Monthly Archives: April 2012

Targeting Male Demand to End Sex Trafficking


                                                        Bradley Pravlik

            How do men that exploit prostitutes know they are not being held against their will and forced to engage in sexual acts.  These men are the driving cause behind the perpetuation of sexual slavery.  They create the demand for the victims of sexual slavery.  Yet, the laws enacted have focused on punishing solely the traffickers in the sexual slavery industry, while men who cause the physical and psychological damage have been overlooked.  There should be laws and punishments that specifically address men caught exploiting sexual slaves.  These laws would deter men from this activity, ultimately completing the efforts begun by punishing traffickers of victims.  The punishments should include jail time, but be tentative due to the vast array of situations and severity of abuse.

            Men who use prostitutes report that there being put on a sex offender list acts as a deterrent.  This is an avenue unaddressed where this other form of pressure should be explored as a solution to male demand.  If organizations were to focus on raising awareness about the men who use prostitutes, and how they may be exploiting sexual slaves, social stigmas could be increased.  This education must be paired with laws/punishments, because some men would be unaffected solely by this education.   The threat of punishment is a far greater deterrent and when paired with a post-punishment education program, may have the effect of deterring individuals with staunch justifications for abuse. 

            Men generally view sex with a prostitute as a business transaction and often initiated by social/peer pressure.  Male education on how to deal with the social pressures and applying heavy social stigmas, would be pivotal in preventing young males becoming victimizers.  Unfortunately, in some areas around the world engaging in commercial sexual exploitation is considered the social norm.  In these areas male education would still be effective, but they would need to address the existing unhealthy sexual relation concepts.  Organizations need to change the mind set of men educating them on how they are victimizing females, while introducing healthy relationship concepts.  Combining legal punishment, social pressure, and social education directed at men would have a drastic impact on preventing sexual slavery.