Prostitution Essay

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Analyse How Prostitution Is Represented In British Television from 2000 Onwards.

In Britain paying for sex is not illegal. But there are many laws criminalising the activities of prostitution. For years people have been arguing over what to do with the laws on prostitution. Recently, there have been many debates over the legality of it, and eventually stricter laws have been put in place to try and stop the act of prostitution.

Under the 2003 Sexual Offences Act, it is illegal to incite prostitution or control it for your personal gain, banning the running of a brothel, making it illegal to loiter or solicit sex on the streets and the act of kerb crawling. Trafficking is also illegal. Other laws such as public nuisance are used to target the sex trade. Stricter laws are looking are being put in place that will give police the ability to close down more brothels, and licensing rules will change in regards to lap dancing and strip clubs to try and halt their expansion.

“Despite the many thousands of women involved in the sale of sexual services, and even greater numbers of men who purchase these services, research and publications on prostitution for much of the post-war period has been relatively limited. For most of this period the street trade has been largely confined to certain red light districts and therefore out of sight to the general public” (Matthews, 2008, page 1). Prostitution has always been an issue, but as Matthews states, out of sight is out of mind. Prostitution was bought to the public’s attention in the late 1980s when growing concerns were acknowledged including; “The spread of HIV and AIDS, the growth of prostitute support, increased public demands to control street prostitution, the growing preoccupation with trafficking and the visible increase in the number of foreign women involved in prostitution”, (Matthews, 2008, page 1). As well as people worrying about the growth of prostitution and trying to enforce stricter laws to stop it, there were people campaigning to decriminalise the act. During the 1980s a number of groups emerged that were trying to promote the rights of prostitutes. The ECP (English Collective of Prostitutes) in the UK, set out to legalise prostitution and normalise the issue.

Prostitution is becoming a fast growing phenomenon;
“In London, where prostitutes mainly operate behind closed doors, the number of street customers is estimated at 7,620 a week (Home Office 2004)”, (Monzini, 2005, page 9). Prostitution seems to be about the problems of relations between men and women, as well as to satisfy male urges. In Britain the typical male client is a man aged about 30, married and quite well off. If the clients are usually married then why are they seeking prostitutes?; “It has been argued that men who are unsure of their capacity for relations with the opposite sex can escape what they feel as a burden of responsibility… recourse to commercial sex often can be seen as a kind of revenge of reaffirmation, however temporary, of men over women”, (Monzini, 2005, page 10). Monzini is stating that men go with prostitutes to regain power that they have lost elsewhere. A lot of the time being lost in their own relationship. The customer wants to have complete control over the prostitute to make themselves feel stronger and more powerful, this can sometimes lead to violence against the prostitute when they do not comply to the customers needs, mostly being their insistence that the customer wears a condom. It’s been argued that people use prostitutes to act out sexual fantasies that will ‘undo’ the traumas of childhood; “Sexual fantasies perform a similar function in adulthood to that performed by daydreams in childhood. This time the fantasist is in control, and can direct the scenario towards and ultimately satisfying outcome- orgasm” (O’Connell Davidson, 1998, Page 138). Prostitution is often seen as an escape from over complicated relations. When customers go with prostitutes...
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