Running head: STREET PROSTITUTION
Commercial sex work or prostitution has existed for a very long time. Even in ancient
societies such as ancient Greece, Hebrew, and Rome, sex workers existed. Although all the sexes
do engage in sex work, women have been more associated with prostitution compared to men.
There are a number of serious negative consequences that are associated with prostitution. One
of the consequences is contracting sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, Syphilis,
gonorrhea, or Herpes. The rise of HIV, for example, affected sex work negatively (Santo and
Etheredge, 2014). Other negative consequences of prostitution are stigmatization of sex workers
in the society, physical abuse by clients, and unwanted pregnancies. These negative
consequences among other reasons have led a majority of countries around the world to declare
prostitution illegal. This paper explores the reasons why women enter into prostitution, why they
stay, and how those who seek to leave can get help.
Many scholars and organizations have studied reasons as to why women enter into street
prostitution. These scholars and organizations have presented several reasons that lead women to
prostitution. These reasons are backed up by empirical data. Despite the well-supported reasons,
there is always a myth that is perpetuated in the society that women simply get into prostitution
due to childhood abuse. This is not to say that women who suffered physical, emotional, or
sexual abuse do not engage in prostitution. It is just that it is cited by many as the reason that
drive women into prostitution. There are other reasons that drive women into prostitution. These
reasons include socio-economic factors, drugs and substance abuse, influence by friends and
family members among others (Oselin, 2014). To address the issue of prostitution, it is necessary
to consider all the reasons. This will help in devising interventions that would help prevent
women from getting into prostitution or those who already do this job.
Clarke et al., (2012) explored the factors relating to age entry into prostitution. Their
study involved 389 women participants who had been arrested due to engaging in prostitution.
The results of the study showed that one reason why young women engage in prostitution is
child abuse and family dysfunction. The abuse could be sexual, emotional, and or physical
(Clarke et al., 2012). Childhood abuse has been found to increase the likelihood of young women
engaging in prostitution. Dysfunctionality in a family is likely to result in either physical,
emotional, or sexual abuse of children. Young women who try to run away from the abuse
engage in prostitution to make a living. One study found out that abuse increased the chances of
adolescent girls getting into prostitution by more than 40 times (Clarke et al., 2012). According
to Clarke et al., (2012), factors that contributed to dysfunctionality among families include
poverty, drugs and substance abuse among parents, and parental domestic violence.
Poverty has also been a potent driver of young women into prostitution. It ...