Pornography, Prostitution and International Sex Trafficking: Mapping the Terrain
19 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2006
Date Written: February 16, 2006
In the 1990s, the tragedy of sex trafficking in women and children for purposes of sexual exploitation began to attract world attention and subjected to an increasing level of research. The one element left out of this effort to profile and understand the enormous complexity of the problem of sex trafficking has been the role of the consumer of the services of the victims of sex trafficking. As has far too often been the case with prostitution, where the focus has always been upon the prostitute and the pimp or madame, the role of the prostitute-user has generally been ignored in law and research. We appear to assume that men's need to sexually exploit women is an inexorable force of nature that stands outside the realm of social research or social control.
The book, "Pornography: Driving the Demand in International Sex Trafficking," grew out of a conference designed to attend to the institutions that not only exploit sex trafficking victims, but more importantly, directly engage with those who individually exploit victims: prostitute-users and pornography-users. As noted by contributors Gail Dines and Catharine MacKinnon, pornography not only feeds the demand of its consumers, it stimulates further and greater demand. The conference thereby moves researchers into the immediate realm of the ultimate creators of demand.
In this introduction, I attempt to provide a broad overview of the territory to be covered in this book: to provide necessary background where appropriate, to identify those ideas or themes that contribute to the overall structure of the problem, and to raise questions deserving further reflection.
Keywords: pornography, child pornography, sex trafficking, prostitution, human rights, women's rights
JEL Classification: K00, K10, K14, K33, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation