Prostitution

My 25 years as a Prostitute

Brenda Myers-Powell was just a child when she became a prostitute in the early 1970s. Here she describes how she was pulled into working on the streets and why, three decades later, she devoted her life to making sure other girls don’t fall into the same trap.

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Online Prostitution and Trafficking

The use of Internet technologies to traffic women and children to prostitution will be described in this article. This law review summarizes the history of online trafficking and the remarkably effective use of the Internet for advertising prostitution locally, regionally, and internationally beginning with the development of social networking sites, discussion forums, message boards and online chats.

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Shifting the Burden: Inquiry to Assess the Operation of the Current Legal Settlement on Prostitution in England and Wales

The report on the UK’s burden of guilt for prostitution has the purpose of raising awareness around the impact of the sale of sexual services on those involved and to develop proposals for government action with a focus on tackling demand for the sex trade.

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Sexual Exploitation and Prostitution and its Impact on Gender Equality

The objective of this briefing paper is to provide background information drawn from the international literature on sexual exploitation and prostitution and its impact on gender equality in relation to the report of the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee. The study concentrates on the debate on whether prostitution could be voluntary or has rather to be regarded in any case as a violation of women’s human rights. It also presents an overview of the policies on prostitution in the Member States as well as four case studies: Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden.

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Prostitution, Liberalism, and Slavery

This article critiques the liberal “prostitution-can-be-fixed-or-improved” perspective of liberals and defends an abolitionist approach that views prostitution as slavery or slavery-like practices.

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Ontario Disempowers Prostituted Persons: Assessing Evidence, Arguments, & Substantive Equality in Bedford v. Canada

Max Waltman’s paper analyzes the Court of Appeal for Ontario’s ruling on March 26, 2012, concluding that it erroneously rewrote the law against “living on the avails of prostitution” on the basis of misrepresented and faulty evidence, and as a result made prostituted persons more vulnerable to exploitation. Accordingly, the paper shows how that the […]

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Garden of Truth: The Prostitution and Trafficking of Native Women in Minnesota

Three-year research study about the prostitution and trafficking of 105 Native Women in Minnesota. Native women are particularly vulnerable to sexual exploitation because of a history of brutal colonization, poverty, homelessness, medical problems, a lack of basic services which result in extreme emotional distress. This study quotes Native trafficked women as they explain the conditions […]

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Comparing Sex Buyers and Non-Sex Buyers

Comparing Sex Buyers with Men Who Don’t Buy Sex: “You can have a good time with the servitude” vs. “You’re supporting a system of degradation”  Paper presented at Psychologists for Social Responsibility Annual Meeting July 15, 2011, Boston. This research study compared 101 men who buy sex with 100 men who did not buy sex, matched by age, […]

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Statement of Asia-Pacific Meeting of Sex Trafficking and Prostitution Survivors

“We unite with our sisters in the feminist movement and the labor movement who call for real jobs, not prostitution; for economic programs that create local, sustainable employment, and not push women out of the country; for the socialization of the care economy while recognizing that domestic work is work; for greater budget for women […]

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Trafficking, Prostitution, and Inequality

Catharine A. MacKinnon describes evidence supporting the Nordic model legislation on prostitution and discusses links between prostitution, pornography, and trafficking.

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Prohibiting Sex Purchasing and Ending Trafficking: The Swedish Prostitution Law (2011)

This article by Max Waltman analyzes the Swedish prostitution law from 1999, which criminalized the sex buyer and decriminalized prostituted persons. He analyzes this law as both appropriate and in line with the United Nation’s Trafficking Protocol from 2000, which states that a person is regarded as a trafficking victim when, e.g., someone abuses her […]

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Trafficking, Prostitution and the Sex Industry: The Nordic Legal Model

There is no doubt that the Nordic countries lead the world on most indicators of gender equality. Gender equality experts and advocates have long pointed out that in economics, politics and social services, the Nordic countries top the charts. A less noticed equality indicator is that the Nordic countries outpace others in legal action to […]

