HIRE WRITER
Updated September 12, 2022

Effect of Sex Work Decriminalization on Sexual Violence 

sample details
Effect of Sex Work Decriminalization on Sexual Violence  essay
  • Pages 10
  • Words 2402
  • Views 24

Download Paper

Watch out! This text is available online and is used for gudiance and inspiration

Introduction

Sexual violence and assault has been around for a long time. However, the discussion of this sore in society has been considered a taboo for a large portion of time that the violence has been in existence. However, in the recent past, people have become more open and ready to table the discussion of sexual violence. As such, the issue has become less of a taboo and more of a real thing happening in society. The following paper will discuss one peer reviewed article on the subject to get a reading on how different people think about the topic. In particular, the paper will analyze and review a journal article on sexual violence perpetrated on sex workers around the globe. The paper proposes that with decriminalization of prostitution, there will be a drop in sexual offenses on sex workers. As such, the paper combines several different themes to perform this task. These are the decriminalization of prostitution, sex workers’ rights and sexual violence and offenses.

Background of the problem

There is an indubitable link between sex work and sex violence. Sex violence in this scenario can be categorized into four groups. The first group is people in sex work that suffer violence in the form of child sexual abuse. The second group of sex workers that suffer violence is that of individuals who feel like they owe an individual that saved them on the streets. In colloquial terms, such individuals feel indebted to pimps. The third group takes the will out of sex workers seeing as they suffer sexual violence in the hands of individuals, colloquially known as johns, who purchased them (Cunningham and Shah, 2017). The last group of sexually abused sex workers is that of individuals who suffer violence at the hands of the authorities. Traditional or conventional outreach programs do not particularly target this segment of the population. This is a shocking realization seeing as such programs preach their zero tolerance against sexual violence.

Methods

Literature Review

There is a lot of literature on the subject that supports the idea that childhood sexual violence is one of the leading entry determinants to sex work and prostitution. As such, women especially are more prone to join sex work if as children they were victimized sexually. In particular, most sex workers started a form of prostitution when they were in their adolescence. In certain US states for examples, when adolescents or minors in general enter prostitution, the situation is regarded as human trafficking or a variant of it with connotations of fraud, coercion, or force (Wirtz, 2015). There is also a growing trend that links minors who left their homes at a tender age with human trafficking. Child sexual assault can also be linked to the aforementioned instances of sexual assault such as those involving pimps and johns seeing as when minors leave their homes, they lack basic amenities such as proper clothing, food, and housing. A situation such as that may bring about sexual predators that may provide the amenities in exchange for sexual favors. The situation is furthermore exacerbated by the prevalence of perverted predators on the internet who seek child pornography.

Statistics have shown that 90% of young children who run away from their original or foster families do so while fleeing from sexually abusive powers (Poteat, 2015). Moreover, 76% of minors that are reported missing are between 12 and 17 years. This goes to show that the reality of child trafficking is highly proliferated. Moreover, it shows that there is a high cause to believe that there is a great link between sex work and sexual assault, especially on children. More research has supported the belief that of the many minors who are runaways, the risk of being used in sex work is greatly increased. In fact, one research article found out that about 80% of all female runaways were at one time victims of sexual assault of trafficking. Numerically speaking, about 350,000 minor boys and girls were in 2013 at risk of sexual exploitation in the United States (Immordino and Russo, 2015). Shocking statistics from the National Center f Missing and Exploited Children in the same year moreover uncovered that the average age for boys to be sexually assaulted was 11 while the average age for girls was 13 years. Sex trafficking was additionally uncovered to not be the sole forte or runaway children but could also happen under the supervision of parents or guardians.

