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Prostitution Is Not A Job Or Free Choice. Part 2 - Sex, Society
Prostitution Is Not A Job Or Free Choice. Part 2 - Sex, Society

Video: Prostitution Is Not A Job Or Free Choice. Part 2 - Sex, Society

Video: Prostitution Is Not A Job Or Free Choice. Part 2 - Sex, Society
Video: Does Japan Really Need Prostitution? (Pt.2 Mariten) [ENG CC] 2023, June

The term “prostituted woman”, which replaced the word “prostitute”, emphasizes the involuntary choice of people involved in the multimillion-dollar “sex industry”. What are the consequences of being involved in prostitution and how to combat this phenomenon?

Worse than war

Prostituted women find themselves in a disenfranchised position: they do not have the opportunity to leave the system at will or refuse contact with an unpleasant client, a sexual act, itself traumatic due to the lack of arousal and lubrication, is often accompanied by additional trauma, and public opinion is cruel and Ruthlessly stigmatizes them with the label "whore", tacitly approving any manifestation of violence against them.

According to various studies, 50 to 70% of women 1,2 in prostitution experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder - this percentage is higher than among combat veterans!

The main consequence of psychological trauma is the dissociation of the personality and body: women suggest to themselves that what clients do with their bodies does not apply to themselves, as it were, that the body exists separately from the soul or mind. This unhealthy splitting leads to a number of consequences: attempts to isolate oneself from reality give rise to drug addiction and alcoholism, and trauma leads to severe depressive and neurotic disorders.

One of the varieties of the traumatized personality's defense mechanisms is denial: prostituted women continue to assure others that they are doing well and that their "profession" is a great way to make "easy profits."

The unsightly sides of the everyday reality of communication with “clients” seem to be erased from perception - this is how interviews appear with people calling themselves “sex workers” and defending their right to stay in this activity and legitimize it.

See also: Prostitution is not a job or a free choice. Part 1

Even if we assume the existence of a certain stratum of women who exchange their bodies for money under conditions of voluntary informed choice and receive real benefits from this, their number is negligible in relation to the number of girls dragged into prostitution forcibly or fraudulently. That is why presenting the picture of “successful prostitution” as the truth means simply lying, keeping silent about the millions of powerless victims of the criminal business.

How to fight? "German" and "Swedish" models

There are two main models of combating the negative consequences of prostitution for women involved in it, called the "German" and "Swedish" models.

"German" model

The “German” model, adopted not only in Germany, but also in the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, etc., involves the legalization of “sex work” and its transfer from the criminal channel to the number of ordinary professions: with official deductions to insurance funds, labor agreements, trade unions, etc

The main idea of this approach is that it is not prostitution itself that is terrible for society, but only those aspects of it that appear due to the closed nature of this sphere and the illegality of its very existence. It was assumed that their receipt of labor rights and freedoms would help reduce the level of crimes against prostituted women and remove social stigma from them, curb the HIV epidemic and, in general, would help solve a whole range of problems.

However, in reality, everything turned out to be completely different. According to the report of Ingeborg Kraus, Ph. D. in psychology, the legalization of prostitution has led to a marked growth in the market and an increase in the number of women involved in "sex work." Their working conditions have seriously deteriorated: the official permission for the exploitation of women's bodies has led to a decrease in the price of "intimate services" - this means that the victims of this business are forced to serve a huge stream of clients simply in order to continue to exist, while the organizers receive for their super-profit account 3.

At the same time, women are still subject to violence in 87% of cases and do not have the opportunity to leave this sphere even if a child is born, not to mention the termination of "work" of their own free will. As for the legal guarantees of their rights - in fact, only 1% of prostituted women have labor contracts 4, while the overwhelming majority remain “illegal immigrants”, often from poor countries and have no legal protection.

In reality, the policy of legalization turned out to be more focused on protecting the rights of clients: for example, women who did not use condoms when “serving” clients or did not undergo a medical examination on time are subject to severe fines, while physical, sexual or emotional abuse by these same customers are virtually unpunished.

"Swedish" model

The "Swedish" model includes several vectors of action at once: criminalization of clients, work with public opinion, and psychological assistance to women who find themselves involved in prostitution. Thus, the principle “my body is my business” remains inviolable: no one is prohibited from offering their services for money, but it becomes illegal to buy someone else's body for personal satisfaction or for resale into sexual slavery

According to researchers from the University of London 5, this model is indeed effective: in the first 10 years of its application in various cities of Sweden, the number of women involved in prostitution has decreased two to three times, and the demand for the purchase of "sex services" has become the lowest in Europe.

The punishment for attempting to exploit someone else's body is not extremely harsh: “caught” clients are issued a fine, sensitive, but not excessively high. However, a record of the incident is stored in the police database and can “surface” when trying to get a job in a school, social security department, law enforcement agencies, etc. - and this, in turn, entails serious reputational losses.

Educational work is bearing fruit: a person who buys "sex services" becomes shaking hands and loses something more than money - social ties and respect from society.

Will we live to see the time when buying someone else's body becomes as anachronistic as serfdom? Hopefully, yes. At least the world is already moving in this direction.


  1. Roxburgh A., Degenhardt L., Copeland J. Posttraumatic stress disorder among female street-based sex workers in the greater Sydney area, Australia // BMC psychiatry. 2006. T. 6. No. 1. P. 24–32. URL: (date accessed: 22.09.2019).
  2. Farley M., Barkan H. Prostitution, violence, and posttraumatic stress disorder // Women & health. 1998. V. 27. No. 3. P. 37–49. URL: (date accessed: 22.09.2019).
  3. Kraus I. The “german model”: 17 years after the liberalization of prostitution. Speech at the Italian parliament in Rom, 28.05.2018 // URL: (date accessed: 22.09.2019).
  4. Banyard K. Prostitution is not sex work // Aeon Magazine. 2016-16-08. URL: (date accessed: 22.09.2019).
  5. Walby S. et al. Study on the gender dimension of trafficking in human beings. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2016. URL: (date accessed: 22.09.2019).

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