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Indoor Versus Outdoor Prostitution in Rhode Island

“Nobody really wants to be sold,” a woman in a Nevada legal brothel explained to me. Even if you know that simple fact — that prostitution is an abusive institution for any human — maybe you still think it can be made not so bad. Maybe you think that if prostitution happens under a roof, […]

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Trafficking: Theory vs Reality (2009) Women’s Studies International Forum

This article presents evidence for the links between prostitution and trafficking, using examples of New Zealand, USA, and India. Men’s demand for trafficked women cannot be distinguished from the demand for prostitution. The same qualities in women that are sought by men who buy sex are also risk factors for trafficking, for example, young age, […]

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Prostitution Policy Recommendations to the City of San Francisco

Strongly criminalizing johns is the most effective legal approach to date to the harms of violence and exploitation that prostitution inflicts on those used in it. Many countries, some states, and international law support this approach, which San Francisco could readily adopt, along with other legal and social initiatives building on existing law, policy, and […]

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Is Paying for Sex Really Worth It? No, Prostitution Exploits Many Women’s Deep Pain

Myers-Powell writes about her personal experience with prostitution relating it to the exploitation and deep pain that prostitution causes. Myers-Powell is a survivor of prostitution who is the co-founder of Dream Catcher, a program designed to divert at-risk teens before they become prostitutes. She is a motivational speaker and a founding board member of the […]

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Prostitution’s Hierarchy of Control and Coercion

Graphic showing the class and race hierarchy in prostitution. There is a pyramid-like hierarchy in prostitution. At the top are a very few women – only about 2% of all those in prostitution. The farther you descend in the hierarchy, the greater the numbers of women in prostitution, and the less meaningful any discussion of […]

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Aboriginal Women’s Statement on Legal Prostitution, Canada

As Aboriginal women on occupied Coast Salish Territory, we, the Aboriginal Women’s Action Network (AWAN) implore you to pay attention to the voices of Aboriginal women and women’s groups who are speaking out in the interest of our sisters, our daughters, our friends and all women whose voices have not been heard in the recent […]

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Ex-Prostitutes Against Legislated Sexual Servitude

Contact: xpalss@shaw.ca A statement by members of Ex-Prostitutes Against Legislated Sexual Servitude. Includes a version of the statement in French. “We are women who have been harmed by prostitution. We believe that no amount of changing the conditions or the locations in which we were prostituted could ever have significantly reduced that harm. We experience the […]

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Prostitution, Trafficking, and Cultural Amnesia: What We Must Not Know in Order To Keep the Business of Sexual Exploitation Running Smoothly

This article discusses and analyzes empirical data on the harms of prostitution, pornography and trafficking. This information has to be culturally, psychologically, and legally denied or ignored because to know and acknowledge it would interfere with the business of sexual exploitation.

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Not For Sale – Video on Prostitution & Trafficking

Not For Sale was produced by the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) and the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) in 2006. This documentary by filmmaker Marie Vermeiren gives voice to five survivors of prostitution, and also the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking, Ministers of the European Parliament and representatives from CATW and EWL. Understanding that […]

Unequal

This article responds to Debbie Nathan’s “Oversexed” (Nation, August 29, 2005). Nathan sympathizes with those on the Left who consider prostitution a form of labor rather than violence against women. Nathan criticizes abolitionist feminists who think that women in prostitution deserve more in life than a condom and a cup of coffee. We feminists think […]

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X underrated

Prostitution, pornography, and sex trafficking aren’t separable in the real world. In this piece for the Times Educational Supplement in 2005, Catharine MacKinnon focuses on the experience of the woman who’s being prostituted and photographed.

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Prostitution Harms Women Even if Indoors

This article describes the social invisibility of indoor prostitution, points out the lack of evidence suggesting that indoor prostitution is “safe,” and summarizes the testimony of women who reported violence in strip club prostitution and warnings about violence from groups promoting indoor prostitution.

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