Psychology Discussion: Impact of Prostitution and Sex Trade on Males and Females Due The average person probably could never imagine that there is a huge, lucrative, sex industry based on the wages gained from prostitution and the sex trade still exists in this day and age. However, such an industry is very active in the world. Adults and children, both, male and female are often, sold, forced, or are influenced into the sex trade industry at very young ages, essentially, on a daily basis. Surviving these kinds of physical, mental, and emotional traumas can have a serious psychological effect in the immediate, as well as, throughout their lives. Understanding the consequences of prostitution and the sex slave industries on the victims helps to gain the means to understand how to treat the conditions developed during that time, which can include, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Depression, Self-Image issues, and inabilities to maintain normal healthy relationships in their lives.
Child sex trade is common in developing countries, while prostitution is an industry prevalent in the United States, as well. Victims may either be sold by family, have run away from abusive families, and were kidnapped into the industry. These facts alone can be traumatic enough. Then add upon that, possibly, years, of STDs, physical, beatings, potential rape, and loss of general basic rights and freedoms can create a truly fragile and mentally damaged group of young people (Busuttil, 2011). The psychological damage present in victims of the sex slave or prostitution industries can be quite extreme, in fact, they are 3 times more likely to suffer from suicidal thoughts or tendencies (Green, 1994).
Although the majority of the prostitution and sex trade industries focuses on females, however, young boys are, also, quite prevalent in the industry. One study showed that in Pakistan, truck drivers who are away from their families for long periods of time, 95% will engage in sexual relations with young boys during their travels (Busuttil, 2011). In fact, while prostitution and the sex trade is primarily women of all ages, adult males are seldom sold specifically into the sex trade, nor do they often opt for prostitution as a gainful means to supplement their need for food and income. Children, by and large, are far easier to manipulate and control. The psychological effects, as mentioned, are relatively shared equally among girls and boys; self image issues, low self-esteem, depression, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, inability to form proper relationships, and, very often, PTSD. In boys there is an interesting psychological side effect that is seems to be exclusive among young males who grow into adulthood in the sex trade or prostitution environments. Because these young males are catering to male customers they are forced into homosexual sexual experiences. As adults this can create confusing sexual issues for these young men. They can become quite confused as to their sexual identity (Jung, Song & et. al., 2008). Are they gay because they engaged in homosexual intercourse even though they may be heterosexual by nature? This problem can be incredibly devastating to a developing male psyche.
The issues of prostitution, child sex slavery, and the sex trade industries in general, has been and continues to be, a global tragedy, Unfortunately, there are often not nearly enough necessary funding to implement the needed task forces to more proactively address the issue through law enforcement, as well as, provide the necessary medical and psychological counseling these victims when freed may require. Until there is greater efforts are taken to eliminate the industries, improve the options available to runaways and those who are seeking a “ way out,” of the industry, and the necessary psychological intervention offered to aid them in overcoming the traumas they have inevitably experienced.
Busuttil, F. (2011, December 12). Child prostitution: the curse affecting every continent. Child Prostitution, 1. Retrieved from http://www. humanium. org/en/child-prostitution/
Green, P. J. (1994, November). Prostitution: Children the victims. the effects of prostitution and sexual exploitation on children and adolescents . Conference on women, sexuality and development, Sydney, Women’s Studies Centre, Sydney University. Retrieved from http://www. wouk. org/rahab_international/pdf_files/Prostitution – Children the Victims. pdf
Jung, Y., Song, J., & et. al., (2008). Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder and mental health in women who escaped prostitution and helping activists in shelters. Yonsei Medical Journal, 49(3), 1-38. Retrieved from http://www. ncbi. nlm. nih. gov/pmc/articles/PMC2615337/