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Definition, History and Modern Condition of Prostitution in The Philippines

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Prostitution is defined as an act or practice of rendering sexual service in exchange for immediate payment in terms of money or other valuables. It is one of the branches of the sex industry. It is estimated that the annual revenue generated from global prostitution industry is over $100 billion. It is a very old and universal phenomenon, and even oftentimes referred to as “the world’s oldest profession. ” Despite its universality, the legal status of prostitution varies from country to country, from being permissible but unregulated, to a punishable crime, or to a regulated profession.

Prostitute” is derived from the Latin prostituta.

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Some sources cite the verb as a composition of “pro” meaning “up front” or “forward” and “situere”, defined as “to offer up for sale”. Another explanation is that “prostituta” is a composition of pro and statuere (to cause to stand, to station, place erect). A literal translation therefore is: “to put up front for sale” or “to place forward”.

The online Etymology Dictionary states, “The notion of ‘sex for hire’ is not inherent in the etymology, which rather suggests one ‘exposed to lust’ or sex ‘indiscriminately offered. ” The person who renders sexual services and receives the payment is called a prostitute or sex worker. The word “prostitute” was then carried down through various languages to the present-day Western society. Most sex worker activists groups reject the word “prostitute” and since the late 1970s have used the term “sex worker” instead. However, a “sex worker” can also mean anyone who works within the sex industry or whose work is of a sexual nature and is not limited solely to prostitutes.

They vary from either engaging in heterosexual or homosexual activity, and their kind of prostitution occurs in a variety of forms. The establishments dedicated for prostitution are called brothels. They are often confined to special red-light districts in big cities. Other names for brothels include bordello, whorehouse, cathouse, knocking shop, and general houses. Prostitution also occurs in some massage parlors, and in Asian countries in some barber shops where sexual services may be offered as a secondary function of the premises.

A growing number of scholars regard prostitution, pornography, and stripping as “sex work” and study it as an occupation. Exploring all dimensions of the work, in different contexts, these studies document substantial variation in the way prostitution is organized and experienced by workers, clients, and managers. These studies undermine some deep-rooted myths about prostitution and challenge writers and activists who depict prostitution monolithically. The most popular monolithic perspective is that prostitution is an unqualified evil.

According to this oppression model, exploitation, abuse, and misery are intrinsic to the sex trade. In this view, most prostitutes were physically or sexually abused as children, which helps to explain their entry into prostitution; most enter the trade as adolescents, around 13–14 years of age; most are tricked or forced into the trade by pimps or sex traffickers; drug addiction is rampant; customer violence against workers is routine and pervasive; working conditions are abysmal; and legalization would only worsen the situation.

Some writers go further, characterizing the “essential” nature of prostitution. Because prostitution is defined as an institution of extreme male domination over women, these writers say that violence and exploitation are inherent and omnipresent—transcending historical time period, national context, and type of prostitution. As Sheila Jeffreys writes, “Prostitution constitutes sexual violence against women in and of itself”; and according to Melissa Farley, prostitution is a “vicious institution” that is “intrinsically traumatizing to the person being prostituted.

Many writers who subscribe to the oppression model use dramatic language (“sexual slavery,” “paid rape,” “survivors,” and so on) and describe only the most disturbing cases, which they present as typical—rhetorical tricks designed to fuel public indignation. The oppression model’s images of victimhood erase workers’ autonomy and agency, and preclude any possibility of organizing sex work in order to minimize harm and empower workers. This model holds that prostitution should be eradicated, not ameliorated.

But much research challenges the oppression model as well as some other popular fictions. Much of what has been written about prostitution in the medical and social sciences fails to address the sexual violence and psychological harm which both precede and are intrinsic to prostitution. A few have noted that prostitution involves a lifelong continuum of sexual exploitation and violence which begins with sexual assault or prostitution in childhood. Most authors between 1980 and 1998 failed to address the violence in prostitution.

Instead, there has been an almost exclusive focus on sexually transmitted disease (STD), especially the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the recent social science and medical literature on prostitution. Although HIV has certainly created a public health crisis, the violence and human rights violations in prostitution have also resulted in health crises for those prostituted. Much of the health sciences literature assumed the normalcy of prostitution as vocational choice for women (Deren et al. 1996; Farr et al. ,91996; Green et al 1993). It was often suggested that prostitution could be a safe activity.