Away from the situation of sexual assault on minors is that of sexual assault on older individuals by agencies such as those who own them or authorities. Thi9s is the realm of sexual assault through agency. Even if the study is old, in 2003, it was uncovered that about 93% of all sexual workers in the United States have been through some form of sexual assault. Additionally, the study uncovered that rape in this minority group was so widespread that about 75% had experienced it in the past. Moreover, the paper went ahead to present that out of all the sexual assault cases, 445 had happened as a result of an attack from a law enforcement agent (Deering, 2014). Asides from the realm of sexual assault, sex workers are at a higher probability than common folk of receiving other types of assault. For example, another study uncovered that the robbery rate of sex worker was at a high of 56% in 2014. This meant that in comparison to regular citizens, prostitutes, especially those that did not enjoy the protection of the state, are more than twice likely to be mugged. In terms of physical assault, they are 92% more likely to be attacked than regular folk (Decker, 2015). Additionally, prostitutes and other sex workers are threatened through weapons at a rate of 83%.

Compounding to the general outlook of the profession, it can be seen that even if their lifestyle is already difficult as it is, the social stigma revolving the profession dehumanizes individuals in the trade. For example, prostitutes and other members of the sex work industry face marginalization and stigmatization from the general public. In reference to all of the above extant research on the subject, it is evident that there is a need for legal and other government policies to side with this suffering segment of the population to alleviate the prevalence of sexual violence that has for so long been a staple in the industry (Decker, 2015). One can now appreciate the inhumaneness of utterances such as “a prostitute cannot be raped seeing as he or she has already consented to giving their body away to any willing member of the public (Wirtz, 2015).” Moreover, it is the prerogative of society to curb a vice as foul as sexual exploitation even among a segment of the population that uses sex as a source of income.

Methodology

The methodology that the paper settled for was article review. As such, it considered the technical aspects of a choice article relating to the subject of sexual offenses in the health sector. In particular, the chosen article was A Systematic Review of the Correlates of Violence Against Sex Workers (Deering, 2014). The paper’s main themes have been in the former sections of this review been analyzed and correlated to extant research on the same subject. In particular, the major methodology applied in the paper was that of systematic review. This in itself is a powerful research method since it does not constrain itself to the sole performance of a tunnel-vision research but instead goes on to include the findings of other research. Additionally, the article moreover used the PRISMA guidelines in making its case. The PRISMA guidelines refer to a methodology that follows the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. The data collected was most relevant through the years of 2010 to 2013 (Poteat, 2015). Data regarding the various claims made by the paper were sourced from online databases such as EMBASE, PAIS, Ovid MEDLINE, All Evidence-Based Medicine Review, BioMed Central, PubMed, Social Work Abstracts, Academic Search Complete, PsychINFO, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature.

The article selectively chose their articles from the above mentioned databases. The criterion that was used during the selection process was such that only peer reviewed articles that provided information on sexual violence and sex work were included. Statistical significance or insignificance was also tested during this selection stage using bivariate data. Articles sourced from government sites were ignored seeing as they were categorized as grey literature with political influences and thereby not wholly academic and objective (Decker, 2015). Moreover, other literature pieces that were ignored due to reduced levels of relevance were those that were sourced from case reports, opinion pieces, testimonials, reviews, case series and editorials. Another fine distinction that discussed how articles were chosen is that of selecting material that dealt with sex work whereby sexual favors were compensated using monetary devices. As such, where sexual favors were compensated using other transactional materials such as housing and gifts, such articles were not considered. Sex workers were subdivided on the gender and identification continuum using the terms male, female and transgender. Assault was viewed as workplace violence and could be perpetrated by police, clients, pimps, managers, johns, and madams.

The major violence levels were physical and sexual. However, verbal and emotional abuses were considered, not as standalone forms but as nested forms within the major categories. The article was commendable in its data collection and analysis methods. The major factors considered during the extraction of data from the chosen papers were those of participant characteristics, violence outcome, study design, and sex work environment. The sex work environment was in particular categorized into outdoor activity and indoor. The violence outcome in this scenario was taken to represent either physical or sexual. The timescale of the violence was also considered to be either continued over an extended period or standalone events (Poteat, 2015). Lastly, the perpetrators of the violence were also taken into consideration. As such, they were grouped in terms of whether they were workplace partners, intimate partners, and nonpaying partners or all these combined categories.

