Selling women’s bodies in the news again
Louise Livesey // 4 September 2008
Research by the Poppy Project has found brothels in London selling women for £15 plus another £10 for unprotected sex although the average price was £62. 85% of them are in residential areas and they found around 28 brothels in each of London’s 33 boroughs meaning an estimated turnover of £50m to £130m per year. 77 different ethnicities were represented
Helen Atkins, one of the co-authors, said “Multi-media misrepresentations of commercial sex as a glamorous, easy and fun career choice for girls and women further contribute to the ubiquity of London’s brothel industry. However, for most women involved in prostitution, the reality is a cycle of violence and coercion, perpetuated by poverty and inequality.” From BBC News.
Meanwhile Harriet Harman’s office have released new figures showing public support to criminalise the buying of sex to reduce people-trafficking for sexual exploitation (58% of the people asked by Ipsos-Mori).
In general, men were likely to say it was unacceptable for a female relative to sell sex, but fine for a male relative to pay for sex. This difference was most notable for older men (those over 55) who were the most accepting of buying sex and the least accepting of female relatives selling sex highlighting most strongly the sexual double standard (and shows that people have “unmade” the link between the two!).
Harman claimed some people in the survey showed “double standards”, indicating that they were relaxed about the principle of paying for sex but would be deeply ashamed if a female relative was working as a prostitute.
From The Guardian
Women tended to find buying and selling sex unacceptable (61% and 65% respectively), but men tended to find it more acceptable (42% and 40% respectively). However 60% of both genders would feel ashamed if a family member worked as a prostitute – showing the male tendency to make prostitution OK if it’s “other” women who aren’t “respectable” anyway involved (such as those who are poor, women of colour or of other nationalities, substance abusers and so forth).