Most laws related to soliciting
sex apply equally to men and women, yet only 10 % of all arrests
Sexual exploitation of women and girls is
a money making business. Without the demand there would be no
business involving the abuse of women.
Some facts about the men that abuse women:
- The age range is 16-90 and they come
from all walks of life: working class, fast food workers, truckers,
professionals, doctors, lawyers, and police.
- They see themselves as respectable “regular
guys”, not mean.
- Gang rape is seen in bachelor parties
and gang initiations.
- A US study indicated that women may service
from 1-10 men a night; a law enforcement study indicated that
the number is closer to 6 to 20 a day.
- Many men think of visiting a prostitute as proof of
masculinity and part of peer culture; they deny intent to do
harm. (Source: CATW)
- Men who go to prostitutes have a choice
and they choose to buy sex; 92% of the women prostituted would
choose to leave the situation if they could find a place to
stay and a support system.
- The 1998 Manhattan Yellow Pages has 52
pages of escort services - legal businesses that frequently
front as prostitution networks. In 1997, there were 35 pages.
(Police department statistics, Kit. R. Roane, "World’s
Oldest Profession Moves Off the Streets," New York Times,
23 February 1998)
Not a victimless crime:
- Condoms are not used by half of the men.
- There is an increased incidence of post
traumatic stress syndrome and cervical cancer among prostituted
women and girls. (Source: Melissa Farley and Vanessa Kelly)
- Alcohol and drug use in prostituted women
and girls is related to the psychological trauma. It is a means
of anesthetizing their physical aversions to the situation.
- The death rate of women prostituted is
40% higher than the general public.
- “...for prostituted youth, suicide
attempt rate of 76%, roughly twice that typically found among
the street youth.”
- Emotional pain was composed of experiences
with and feelings of isolation, rejection/betrayal, lack of
control, and most pervasively, low self-worth. The participants
viewed the origins of their emotional distress in their abusive
and neglectful upbringing.
(“Suicide and prostitution among street
youth from Adolescence", summer 2002)
In most states paying for sex is a criminal
act. However men are rarely arrested. this is beginning to change.
Rather than sanctioning prostitution, states can address the
demand by penalizing the men who buy women. Currently, of all
arrests related to prostitution, 10% are men and 90 % are women
and girls. African American women are arrested in greater numbers
than others. For years we minimized the harm done to women because
of domestic violence and did not believe that a married woman
could be raped. Society is slowly changing its attitudes and
developing resources for dealing with this problem. These changes
are coming about in part because of public awareness, educational/promotional
campaigns, the voices of the abused and more regular enforcement
of laws. Several ideas have been tried.
- In order
to reduce prostitution and hold clients equally responsible for
its existence, a number of programs have begun to focus on customers,
providing workshops or classes designed to educate men about
prostitution and its exploitative nature. These are so-called “Johns
- Most Johns Schools are diversion programs that
are offered to first time offenders of prostitution. The Johns
School is usually a full day activity comprised of several workshops
addressing issues of sexual health, ethics, morality etc. * Although
each John School is different, many of the "Schools" employ
ex-sex workers to speak to offenders about their horrible experiences
as sex workers.
- The objective is often to use guilt and shame
as a means to deter clients from purchasing the services of sex
workers in the future. This includes publishing names in the
newspaper and impounding cars.
- Men convicted of prostitution
are either required to participate as a condition of probation
or invited to participate in exchange for receiving a reduced
- The choice and responsibility that men have to create
egalitarian relationships without coercion or violence is stressed.
(Sexual Exploitation Education Project, 1995)
- Nora Hotaling,
founder of SAGE (Standing Against Global exploitation) in San
Francisco is often credited with starting the Johns School idea.
After working with 6,000 men who were court ordered to go to
the group, she observed that there can be change if the men feel
they too have something to lose and if they get the message that
it is not ok to abuse women and children. (Demand Dynamics the
force of Demand In global Sex Trafficking)
has drafted legislation recognizing that without male demand,
there would be a much-decreased female supply. Sweden has acknowledged
that prostitution and the purchase of sexual services are criminal
acts. Swedish law addresses the predatory actions of men who
buy women for sex. Recognizing the inseparability of prostitution
and trafficking, the law states: “Prostitution and trafficking
in women are seen as harmful practices that cannot, and should
not be separated; in order to effectively eliminate trafficking
in women, concrete measures against prostitution must be put
in place”. (Ekberg, 2003) The Swedish Act Prohibiting the
Purchase of Sexual Services is a model. It targets the demand
for prostitution by naming the demand as the men who use and
abuse women in prostitution.