Factors promoting prostitution and its impact on the sex workers

A business practice known as prostitution involves engaging in sexual acts in exchange for any kind of payment, including cash, commodities, services, or advantages gained from the sexual encounter. Since women were involved in the activity as sex workers for so long, prostitution is regarded as the oldest vocation. Human trafficking is rife, with traffickers providing clients with women and children in exchange for money and sex. The same threat, which affects both men and women, children, and even the health sector by increasing the illness load, is being faced by numerous nations around the world. The increased disease burden is evidenced by the tremendous rise in the number of sexually transmitted infections recorded. This paper will seek to answer the question; what are the effects of prostitution on the sex workers. Secondly, it will determine whether prostitution should be legalized? And who are the most affected in human trafficking?

Significance of the study

Prostitution has an enormous impact on the disease burden today. The diseases that are emanating from prostitution range from sexually transmitted infections to psychological or mental disorders. Hence it is important that they are dealt with timely to mitigate the disease burden experienced in different parts of the world today. At the same time, there are numerous cases of human trafficking for sex following demand and the proceeds of the industry. In addition there is slowed economic growth since most of the people involved in the activities end up engaging in drug trafficking and they are not able to establish their carriers of choice.


The study will involve and interview of about 20 sex workers to establish the reasons as to why they engage in prostitution. Besides, the study will establish the effects of prostitution on their health. The study will involve both the sex workers and the sex buyers. The interviews will be open ended to allow for an in-depth expression of the people on the effects and motivation for commercial sex.

Literature review

Factors promoting prostitution

Roe-sepowitz et al.(p.40), points out that migration is one of the major factors promoting prostitution among women. In fact, about 70 percent of the sex workers in Europe are made up of immigrants; the same case applies to the United States. Immigrants are vulnerable to prostitution due to a language barrier, discrimination, strict rules on immigration hence locking most of the women out of formal employment. As consequence of unemployment, poverty sets in which then forces the women to engage in prostitution to generate income. Secondly, just like any market, the sex industry is driven by demand and supply. At any time when there is demand, distribution and supply take place. Hence demand is the sole reason for the existence of prostitution. In the past, there have been efforts to cut the supply and distribution which has been largely unsuccessful since the business is very profitable and there is a constant demand. Incase traffickers are arrested, they are quickly replaced by others hence continued thriving of the business. Therefore, the only way through which it can be contained is by containing the demand.

Most parts of the world are still struggling in ensuring that there are minimal cases of human trafficking for sex. Most crimes committed in the sex industry is human trafficking whereby the women and girls involved do it against their will. In most cases, trafficked persons do not get the money that is paid for their services. Most of the money ends up in other people pockets. The beneficially to the money include drug dealers who provide the drugs necessary to ensure that the women do not become psychotic or commit suicide (Chang, p.390). In some cases the women involved in prostitution developed psychosis or depression and some commit suicide, this is because they engage in sex with multiple people in a day against their will which is the same as rape. Other services paid for are the housing where they are accommodated and the food they consume.

Further according to Murphy, (p.780), most of the people involved in commercial sex, have little education. Most of the women have not completed school hence decreasing their chances of having a career; it affects one’s ability to explore their talents that might have economic value to their lives. At the same time, it is evident that most of the people involved in prostitution at the end of the day abuse drugs or they are involved in drug selling. Due to the repetitive sex with numerous people, the prostitutes at some point they are faced with psychological effects even though they engage in the activity willingly. They feel self-hatred, shame and worthlessness hence they may have problems in establishing an intimate relationship with a potential partner. To protect the psychological well-being of the prostitutes and minimizes the health burden, many countries have developed policies governing sexual workers. However, in the majority of countries in the world including the United States, prostitution is illegal.

Works cited

Chang, Sung. “PROSTITUTES + CONDOMS = AIDS?: THE LEADERSHIP ACT, USAID, AND THE HHS GUIDELINES’ FAILURE TO DEFINE ‘PROMOTING PROSTITUTION.’” The American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law 19.1 (2010): 373–399. Web.

Murphy, Lyn Stankiewicz. “Understanding the Social and Economic Contexts Surrounding Women Engaged in Street-Level Prostitution.” Issues in mental health nursing 31.12 (2010): 775–784. Web.

Roe-sepowitz, Dominique E et al. “Adult Prostitution Recidivism : Risk Factors and Impact of a Diversion Program Adult Prostitution Recidivism : Risk Factors and Impact of a Diversion Program.” Journal of Offender Rehabilitation 50.September 2011 (2011): 37–41. Web.

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