Environmental Upbringing as a percursor to prostitution 

Topics: Environment

Prostitution is likely the most risqué of professions, and for a long time there’s been a debate on whether or not to take some actions on legalizing it. However, before a decision, there must be a consideration of the household environment that a prostitute grew up in. With this, the status of legalization could be knowledgeably changed. According to Dr. Martha Medrano, a practicing psychiatrist who focuses on people from the streets, around ⅔ of women report that abuse affected their entry into prostitution.

In other cases, poverty and forceful entry can affect their decisions too. According to Meredith Dank, senior reporter for the Urban Institute, Girls who grow up in impoverished homes are more likely to enter the sex trade, due to the fact that it’s an easy paying job, and women who are forced into prostitution are at a higher risk of experiencing violence. Because of these factors, America should decriminalize prostitution, and consider the atrocities that these sex workers deal with, whether its abuse, a low socioeconomic status, or if they were forced into the sex trade.

Sexual abuse is a rampant problem in today’s society, due to an increased number of allegations shedding light on this deplorable issue. According to Pat Bass, an MD for pediatrics at the University of Louisiana, sexual abuse can leave psychological scars on the victim that can take a long time to heal. Unfortunately, without treatment, these scars can lead to destructive behaviors, such as drug abuse, alcoholism, anxiety disorders, and prostitution.

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“[C]hildhood sexual abuse survivors tend to either pursue sex recklessly as adults or to forgo sex completely”. The reckless pursuit of sex can also lead to prostitution later in life, especially as an adult. Without therapy, serious methods of unhealthy coping can take control as well. Correspondingly, Dr. Alan Schwartz, a psychiatrist at The Bronx Lebanon Hospital Outpatient Center, states that “It is the fact of the sexual abuse, more than anything else, that seems to underlay how and why people become prostitutes. These are the people most likely to be addicted to drugs as well as to develop, or already have, serious health problems.” Survivors of childhood molestation are very fragile in a psychological sense as well and, when these issues go untreated, it can have detrimental effects on a young survivor. According to Dr. Lois Lee, founder of Children of the Night, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing children from prostitution, “Children who have been sexually abused, young people who have had their sexual dignity taken from them are very vulnerable to prostitution.” Survivors of abuse, if left psychiatrically untreated, tend to practice unhealthy coping methods, and those unhealthy methods can extend into a survivor’s sex life.

Women in poverty are often met with less daily luxuries than normal median income Americans, therefore, to keep financially afloat, they turn to desperate measures to make money, one of those measures being prostitution. According to the American Psychological Association, the largest scientific and professional organization of psychologists in the United States, women have an increased risk of taking desperate measures, especially single mothers, compared to males. This is due to the fact that men have significantly more opportunities presented to them than women, and women who’ve experienced sexual or domestic abuse end up cycling through poverty and things like poor health, job loss and homelessness (APA). Women who live in these conditions clearly don’t have the resources or stability to get above the poverty line, because of this, desperation can come in the form of sex work. “[T]here are women who see prostitution as their way out of poverty. While they may choose to sell themselves, it is economic necessity that drives them. These are people who are unable to get jobs and are sometimes the only breadwinners in the family” (Shwartz). This economic necessity can come from things such as paying for a college education or paying for daily necessities such as food, water, and shelter. Even the gender pay gap can play a role in getting out of poverty, and because of this women choose to go into prostitution. According to Aneitha Mctiernan, a reporter on social affairs for the Irish Times, states that “One in four women in Europe experience or are at risk of poverty, and there is not a single country in Europe where there is not a gender pay gap. ‘Up to one third of women in Europe have no pension, without economic equality it is impossible for women to participate fully in society.”’however, these women rarely see profits come in from their work, due to the pimps taking the majority of the earned money. According to one pimp, who worked for 20 years on the street, “The reason you don’t give them their own money, they would be like ‘I can just keep this’”(Dank). Impoverished women around the world who see less opportunities may end up being desperate, due to the necessity of monetary possession. Desperation can lead women into the sex trade, under the guise set by pimps that they’ll earn a high income, however profits rarely go to the workers themselves, and the cycle through poverty will unfortunately continue for these women.

Human trafficking is a worldwide problem, happening in almost every major city in the world, and forced prostitution is frequently a part of the market. According to the US department of Health and human services, a federal governmental department and the main health agency in the United States, report that around 20 million people around the world, are currently being victimized, and 46% of those victims are used for prostitution (DOJ et al). Typically in major cities, young girls are sought after by recruiters, and are sometimes forcefully abducted into the trafficking business (Dank). The traffickers typically manipulate these girls, whether by psychological means, like a romantic relations with a recruiter. Similarly, the Canadian Women’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on the health and equality of women in Canada, report that through Angus Reed Polls, 78% of women under sixteen [in Canada] aren’t in prostitution by choice, but by forceful abduction. These statistics clearly indicate a massive problem, due to the fact that these underage women clearly had no choice in their entrance to the market.

Unfortunately, women in prostitution have nowhere to go, often because of environmental household based factors that they’ve experienced at some point in their lives, whether its a financial issue, or a psychological or physical issue. Although decriminalization may lead to an increase of workers themselves, the workers themselves will end up being a lot safer with proper protections put in place. Decriminalization also will allow heinous activities from pimps and clients to have more repercussions than they already do, and mostly innocent women will be saved from incarceration.

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Environmental Upbringing as a percursor to prostitution . (2022, May 24). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/environmental-upbringing-as-a-percursor-to-prostitution/

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