Other crimes include felonies or misdemeanors related to substance abuse, assault, and weapons.
Here are some others findings from the study:
- Only 47% of sex buyers, versus 70% of non-buyers, reported that they were taught about respect for women in sex education classes
- Almost three in four of the sex buyers reported they learned about sex from pornography, whereas only 54% of the non-buyers said they did
- Two thirds of both groups of buyers and non-buyers concluded most women prostitutes had been lured, tricked or trafficked into the work
- 61% of sex buyers versus 70% of non-buyers currently had a wife or girlfriend
Some of the findings aren’t so shocking. Men who pay for sex, (which is illegal in and of itself in most parts of the world), commit other crimes, especially crimes targeted against women. Doesn’t seem too far-fetched to me, not that this means every man who buys sex is more likely to commit a crime, but I see the correlation.
What I found interesting, however, is that two thirds of buyers (and non-buyers for that matter) said they believed women prostitutes had been “lured, tricked or trafficked into the work” yet they still buy sex from these women even though they believe the women don’t have a choice in the matter and in that light can’t truly consent.
Maybe men who buy sex are able to do so because, as the study found, men who buy sex are also significantly less empathetic toward women working as prostitutes. They don’t even see prostitutes as women (like the wives or girlfriends they come home to, which many of them have) but according to the study the sex buyers “seemed to justify their involvement in the sex industry by stating their belief … that women in prostitution were intrinsically different from non-prostituting women.”
So men who buy sex don’t even see prostitutes as human beings, continue to buy sex despite the fact that they think the women were “lured, tricked or trafficked” there, and then continue to commit other crimes, including violent crimes against other women.
So what’s the solution here? Would legalizing prostitution give sex workers more rights and protections? Would women continue to be “lured, tricked, or trafficked” into prostitution even if it was legal (certainly!)? Is there a solution?
What do you think?
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Photo credit: Photo by toe stubber used under a Creative Commons license.