However, this perspective seemed only to consider safety from HIV. In 1988, the World Health Organization contributed to the normalizing of prostitution by describing it as “dynamic and adaptive sex work, involving a transaction between seller and buyer of a sexual service. ” (cited in Scambler & Scambler, 1995, page 18) Other researchers virtually instructed women in prostitution to smile in the face of abuse and to proceed with the job of servicing johns (Perkins & Lovejoy,1996; Graaf et al. , 1995). Graaf et al. (1995, page 45) recommended a “positive professional image. ”

Wong et al. 1994) formulated a STD/HIV prevention program in Singapore which ignored pervasive violence in prostitution. Role playing and use of comic books were aimed at increasing condom use. Pederson (1994) noted the coincidence of the HIV epidemic and the concept of prostitution as vocational choice. Some have suggested that prostituted women in the commercial sex industry are “simply another category of workers with special problems and needs” (Bullough & Bullough, 1996, page 177). This perspective reflects the customer’s view that if prostitutes’ behavior can be controlled, perhaps HIV can also be controlled.

An editorial in Lancet (1996) suggested that decriminalization of prostitution would decrease police harassment and assist prostituted women in finding safer state licensed brothels in which to work, although the writer questioned whether “herding” prostitutes into brothels would actually benefit their health or safety. Other negative health consequences of prostitution were not discussed. Several authors assumed that the primary problem with prostitution was its illegal status. Donegan (1996) suggested that because prostitution is underground, young women suffer from social stigma.

This perspective, however, does not address the social stigma and enormous contempt aimed at women in areas where prostitution is legal – for example, Nevada. The commercial sex industry is a multibillion dollar global market which includes strip clubs, massage brothels, phone sex, adult and child pornography, street, brothel, and escort prostitution. One’s political perspective will determine whether prostitution is viewed primarily as a public health issue, as an issue of zoning and property values (which parts of town should house strip clubs and pornography stores? , as vocational choice, as sexual liberation, as petty crime, as domestic violence, or as human rights violation.

For the vast majority of the world’s prostituted women, prostitution is the experience of being hunted, dominated, harassed, assaulted, and battered. Intrinsic to prostitution are numerous violations of human rights: sexual harassment, economic servitude, educational deprivation, job discrimination, domestic violence, racism, classism, vulnerability to frequent physical and sexual assault, and being subjected to body invasions which are equivalent to torture.

HISTORY OF PROSTITUTION During the Middle Ages, prostitution was commonly found in urban contexts. Although all forms of sexual activity outside of marriage were regarded as sinful by the Roman Catholic Church, prostitution was tolerated because it was held to prevent the greater evils of rape, sodomy, and masturbation (McCall, 1979). Augustine of Hippo held that: “If you expel prostitution from society, you will unsettle everything on account of lusts”. The general tolerance of prostitution was for the most part reluctant, and many canonists urged prostitutes to reform.

Prostitutes also found a fruitful market in the Crusades. According to Jacques Rossiaud, the clergy made up about twenty percent of the clientele of private brothels and bath-houses in Dijon, France during the 14th century, and it seems the situation was similar all throughout Europe. Sixtus IV (1471–1484) was the first Pope to impose a license on brothels. In the 16th to 17th century with the advent of the Protestant Reformation, numbers of European towns closed their brothels in an attempt to eradicate prostitution. Prostitution was accepted as part of biblical society from the very start.

In Genesis 38, Tamar dressed up as a prostitute to seduce his father in law. Harlots may be heroines and celebrated their faith as Rahab was (Heb 11:31). Jesus is said to eat with harlots an tax-collectors, and he warns the religious leaders of his time that these harlots are in the key for heaven ahead of them (Matt 21:31). An anonymous sinful woman anoints the feet of Jesus and he blesses her, forgives her sin and requires of her that she “go and sin no more” (Luke 7). In the history of the Christian tradition she was identified first with Mary sister of Martha and finally with Mary Magdalene.

In the biblical legislation we read that fathers should not sell their daughters into prostitution (Lev 19:29) and that the wages of a prostitute should not come into the coffers of the temple (Deut 23:18). There is no command against prostitution per se in the Old Testament. When Paul speaks about Christians and prostitution, he is obligated to go outside the Jewish legal system, and to use the combined analogies of marriage and a sacred temple (1 Cor 6:15-16). It is the man and not the prostitute who is in danger of sinning against God. TYPES OF PROSTITUTION

In street prostitution, the prostitute solicits customers while waiting at street corners, sometimes called “the track” by pimps and prostitutes alike. They usually dress in skimpy, provocative clothing, regardless of the weather. Street prostitutes are often called “streetwalkers” while their customers are referred to as “tricks” or “johns. ” Servicing the customers is described as “turning tricks. ” The sex is usually performed in the customer’s car, in a nearby alley, or in a rented room. Motels and hotels which accommodate prostitutes commonly rent rooms by the half or full hour.

