these women and men are runaways or homeless kids. Women who have been sexually abused as a child or grown up with a bad upbringing are more likely to stray to prostitution. Women are suffering from Post traumatic Stress Disorder and are contracting and spreading Sexually Transmitted Diseases. They are being raped and beaten and becoming emotionally scarred from being in this business. 70% of women she interviewed, are raped. These statistics are disturbing and scary.
From living in different countries were prostitution is legal, I probably have a different opinion than most about it. The women who I have met, worked with, and even became my friends will say, “that this is the profession they have chosen all on their own and that they never feel scared or have been harmed by any man.” Some of these girls own businesses back home like real estate companies, accounting firms, spas and restaurants. They were there to make extra money and bring it home to their families. They were not forced to do anything they did not want do. In St. Maarten, the sex crime rates are almost non existent. You don’t hear of young children or women being raped like you do hear in the US. I know it’s uncomfortable in our culture to think about women getting paid for sex but if they want to do this than it’s their business. If it was highly regulated and watched by the government than I don’t see a problem with it. It could help to lower the black market numbers. Many girls I went to school with stripped as a way to pay for college. Some had sex with men for money and others did not. They were never peer pressured into doing what they did, it was their choice. I don’t believe it’s right for the women who have no choice. The child aspect of it is disgusting and anyone involved in this type of situation should be put in jail for life. I don’t think it should be decriminalized it should be either legal or illegal. There should be no gray area here because that’s where the abuse and the mistreatment of these women come into play. Hopefully something is done soon to help the women who have no voice when it comes to this matter.
Like Melissa Farley I can see how prostitution exploits women everywhere. Some choose to work on the streets. Mostly because the lack of education, unhealthy state of mind and severe financial issues (poverty). These girls/women are using what they have to meet simple needs. Many who have low self-esteem can’t see themselves as achieving anything better in life. The men around them are a constant remember that they are useless and good for nothing. If anyone’s been in a abusive relationship whether verbal or physical can understand this. Men degrade and breakdown these types of girls/women to gain control and increase their status. These are men that are insecure and mentally unstable in some way. This goes to the idea of abuse and prostitution because many girls now women can’t decipher between a bad or healthy relationship. Their insecurities and unclear emotions are apparent towards the male figure.
As for the girls/women from other countries it’s truly sad they are taken by their will to perform sexual behaviors and provide manual labor. Many of them are young girls and forced to have multiple partners and perform degrading acts. They are overworked and enslaved with no means of leaving or receiving an money for such horrific services they are to provide. Men sell their wives and daughters because of financial burdens shows these men to lack empathy, love, commitment to these women that share a piece of his life.
Many say that women choose prostitution and in sometimes thats the case but think long and hard why people do the things they do. Whether its morally or ethnically right or wrong people do things for certain reasons. So the next time you think about doing something analyze exactly what you are doing and why and you may be surprised your reasoning behind it. We all do things for a reason whether we realize it or not.
1. Melissa Farley believes that prostitution is not a free choice for most women involved. She saw that the women who are prostitutes “tend to be the ones who have the fewest options.” She was stunned by the fact that some see little or no harm in sexual exploitation, and cited how the US was increasingly socially ligitimizing pimping through strip clubs, nude dancing, escort services, phones sex and computer sex. Farley also included tanning salons and massage parlors. This is a little extreme in my opinion. Tanning salons and massage parlors in no way have to do anything with sexual exploitation, in most cases. I also believe, contrary to Farley’s opinon, that prostitution is a free choice. Whether a woman decides to be an exotic dancer or personal escort, there is a definite line to cross to become a prostitute. These women can choose to dance for men and exploit their bodies in that means, they can also choose NOT to perform sexual favors.
2. Prostitution promotes the oppression of race, sex and class. Farley felt that the women who choose to enter prostitution do so because they have little or no choices. A woman decides to work at a strip club, for example. She may have little or no education, therefore few choices for income. A woman from a high class family, with no education, could be supported by her family. On the other hand, if a woman were from a family in the lower class, her family may not be able to financially support her if she choses not to finish high school. Using sex as a means of income is a relatively quick way to earn money. Prostitution obviously oppresses women since it promotes the idea that women can be ‘bought’ and are merely objects for men to own. Farley agreed with this point of view.
3. Farley’s concern for the legalization of prostitution is that it doesn’t address her major concerns of prostitution in the first place. Most legislature doesn’t account for the spread of STDs for example. In Nevada, for example, the state merely acts as a pimp for prostitutes, determining the size and location of brothels. Farley also believes that legalizing wouldn’t eliminate the violence involved in sexual exploitation. Decriminalization of prostitution is the cessation of enforcement of all laws against prostitution. Businesses encourage the decriminalization because they feel it may remove the negative stigma connected with prostitution. Farley also disagrees with this concept because it would not reduce or eliminate one of the major problems connected to prostitution: the trauma and humiliation. I agree with this opinion of Farley. I feel that in order to end trauma for women who are prostitutes, we need to somehow give power to them, instead of the ‘John Does’ who exploit them. Whether this is possible or not remains to be seen.