ISSUE 3: THE SOCIOLOGIST’S THINKING ADRESSING THE SOCIAL MENACE OF PROSTITUTION
It is when we agree to a particular behavior that the behavior becomes part of us and our society, however some behaviors notably prostitution is frowned upon yet it remains a part of our existence, we frown at it, our culture outlaws it and our religion stands against it, yet it remains. Not because it is pleasurable or beneficial but because our society who frowns at it helps in maintaining its existence. HARD TO BELIEVE? READ ON, TO FIND HOW.
In Nigeria, practitioners of the sex industry is risked to a lot of occupational hazards such as biological, social stigma and even spiritual in form of ritual killings, yet the practice is endemic and it is being passed down to younger generations as a visit to bars, hotels and beer parlor etc would give you the sight of teenage girls available for sex who being thought the trade by a pimp.
WHY IT SURVIVES
Kingsley Davis a leading scholar in sociology of prostitution have linked the high moral standards of the society to the continuous existence of prostitution, he asserted that the society frowns at the act yet latently encourage it by striking a difference between ‘meaningful and meaningless sex”, “moral and immoral sexual behaviors” this division have caused men to see sex with their wives as meaningful through the so called moral sex styles e.g. missionary style while sex with prostitutes as meaningless through the immoral and funky styles e.g. oral sex, anal sex, and the 69. The idea of Davis is simple, you want a good sex go to your wife, you want dirty and casual sex visit the prostitutes. With this a demand is created for prostitution which makes it existence untouchable.
Catherine Mc kinnon, a vocal feminist scholar have asserted that the patriarchal system of the society encourage it existence by creating a demand and supply for it by socializing men into dominant roles and women into submissive roles which put women to dependence on men for subsistence because of the socially disadvantaged position which they have found themselves in economic structures of the society.
WHY PEOPLE ENGAGE IN IT
At this point, it is imperative to turn to social psychologists for answers Alobo and Rita upholds that there are factors that pull people to prostitution and are supported by a study conducted by Katja Huber and co(2009).
Predisposing Factors: These are factors that have to do with upbringing like child abuse, rape and divorce of parents. This factor explains why sex practitioners are able to detach emotions from sex, this means love and other emotions do not get in the way of the sex.
Attracting Factors: The thought that the profession brings a lot of money and some sort of freedom from the 9-5 work.
Precipitating factors: These are socio economic factors such as unemployment, poverty etc
Recruitment into the prostitution profession has no educational qualification; all that is required is readiness to do it for money. Lautt (1984) claimed that there are three entry points into the profession and none is force used to recruit members.
Exploitation: This kind of recruitment is done by a pimp who gets teenage girls to prostitute for her; she is usually older and is responsible for finding clients and safety for her girls and also training them.
Recruitment by a big sister figure: This is done by friends who party together and flock around each other, they first engage in sex for fun during parties, but then are encouraged by a big sister who advise them to do it for money instead, here exploitation is usually minimal or nonexistent.
The independent and pragmatic decision: Done by older girls who are usually within the 18-24 age range, they join as a result of economic necessity, poor salaries or limited skills.
Corroborating the above, one must note that the profession is learnt just like any other profession, practitioners learn the principles of safe sex by ensuring their clients use condoms, body hygiene, beauty and make up tips, and getting their clients to orgasm in a short time so as to get on to the next one etc. They learn the ethics of the profession: punctuality, hygiene, getting out of the way of other prostitutes etc.
SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEM (Emmanual Nwakama)
Efforts should be intensified to curb unemployment, gender inequality, poverty and sexual abuse
Demand and Supply of prostitution should be criminalized. We should not think legalizing and regulating the act would curtail the problem citing the examples of New Zealand, Australia and Neitherland who have legalize the act have witnessed a surge in the increase of child prostitution.
Promulgating laws to reduce excessive commercialization of the feminine bodies for adverts and commercials, it latently link women to sex and sex alone.
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