In escort prostitution, the act may take place at the customer’s residence or hotel room (referred to as out-call), or at the escort’s residence or in a hotel room rented for the occasion by the escort (called in-call). The prostitute may be independent or working under the auspices of an escort agency. Services may be advertised over the Internet, in regional publications, or in local telephone listings. Use of the Internet by prostitutes and customers is common. A prostitute may use adult boards or create a website of their own with contact details, such as email addresses.

Adult contact sites, chats and on-line communities are also used. This, in turn, has brought increased scrutiny from law enforcement, public officials, and activist groups toward online prostitution. Sex tourism is travel for sexual intercourse with prostitutes or to engage in other sexual activity. The World Tourism Organization defines sex tourism as “trips organized from within the tourism sector, or from outside this sector but using its structures and networks, with the primary purpose of effecting a commercial sexual relationship by the tourist with residents at the destination”.

As opposed to regular sex tourism, which is often legal, a tourist who has sex with a child prostitute will usually be committing a crime in the host country, under the laws of his own country (notwithstanding him being outside of it) and against international law. Child sex tourism (CST) is defined as a travel to a foreign country for the purpose of engaging in commercially facilitated child sexual abuse. Virtual sex, that is, sexual acts conveyed by messages rather than physically, is also the subject of commercial transactions. Commercial phone sex services have been available for decades.

The advent of the Internet has made other forms of virtual sex available for money, including computer-mediated cybersex, in which sexual services are provided in text form by way of chat rooms or instant messaging, or audiovisually through a webcam. PROSTITUTES Prostitutes are often set apart in some way. Historically, prostitutes are generally associated with women. In ancient Rome they were required to wear distinctive dress; under Hebrew law only foreign women could be prostitutes; in prewar Japan they were required to live in special sections of the city.

In medieval Europe prostitution was licensed and regulated by law, but by the 16th century an epidemic of venereal disease and post-Reformation morality led to the closure of brothels. International cooperation to end the traffic in women for the purpose of prostitution began in 1899. In 1921 the League of Nations established the Committee on the Traffic in Women and Children, and in 1949 the UN General Assembly adopted a convention for the suppression of prostitution. In the U. S. prostitution was first curtailed by the Mann Act (1910), and by 1915 most states had banned brothels (Nevada being a notable exception).

Prostitution is nevertheless tolerated in most U. S. and European cities. In The Netherlands many prostitutes have become members of a professional service union, and in Scandinavia government regulations emphasize hygienic aspects, requiring frequent medical examination and providing free mandatory hospitalization for anyone found to be infected with venereal disease. Prostitutes are very often poor and lack skills to support themselves; in many traditional societies there are few other available money-earning ccupations for women without family support. In developing African and Asian countries, prostitution has been largely responsible for the spread of AIDS and the orphaning of hundreds of thousands of children. In some places, prostitution may be associated with the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Lack of condom use among prostitutes and their clients has been cited as a factor in the spread of HIV in Asia: “One of the main reasons for the rapid spread of HIV in Asian countries is the massive transmission among sex workers and clients”.

As a result, prevention campaigns aimed at increasing condom use by sex workers have been attributed to play a major role in restricting the spread of HIV. IMPACT OF PROSTITUTION There is much evidence to show that prostitution is harmful to women directly involved, women in general, to men who buy women in prostitution to families and to communities: •Women and children abused in prostitution experience severe and long lasting physical and mental health problems.

•Prostitution is harmful in and of itself, i. e. he constantly repeated experience of submitting to unwanted sex is very damaging to women’s mental health, self-esteem and sexuality. •Having to endure unwanted sex leads to the need to dissociate – often using drugs and/or alcohol. Whatever the reason for women entering prostitution, her drug and alcohol use is likely to hugely increase. •Many women involved in street prostitution do not have care of their children (usually as a consequence of drug and alcohol misuse). This has a strong impact on the women themselves and is a common issue they need support on through services.

It also has an impact on the children, the extended family, for example grandparents bringing up grandchildren, and on child protection services. •Impact on family life, for families where women become involved, and also families of men who buy sex: e. g. health risks, loss of income. •Impact on communities, especially in areas where street prostitution takes place: debris, noise, increased traffic from kerb crawlers, harassment of local residents, witnessing sexual activity. 3 out of 4 women in prostitution become involved aged 21 or younger, and 1 in 2 aged 18 or younger •87% of women in street-based prostitution use heroin •25% of men who had bought sex in prostitution expressed “significant or shame” about having done so • A Survey of Male Attendees at Sandyford Initiative: Knowledge, Attitudes, Beliefs and Behaviours in Relation to Prostitution. VIEWS ON PROSTITUTION Prostitution is a significant issue in feminist thought and activism.

