Sex work and sex trafficking here we turn to a

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Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions
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Chapter 7 / Exercise 04
Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions
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SEX WORK AND SEX TRAFFICKING Here we turn to a discussion of sex work (also called prostitution) and sex trafficking, because people in sex work are often exploited and victimized. Often, though not always, people are forced to be sex workers due to circumstances in their lives. There are a variety of reasons people may become sex workers, although in general, poverty and dire need are key (Correa et al., 2009). Some people consider sex work to be yet another form of male dominance of women and a result of social power differences, which are critically impor- tant here (Bernstein, 2008). Some critics have suggested that prostitution is a business and sex workers deserve the same rights as other workers (Correa et al., 2009). Historically, researchers have certainly found that sex workers lack social and economic support and suffer the power imbalances of societies that are riddled with exploitation (Padilla, 2008). Sex work, or prostitution, is as old as civilization. Sex work is paid-for sex, whether payment is in money or goods or the receipt of some other resource, such as a promotion at work, in exchange for sex. The word prostitution is a moral concept, largely negative in meaning, and is explicitly associated with women (not men or boys). Some people use even more negative terms, such as hooker or whore, in reference to female sex workers. Researchers and medical doctors created the term sex work to reduce the negative con- notations attached to this work, because in some places, sex work may be the only way to make a living. It also implies that sex workers can be either female or male (Bernstein, 2008; Correa et al., 2009). Male sex workers are also called gigolos or rent boys. No one knows for sure, but sex work is believed to be a growing multibillion dollar industry (Kristof & WuDunn, 2009). Since the 1960s, the ways in which sex is bought and sold and linked to the exploitation of people in sexual cultures has become a greater international concern. Part of the reason is that sex work is related to the trafficking of women, girls, and boys into sexual slavery or sex work. The Vietnam War, which began in the 1960s, was a backdrop for a new sexual pattern in southeastern Asia. Cities such as Bangkok (Thailand) and Saigon (Vietnam) developed into places for soldiers and civilians to find sex workers when they were on leave from military duty. Additionally, govern- ments of these countries tacitly accepted "sex for sale" (Trouong, 1990). Over time, sex work has expanded in these countries, bringing tourists who come just to buy sex (Estes & Weiner, 2002). Sexual exploitation of girls occurs in major cities of the United States, such as in the San Francisco Bay area (Ferguson et al., 2009). Different Types of Sex Work All over the world, sex workers may be victims of powerful social forces, such as poverty, disease, corruption, and exploitation by government officials including the police. For example, police may abuse sex workers by blackmailing them or extracting sexual favors in return for not arresting them (Bernstein, 2008). Additionally, these public figures may expose sex workers to STis such as HN/AIDS (Correa et al., 2009; Farmer, 2003; Herdt,
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Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions
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Chapter 7 / Exercise 04
Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions
Corey/Corey
Expert Verified

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