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Review :: Gender & Sexuality

Prostitution and its Social Consequences

Sisyphe website delivers cutting edge analysis of women's condition and of other important issues, notably prostitution.
The current movement to decriminalize prostitution has its roots in the general liberalization of the economy and objectively serves its interests. We also hear increasingly, at the United Nations or in the media, statements in which the sex trade is presented as an alternative to economic problems if not even an avenue for development. The interests involved are substantial and it is easy to assume that all resources, whether political or economic or those of the media, will be used to promote the decriminalization of "sex work" and the highly profitable commoditisation of women. Is it necessary to pass legislation that binds the whole of society to the individual demands of a minority that portrays prostitution as a freely made lifestyle choice? Instead, when an international study has shown that 92% of prostituted women would leave the trade if they could, should we not be questioning such assertions ?

A substantial body of research shows that the majority of prostituted women are on average recruited at the age of about 14, after being made vulnerable by the violence in their surroundings, poverty, unemployment or drugs. Is it realistic to assume that at the age of 18, a miracle will occur that suddenly releases them from all constraints? As between juvenile and adult prostitution, there is also a continuum between local prostitution and international trafficking in women for the purpose of prostitution. Criminal gangs import and export women for prostitution in order constantly to offer new women to their clients and maximize their profits.

This article attempts to highlight the essential role played by the client in the perpetuation of prostitution and to show, on the basis of various pieces of research, that a world without prostitution is possible, just as it was possible to abolish slavery and apartheid.

The need for a public debate on prostitution and its social consequences, Elaine Audet
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Others titles on prostitution, pornography and sexual traffic

Helping the prostituted women or promoting prostitution? Letter sent to the Québec Health Minister (June 20th 2004), Elaine Audet

The Legalization of Prostitution and its Impact on Trafficking in Women and Children,
Richard Poulin, professor of sociology, University of Ottawa

"If You Don't Take a Job as a Prostitute, We Can Stop your Benefits", Clare Chapman

Why Women Must Get out Men's Laps, Andrea Dworkin

Sweden Treating Prostitution as Violence Against Women, Marie De Santis

Decriminalize the Prostitutes, not Prostitution, Elaine Audet and Micheline Carrier

Globalization and the Sex Trade: Trafficking and the Commodification of Women and Children,
Richard Poulin, professor of sociology, University of Ottawa

Canada Contributes to the Sexual Trafficking of Women for Purposes of Prostitution, Elaine Audet

The Legalisation of Prostitution: A failed social experiment, Sheila Jeffreys

Ten Reasons for Not Legalizing Prostitution, Janice G. Raymond

Legitimating Prostitution as Sex Work: UN Labour Organization (ILO) Calls for Recognition of the Sex Industry (Part One), Janice G. Raymond

Legitimating Prostitution as Sex Work: UN International Labour Organization Calls for Recognition of the Sex Industry (Part Two), Janice G. Raymond

Prostitution: Rights of Women or right to women? Elaine Audet

Sisyphe publishes regularly new titles on women's condition, including big issues such as wars, biotechnologies, violence, globalization, power relationships, the men's movement, etc. Sisyphe also offers sections dedicated to literature, poetry, education, history and a growing English section. No pop-ups, no advertising, no cookies.


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The sexual sadism of our culture, in peace and in war, Katharine Viner, "The Guardian"

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English Section

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Re: Prostitution and its Social Consequences

Thank you for the link to a very intelligent analysis of prostitution and the accompanying articles.

I have always been an advocate for the decriminalization of prostitution, but the many issues these articles address force me to realize that prostitution is a far more complex subject than I had previously thought.

Re: Prostitution and its Social Consequences

Whenever I hear ppl talking about abolishing prostitution I just roll my eyes. It's an unrealistic objective to try & legislate morality behind closed doors between two consenting adults. The authors reference to 14 yr. olds, & trafficking/gang related activities is a legit. concern. Thus, legalizing & regulating it would eliminate those problems. I don't believe you find 14 yr. olds & human trafficking in Nevada U.S.A. do we now? I didn't think so.
The silliest thing is when you have dumby, retard cops w/an i.q. of minus ten enforcing morality in the penal code, by having female setups busting people for being turned on & then having a SWAT team descend through a bedroom window. This is why we get laughed at in different countries.


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