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Prostitution: Choice or Necessity? A Literature Review Course: Professor: University: Date: Abstract This literature review considers the general perception of prostitutes as victims of abuse who are involved in a dangerous industry as they have little to no choice…
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Download file to see previous pages Prostitution is an industry that has traditionally been considered to be ‘wrong’ or ‘immoral’ and is illegal in many places throughout the world. Additionally, it is perceived to be a dangerous form of work, where prostitutes experience high levels of abuse and violence. This review focuses on the differences between the perception of prostitution and its reality, particularly in terms of legislation, victimization and the role of males. The author argues that the prostitution industry is not as clear-cut as it appears to be, and that people within the industry do not always perceive themselves as victims. Cobbina and Oselin’s (2011) study qualitatively examined results from 40 interviews with prostitutes, which focused on the age of entry, experiences and length of time in the prostitution trade. The authors hoped to determine what effect age of entry into the sex industry had on the length of time that individuals stayed in the industry, as well as the reason that they originally became involved. They found half of the sample had entered prostitution prior to the age of 19 and the other half had entered later in their lifetime. The authors found a significant difference between the two age groups. Those that entered prostitution at a young age identified with themes of prostitution being normal, or prostitution as a method of controlling their sexuality. In contrast, those that entered prostitution later primarily did so as they had no alternative economic way of surviving, or needed the income to sustain a drug addiction. Additionally, woman that entered prostitution early were likely to be involved in the industry for a significantly longer period of time than those who entered as adults. Although the four pathways into prostitution that the authors identified are not distinct from one another, their research gives substantial information about the factors that drive women to be involved in this industry. Additionally, their research shows that females do not always become prostitutes because of need or abuse. In some cases, entry into prostitution is a conscious desire by individuals who seek independence or greater control over their lives. In the second article examined, Scott (2011) argues against the perception that power has acted to separate prostitutes from society, resulting in them being considered social outcasts. Instead he considers that power has led to the inclusion of prostitutes as part of society, and a focus on protecting them. In general, prostitution is considered to be a social problem and many people argue that aspects of this industry need to be fixed. However, the definition of what exactly is wrong with prostitution varies depending on the type of literature and the focus of the research. For example, historical considerations of prostitution tend to focus on the moral and ethical dilemmas that prostitution raises. Scott’s article is a detailed discussion on the laws and policies surrounding prostitution, both in countries where it is illegal and where prostitution has been decriminalized. He shows that current approaches to prostitution do not focus on punishment; rather, they are interested in protecting those who are involved in prostitution. This can be seen through policies such as health interventions that focus on lowering the prevalence of sexually-transmitted infections in sex workers (Scott, 2011). Research ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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