Thailands Sex Trade And Aids Sociology Essay Example
Thailands Sex Trade And Aids Sociology Essay Example

Thailands Sex Trade And Aids Sociology Essay Example

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  • Pages: 6 (1612 words)
  • Published: August 10, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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The highly profitable industry of prostitution in Thailand continues to attract individuals of all ages, despite its illegal status. This includes young adult females, men, and even children who are forced into this trade due to limited job opportunities and lack of education. In desperate situations, families living in poverty may have no choice but to sell their children into prostitution as a means of survival. Women who leave their families in search of employment often find themselves working on the streets or in bars where they can be hired by sex tourists for the night. These workers face widespread HIV and AIDS infections, lack rights or protection, yet are enticed by the higher wages offered compared to jobs requiring education. The underlying causes of these issues stem from a lack of education, absence of worker's rights and employer protection, along


with a shortage of available jobs for Thailand's growing population. By legalizing and regulating the sex trade, women could potentially have a stable source of income while those who do not wish to work in this industry could receive sufficient education to pursue alternative employment options. Until more choices become available, vulnerable individuals such as women, men, and children will continue facing abuse within Thailand's vast sex trade industry that plays an essential role in its economic system despite being criminalized since 1960.During the Vietnam War, Thailand became a popular destination for US military personnel seeking rest and recuperation. This often involved engaging in intoxication and intercourse. As a result, the sex trade industry grew, with money coming from "minor wives" or mistresses. When the war ended, these women had no other means of

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income, leading to an expansion of the sex trade and tourism business.

Bangkok is well-known for its vibrant nightlife and is often referred to as the whorehouse of Asia. Cab drivers are knowledgeable about places where foreigners can find companions for the night, and hotels even offer their own selection of young women for guests. While only 10% of profits come from sex tourism, most comes from Thai men who view visiting brothels as a rite of passage into manhood.

In Thailand's culture influenced by Buddhism, it is accepted that men have a right to engage in sexual activities through various forms such as having a minor wife or visiting street prostitutes while being married. However, it is important to note that these women may not choose this profession as a lifelong career.

According to Dr.Nitet Tinnakul from Chulalongkorn University's Faculty of Political Science, Thailand had approximately 2.8 million sex workers between 1999 and 2002. The majority of workers in the sex industry are adult women, with some being children and a smaller group consisting of adult men.Many young individuals enter the sex industry due to poverty and limited job opportunities, as it offers higher income compared to other options available. Impoverished families often feel compelled to sell their attractive daughters into prostitution since traditional farming no longer provides sufficient financial support. These working daughters help their families survive financially by sending back a significant portion of their earnings.

In addition to economic reasons, some young women are coerced or deceived into joining the sex industry by recruitment groups. Prostitutes in Bangkok can be found concentrated in various locations such as street corners, hotels, bars, tea houses, and massage

parlors that disguise themselves as brothels. Within these establishments, young women wait for clients who choose them based on assigned numbers.

Working at a go-go bar in Bangkok's Patpong district can allow a woman to earn more than a police officer whose initial monthly salary is 6,000 Baht ($182). Due to low education levels and limited opportunities elsewhere in Bangkok, these women often struggle to find better-paying jobs.

Unfortunately, the sex industry in Thailand has resulted in a high number of individuals infected with HIV and AIDS. In 1989, the Red Cross reported that four out of five prostitutes in the Chiang Mai area were HIV-positive. Many prostitutes do not prioritize using protection during their work due to a lack of knowledge about HIV transmission.The reported number of AIDS-related deaths is significantly lower than the actual statistics. In the northern part of Thailand, where most sex workers are recruited from, 80% of deaths among women aged 25-29 are attributed to AIDS. This presents significant challenges in controlling sexually transmitted diseases due to the large sex industry in Thailand. The Public Health Ministry estimates that there are currently between 200,000 to 400,000 Thais infected with the AIDS virus. These diseases will continue to have devastating effects on the country's population without sufficient protection or knowledge about them.

