Prostitution Violence Against Women Los Angeles Research Paper

Pages: 4 (1314 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Women's Issues - Sexuality

Prostitution and Violence Against Women in Los Angeles

THE INFERNAL SIDE of the CITY of ANGELS

Prostitution and Violence against Women: Los Angeles

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Prostitution, as generally understood, is sexual relation between the prostitute and the client in exchange for a fee (Lauer & Lauer, 2008 p 38). Although the prostitute does not perform every sexual act, her -- or his -- services include standard sexual intercourse, oral stimulation of the client's genital and oral intercourse. A recent survey conducted with a small sample of street prostitutes in New Jersey found that a prostitute had an average of four clients a day or up to 15 a week. It revealed that the typical client was married, middle-age and a white male. The prostitute confronts physical, psychological and exploitation problems in the conduct of her trade. Physical problems include physical pain, inflicted by the customer; her husband, boyfriend or pimp; and the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV and AIDS. Psychological problems include a loss of human dignity and sexual fulfillment. And she must endure exploitation from the hands of those she has to deal with as a mere object of their trade (pp 40-41). The low quality of a prostitute's life is the product of social-structural and social-psychological factors. Society's rejection of non-marital sex and the suppression of open discussion of sex create the need for a prostitute. Her typical customer compensates for the poor sexual gratification he derives from his marriage. Or he gratifies sexual need in secrecy with her while maintaining external respectability (Lauer & Lauer pp 44-45).

History of Prostitution in the United States

TOPIC: Research Paper on Prostitution Violence Against Women Los Angeles Assignment

Prostitution is believed to have been imported from Europe in the 1700s when soldiers were stationed in New York and Boston (ISU, 2005). Prostitution increased as a result of rapid urbanization, increase in male population, low female wages and discrimination against women. By 1810, it became a political and social problem. In that period, prostitutes were divided into three subcultures. The first consisted of women who wanted to make money for it and they comprised 5-10% of the total. The second consisted of those hired by "sporting male" groups. And the third were found in brothels. Hundreds of these were located in St. Louis, Philadelphia and Chicago (ISU).

Nationwide Statistics

It is difficult to provide an exact number of persons engaged in prostitution, but the National Task Force estimated that there could be more than a million or 1% of all American women (Bayswan, 2010). The figure was based on recorded arrests. Average arrests for prostitution are 70% for females and 20% for males. Most of those sent to jail are women of color at 85-90%. Other statistics revealed that 60% of them were subjected to violence by clients, 20% by the police and 20% by domestic partners (Bayswan).

Prostitution is Violence against Women

Experience or exposure to prostitution can lead to posttraumatic stress disorder, according to the American Psychiatric Association (Failey, 2004). The victim develops fear and powerlessness, which become more severe when the stress experience is planned and then implemented. Violent behaviors against women reflect and promote men's beliefs that they are entitled to sex with women and superior to them. Respondents to a recent study among college students who engaged the services of prostitutes admitted harboring the attitude and behavior in their coercive acts against the women (Failey).

Prostitution in Los Angeles

Findings of the 1990-1999 State of California, Los Angeles County and Orange County showed that Los Angeles had the highest number of arrests of prostitutes in the country (Beyond 2000 Committee, 2004). African-Americans accounted for most of these arrests, especially in the 30-39 years old age group. But arrests of those older than 40 or 60 have also been rising. The study was conducted on 120 women participants of the Mary Magdalene Program, 42 non-program member- interviewees, and 84 prostitutes in the Los Angeles County jail. The average prostitute begins her career between age 15… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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