Findings

It was uncovered that there were 41 articles that met the criteria of the inclusion principle set out by the research parameters. 27 of those articles were taken from the ASEAN region. 6 articles were derived from the North American region, 3 from Europe and two from Central Africa. Among those studies, 27 involved multiple sex-work environments such as brothels, homes, and public places. In the past six months, the average of all the sex workers that had sustained injuries as a result of sexual violence in all the regions mentioned was 65%. Sexual violence was about 73% while physical violence contributed to about 42% of the total count (Poteat, 2015). The other types of violence were contributed by verbal and emotional abuse. In regions that had decriminalized sex work such as certain European countries and ASEAN countries, the rate of sexual assault was at a low of 23% while physical violence on sex workers was about 12%.

Discussion

Citing the prevalence of violence among sex workers in either the form of physical or sexual assault, it is evident that if sexual assault is to be eliminated in society, the welfare of sex workers should be brought to the mainstream agenda. This paper can think of no better way to accomplish this by legitimization of the age-old business of sex work. Society has for so long tried to curb this occurrence to no avail. Moreover, many other communities have made the subject of sex work a taboo such that discourse on the topic has become entirely affected. However, with the prevalence of the new age thought that seeks to table every activity that mires societal progress, taboos such as these can be eliminated. The fact that most prostitutes start out on this career path due to difficult adolescent lives is also another consideration that should be made. Therefore, decriminalization of sex work could go way ahead in reducing sexual assault in this segment of the population (Cunningham and Shah, 2017). As was shown by the research findings of the paper in discussion, there are lower rates of sexual assault in countries that have decriminalized prostitution and other forms of sex work.

In addition to that, the paper also found out that the rights of marginalized members of the community that are at risk are also more enforced in countries that have decriminalized prostitution. This is mainly due to the realization that sex worker are not solely comprised of women as many people seem to think but also since males, transgender and other members of the LGBTQ community are included in the definition of sex workers. It therefore takes appreciation of the facts to accept that certain wrongs are perpetrated towards these individuals (Poteat, 2015). In addition to that, decriminalization of prostitution also adds to the accountability and transparency of the law enforcement agencies around the world seeing as a major theme in violence against sex workers is that caused by the authorities. Therefore, with recognition that sex workers have rights too, law enforcement agents will be in a better position to protect and serve them as they do regular citizens. Last is the issue of human trafficking. As such, legitimization of the sex work industry is a crucial step in stopping violence and vices against the young, especially runaways, child prostitution and pornography seeing as the government and social workers will be in a better position to regulate and serve the industry.

References

  1. Cunningham, S., & Shah, M. (2017). Decriminalizing indoor prostitution: Implications for sexual violence and public health. The Review of Economic Studies, 85(3), 1683-1715.
  2. Decker, M. R., Crago, A. L., Chu, S. K., Sherman, S. G., Seshu, M. S., Buthelezi, K., … & Beyrer, C. (2015). Human rights violations against sex workers: burden and effect on HIV. The Lancet, 385(9963), 186-199.
  3. Deering, K. N., Amin, A., Shoveller, J., Nesbitt, A., Garcia-Moreno, C., Duff, P., & Shannon, K. (2014). A systematic review of the correlates of violence against sex workers. American journal of public health, 104(5), e42-e54.
  4. Immordino, G., & Russo, F. F. (2015). Regulating prostitution: A health risk approach. Journal of Public Economics, 121, 14-31.
  5. Poteat, T., Wirtz, A. L., Radix, A., Borquez, A., Silva-Santisteban, A., Deutsch, M. B., … & Operario, D. (2015). HIV risk and preventive interventions in transgender women sex workers. The Lancet, 385(9964), 274-286.
  6. Wirtz, A. L., Schwartz, S., Ketende, S., Anato, S., Nadedjo, F. D., Ouedraogo, H. G., … & Baral, S. (2015). Sexual violence, condom negotiation, and condom use in the context of sex work: results from two West African countries. JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 68, S171-S179.

Effect of Sex Work Decriminalization on Sexual Violence  essay

Make sure your essay is 100% unique

Our experts will write for you an essay on any topic, with any deadline and requirements from scratch

Get your custom essay

Effect of Sex Work Decriminalization on Sexual Violence . (2022, Sep 12). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/effect-of-sex-work-decriminalization-on-sexual-violence/

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy
x

Hi!
I'm Peter!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out