Commercialization of sex
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I. A brief history of commercial sex
II. The legal debate: To legalize or not?
III. Society’s view on commercial sex
* Proponents of commercial sex
* Opponents of commercial sex
IV. The pros and cons of commercial sex
In the past, sex was used mostly for reproduction. There has been an emerging trend where sex is used for none reproductive purposes. The use of sex for none reproductive purposes associated with monetary gains has come to be commonly known as commercial sex. Other people refer to it as prostitution. The aim of this proposal is to explore the various issues of commercial sex including history, society’s view on commercial sex, advantages, and disadvantages of commercial sex. Commercial sex is very wide field and cannot be sufficiently covered in one academic proposal. This proposal has limited itself to the aspect of female commercial sex workers (FCSWs), while briefly mentioning men who have sex with men (MSM). The proposal has been developed with secondary material mostly from journal articles and books. Key words: commercial sex, commercial sex workers (CSWs), Men who have sex with men (MSM), unprotected anal intercourse (UAI)
Commercialization of sex
A brief history of commercial sex
Commercial sex, also known as, prostitution is one of the oldest professions in the world. The Bible in the Old Testament has a record of prostitution in the story of Judah and Tamar (Gen: 38). According to Ellis (1936), the universal description of commercial sex as the act or practice of engaging in sexual intercourse for money is insufficient. Ellis (1936) is of the opinion that even women who get married to gain a home and a livelihood exchange their body for monetary gain. For the purpose of this proposal, commercial sex refers to the act of rendering, from the consumer’s perspective, none reproductive sex against some form of compensation and in most cases monetary gain. In the past, society used sex for purposes of reproduction and companionship. A new trend is emerging where sex is viewed as a source of income. The Bible in the Old Testament records Judah asking Tamar “All right, how much do you charge?” Paying for sex is therefore an old practice as shown from this example. According to Blerk (2007), there is proof of movement of girls and women into urban areas or other sites of demand usually on a temporarily basis with the intension to engage in commercial sex. Blerk (2007) also asserts that in the early days, highly regarded women submitted to the roles of commercial sex workers and consequently traveled with the Emperor’s camp to offer sexual services. He adds that in Ethiopia in the nineteenth century, female commercial sex workers (FCSWs) used to travel to the coastal towns on numerous occasions to seek clients for their commercial sex services highly demand by the sailors. An outstanding characteristic of commercial sex is its negative reputation. Society disapproves of prostitutes and this reduces the likelihood of a woman who has been identified as a prostitute getting a spouse. Her ability to go down the aisle is greatly reduced when the society discovers that she is a commercial sex worker. Because the act of denying a person the chance to marry is a costly affair, each and every item that identifies a woman as a commercial sex worker is usually the foundation of stigmatization against these women. For example in ancient times, prostitutes in the Roman Empire were required to put on unique clothing that obviously singled them out, a practice that was letter practiced in medieval Europe. Despite some elements of the society looking at commercial sex as immoral and corrupt, some people have considered it to be always a necessary immorality. In this regard, commercial sex has been compared to sewerage system that helps keep the palace clean. From the...
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