In any kind of trade, demand will always be a major factor on supply. In the case of Thai prostitutes, the demand factor is largely expected to come from Westerners and Japanese expats and businessmen who have the capacity to provide cash. Aiko Yoshinari’s Travel and sexual industries in Thailand and Philippines is cited in this respect to describe how bars are fashioned to particularly attract Japanese and Western clientele.
When talking about reasons why foreigners from affluent countries seek sex in countries like Thailand, Dr. Julia O’Connell Davidson and Jacqueline Sanchez Taylor’s Child Prostitution Sex Tourism 5 and Sex Tourism in Thailand can help explain the economics behind Westerners preference for Thai prostitutes. Although the study is focused on British sex tourists, the reasons for their patronage of Thai prostitutes could generally apply to other Western visitors. Prostitution is traditionally thought to be a woman’s business. With the changing times, the trade has evolved to include other men and even minors. Sadly, Thailand’s sex workers are not limited to grown men and women but they also involve children.
Despite the enactment of an anti-children prostitute law, minors are still engaged in this trade. Sownia Nair’s essay written for the U. S. Department of Justice in 2007 and the Royal Thai Embassy in Washington will be cited to provide perspective on the issue. Like other studies, this paper found a correlation between poverty and prostitution. But in addition, this paper will also probe if sex workers are willing participants or they’re doing the trade for other reasons. In this regard, Justin Hall’s Prostitution in Thailand and South East Asia will be cited to relate women experiences in the trade.
A study conducted by Cholthira Satyawadhna will also be referenced in explaining gender-based labor division in Thailand and its relation to prostitution. Health concerns will always be involved when commercial sex is the issue. Thai sex workers are among the world’s high-risk groups to contact the deadly HIV/AIDS virus. In the late 1980s, an AIDS epidemic spread throughout Thailand as sex workers and drug dependents who were infected spread the disease to their customers, wives, husbands, partners and children.
As a result, the government launched a massive campaign to control the situation. A report from the international organisation AVERT and other groups are used to trace how AIDS spread in Thailand and what control measures where implemented by the government to stop the disease. Sex Tourism 6 Prostitution: History & Current Situation Chinese voyager Ma Huan alluded in 1433 about a certain practice by some Thai people that could be likened to prostitution. In 1604, Dutch visitors to the country have certainly mentioned in their records that there are whores in Siam (Thailand’s old name).
There are no records, however, that points to how this trade exactly started. The point is, prostitution has long been practiced in the country. Anthony Reid, a distinguished Australian scholar of Southeast Asian history, has cited that what appears to be the beginning of brothels in the country was in the 1680s when a Thai official was given a monopoly to run a prostitution den using hundreds of slave women as sex workers. During those times, majority of the customers were locals and some were Chinese.
In the twentieth century, Western involvement in Thailand’s sex trade began when American soldiers came to the country during their rest and relaxation period from the Vietnam War to find solace and entertainment, which they generally found on cabarets with English names. These clubs have thousands of hostesses that the soldiers can have in exchange for a sum of money. As for the Japanese people, it was the soldiers in the Second World War that first came in contact with the Thai sex workers. In fact, it was the Japanese conquerors who forced women from captive lands to engage in sex.