Fortunately, organizations like EMPOWER (Education Means Protection for Women Engaged in Recreation) exist to support women involved in this industry. EMPOWER provides much-needed assistance and offers various classes on health and language while advocating for the rights of sex workers. The Empower Foundation aims to protect their interests as well. They also educate individuals about HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, equipping

sex workers with information and materials necessary for self-protection.

Another organization called Swing also supports sex workers by distributing condoms at bars and providing HIV prevention information. Sisters, a transgender-specific group, runs a drop-in center in Pattaya that offers medical services, counseling, skills development, and various activities like makeup, sports, and cooking.Certain organizations have targeted bars with the goal of "liberating" the women working there. However, many of these women willingly entered the sex trade and do not require rescue. Various organizations, such as The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, Free the Slaves, International Justice Mission, Compassion First, Human Rights Watch, and the Not For Sale Campaign, employ effective strategies like raising public awareness and advocating for government action. Some groups aim to legalize prostitution to ensure that sex workers have equal rights as those in other industries. Conversely, others seek complete eradication through punishment for those involved and strict regulations. Despite society largely overlooking smaller groups' efforts on this issue, the government disregards its existence and takes minimal action on either side of the debate.

Sex workers in Thailand face a lack of rights and inconsistent punishment for their involvement in the illegal sex trade. If this issue remains unaddressed, it has the potential to create turmoil within the country. Currently, 16% of Thailand's wealthiest individuals reside there while a quarter of its population lives below World Bank's $2 daily poverty threshold. As wealth disparity continues to increase in Thailand, more households and individuals resort to engaging in the sex trade as a means to alleviate economic difficulties.As a result, Thailand is experiencing a decline in active contributors to its national development, as it becomes increasingly

known for its thriving sex tourism industry and the label of Asia's infamous "whorehouse." Regrettably, this growth in the sex industry also leads to an increase in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) due to a lack of awareness. If proper information about these infections is not disseminated among those involved in or affected by the expanding sex trade, there is potential for HIV and AIDS to spread nationwide. To effectively tackle this issue, Thailand may need to implement stricter laws and minimize the industry altogether in future efforts. However, if prostitution continues as an illegal activity without proper regulation and support systems in place, it risks pushing the entire sex industry into a more secretive yet dangerous realm where women are coerced and manipulated into participating without consent. An alternative option for Thailand would be legalizing prostitution and granting sex workers basic worker rights such as healthcare benefits and paid time off. This approach can contribute to the economy while respecting their rights and destigmatizing prostitution as a legitimate profession. Educating public perception and reducing economic inequality play crucial roles in achieving this goal. Rather than punishing women involved in the sex trade, it is important to hold accountable those who exploit them.
By offering educational opportunities, individuals with limited options can pursue alternative jobs that they genuinely desire. To address poverty in Thailand, it should prioritize providing education in impoverished regions where most prostitutes are recruited from. These efforts will help individuals avoid involving their children in the sex trade by offering new farming techniques and materials. This distinction will differentiate between women who willingly choose to work in the sex trade and those coerced due

to economic circumstances.

To prevent the further spread of HIV and AIDS, organizations like Empower and Swing should involve the public. It is essential for everyone involved in the sex trade as well as the general population to have knowledge about sexually transmitted diseases. If adult females working as sex workers prioritize using protection to prevent STDs such as HIV and AIDS, it can significantly reduce the transmission of these infections.

The next step towards improving the reputation of the sex trade is its legalization. Once recognized as a profession, society can begin accepting it. Women working in this industry will then be able to work freely and enjoy benefits similar to any other occupation.In addition, it is important to differentiate between voluntary workers in the industry and those who are coerced, as legal action can be taken against those who exploit these women.Progress in addressing the problem of women being pressured into the sex trade will not be possible without consistent regulations. Economic factors and deceit will continue to force women into this industry. Legalizing the sex industry is necessary to protect workers and ensure they receive their deserved rights and benefits. Smaller organizations and the general public play a vital role in helping Thailand's government effectively combat this issue while minimizing its negative impact on society within the country.

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