Many feminists are opposed to prostitution, which they see as a form of exploitation of women and male dominance over women, and as a practice which is the result of the existing patriarchal societal order. These feminists argue that prostitution has a very negative effect, both on the prostitutes themselves and on society as a whole, as it reinforces stereotypical views about women, who are seen as sex objects which can be used and abused by men.

Other feminists hold that prostitution can be a valid choice for the women who choose to engage in it; in this view, prostitution must be differentiated from forced prostitution, and feminists should support sex worker activism against abuses by both the sex industry and the legal system. Religion has played an important part in the history of prostitution, both uplifting them as sacred symbols of the deity and as denigrating them as the epitome of evil. For too long, men have been telling women what they may or may not do with their bodies, including their sexuality.

One must separate out three distinct traditions all found within the pages of the Christian Bible. The first concerns the actual practice of prostitution, the second concerns the metaphorical usage of the harlot, and the third concerns the adulterous wife. Confusion between these three trajectories has resulted in false claims, such as “The Bible condemns prostitution” or “Prostitutes were to be stoned in Bible times”. Neither of these claims is true as they stand. The most popular monolithic perspective is that prostitution is an unqualified evil.

According to this oppression model, exploitation, abuse, and misery are intrinsic to the sex trade. In this view, most prostitutes were physically or sexually abused as children, which helps to explain their entry into prostitution; most enter the trade as adolescents, around 13–14 years of age; most are tricked or forced into the trade by pimps or sex traffickers; drug addiction is rampant; customer violence against workers is routine and pervasive; working conditions are abysmal; and legalization would only worsen the situation.

PROSTITUTION AND THE WORLD There are varied views on and possible attitudes, varying from its abolition to legalizing its practice. In most countries of the world, they stand to prohibit all forms of prostitution (prohibitionism) meaning both prostitutes and clients are criminalized and are seen as immoral, and generally considered as criminals. In some countries like United Kingdom, France and Canada, prostitution is legal but the surrounding activities such as public solicitation, operating a brothel and other forms of pimping are prohibited.

In the neo-abolitionism view wherein they see that prostitution is a form of violence against women, a violation of human rights, and the clients exploit the prostitutes, there is only prosecution of the clients and pimps, but not the prostitutes themselves. This is true in European countries like Sweden, Norway and Iceland. On the other hand, countries like Netherlands, Germany, most parts of Australia, and parts of Nevada, prostitution is considered a legitimate business and prostitution and employment of prostitutes are legal, but regulated.

In the current situation in New Zealand, prostitution is viewed as labor like any other. Sex industry premises should not be subject to any special regulation or laws (decriminalization). The laws against operating a brothel, pimping and street prostitution are struck down, but prostitution is hardly regulated at all. Proponents of this view often cite instances of government regulation under legalization that they consider intrusive, demeaning, or violent, but feel that criminalization adversely affects sex workers.

PROSTITUTION AND THE PHILIPPINES Presently, the Philippines has an Anti- Prostitution Bill, that views prostitution as an exploitative system that commodities and dehumanizes women, men and children who are being sold within the system. As a form of sexual exploitation, prostitution violates a person’s human rights. It reinforces the subordinate status of the more vulnerable individuals who are more often, women and children; as it serves the instant sexual gratification of the more privileged “clientele” who are mostly male.

Our existing law, specifically Article 202 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) penalizes and defines “prostitutes” as “WOMEN who, for money or profit, habitually indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct. ” Republic Act No. 10158 (March 27, 2012) which amended RPC Article 202, repealed only the provisions that pertain to vagrancy thus leaving behind the provision that penalizes prostitutes, notwithstanding their exploitation within the system of prostitution.

In 1997, The Philippines ranks 4th among nine nations with the most number of children in prostitution total of 60,000 to 100,000. There are around 400,000 to 500,000 prostituted persons in the country that include women, some male, transvestites and children. The Philippine Commission on Women in the Philippines wants to make an appeal and redefine the contents of Articles 202 and 341 of the Revised Penal Code, including children and men in the definition of those involve in prostitution.

They want to decriminalize the individuals engaged in prostitution and want the government to regard them as victims and not as criminals. Poverty is the oft-cited factor that led to the burgeoning number of prostituted persons. More often than not, women and children trapped into prostitution are poor, uneducated, and sometimes sexually abused. They think it is best to penalize and arrest those who fuel the demand of prostitution. In addition, they want to establish support mechanisms for prostituted persons to get out of the system of prostitution.

Cite this Definition, History and Modern Condition of Prostitution in The Philippines

Definition, History and Modern Condition of Prostitution in The Philippines. (2016, Sep 29). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/review-of-related-literature/

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