Archive for the ‘prostitution’ tag

#  Little Change after Prostition Legalized →

May 30th, 2008 at 14:59 // In Worth Knowing 

This may surprise people:

The number of sex workers in New Zealand does not appear to have increased since legislation decriminalising prostitution became law, according to a new report.

(via Passport)

#  Sex Industry Q&A →

March 27th, 2008 at 17:55 // In Worth Reading 

Sudhir Venkatesh has some answers from Mindy and Dorothy, two sex workers, about their profession. They had some interesting things to say; this bit about legalization surprised me:

DOROTHY: I think legalization is really bad for the women because they will just get exploited. They’ll get paid a lot less and be forced to do a lot more.

I don’t condone prostitution, but I do understand survival.

Women sell their bodies for survival — I don’t care how much money they make. You don’t want to make that a permanent thing.

#  Spitzer Was Too Cheap? →

March 12th, 2008 at 20:27 // In Worth Considering 

That’s roughly the argument made by sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh.

At the lucrative end of the market, I have found it useful to think of three tiers of women (men constitute only about 10 percent of high-end prostitutes). Spitzer was paying for “Tier 1” sex workers: Fees usually range from $2,000 to $5,000 per session; women come in all ages and ethnic stripes; they rigorously guard their health and watch for STDs; and most have a high-school degree but have limited work experience. They can promise you discretion, but most work through escort services that are routinely under surveillance. In practice, this means buyer beware. […]

Both Tier 2 and Tier 3 workers can typically do more to safeguard a client’s privacy. There are no guarantees, of course, but they tend to shun contractual relationships with agencies that advertise their services. There is less of a paper trail. They typically will only take a john via a referral, and even then, they may require that the john “date” them for weeks before deciding to offer up sex. I have heard of Tier 2 and 3 sex workers who vet prospective clients for months, sometimes hiring a private detective to see if the john is stable—psychologically and financially. As a former attorney general, Spitzer must have known all this.

It’s also worth noting that he’s not too sanguine on the trade in general.

#  About Prostitution →

January 23rd, 2008 at 22:29 // In Worth Knowing 

Anyone interested “the world’s oldest profession” could have learned something at the recent meeting of the American Economic Association, where Steven Levy and others brought the excitement of the dismal science to the topic.

Almost half of the city’s [Chicago’s] arrests for prostitution take place in just 0.3% of its street corners. The industry is concentrated in so few locations because prostitutes and their clients need to be able to find each other. Earnings are high compared with other jobs. Sex workers receive $25-30 per hour, roughly four times what they could expect outside prostitution. Yet this wage premium seems paltry considering the stigma and inherent risks. Sex without a condom is the norm, so the possibility of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) is high. Mr Levitt reckons that sex workers can expect to be violently assaulted once a month. The risk of legal action is low. Prostitutes are more likely to have sex with a police officer than to be arrested by one.

#  American Misogyny →

January 15th, 2008 at 21:27 // In Worth Considering 

Bob Herbert’s column for today (rapidly becoming yesterday) argues that American culture is still sweepingly misogynistic. It’s a point that’s worth giving a minute, even if you disagree heartily.

If there was ever a story that deserved more coverage by the news media, it’s the dark persistence of misogyny in America. Sexism in its myriad destructive forms permeates nearly every aspect of American life. For many men, it’s the true national pastime, much bigger than baseball or football.