VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN / October 2004
1. “Bad for the body, bad for the heart” was the way a young Thai woman summarized the effects of prostitution in Hello My Big Big Honey: Love Letters to Bangkok Bar Girls and Their Revealing Interviews (Walker & Ehrlich, 2000).
2. Legal prostitution cannot possibly protect children from being exploited. The exis- tence of a neighborhood adult sex industry constitutes one of the risk factors for adoles- cents’ entry into prostitution (Estes & Weiner, 2001).
3. What shall we call the men who buy the women and children in prostitution? They are socially tolerated sexual predators but are rarely identified as such. I use the word johns because that is the word most commonly used by women in prostitution for them. They’re also called customers, buyers, clients, tricks, dates. The word trick is used because johns constantly try to trick, wheedle, or coerce women into performing more sex acts in prosti- tution than they are paid for.
4. In 2003, Heidi Fleiss celebrated the opening of a brothel franchise in Australia, where prostitution is legalized. Fleiss is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and later prostitu- tion who turned to pimping other women as a way out of prostitution for herself.
5. Organizations occasionally change their politics. If I have included any organization in error, I would be happy to hear about that.
6. Nevada’s rate of rape per 1,000 population was .57 in 1997, while the overall U.S. rate was .36. Nevada’s two largest metropolitan areas, Reno and Las Vegas, ranked far ahead in rapes than other popular U.S. tourist destinations, including Los Angeles and San Fran- cisco. Reno and Las Vegas are adjacent to 2 of the 13 Nevada counties where prostitution is legalized (Albert, 2001, pp. 182-183, citing Nevada Crime Statistics).
7. By law, pimps are defined as those who support themselves via the earnings of prosti- tutes. Thus, when a government benefits from taxing the earnings of prostitutes in legal- ized or decriminalized prostitution, it is appropriate to bring the notion of pimping into the discussion, hence pimp-states.
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