Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mapping the 'Demand' Side of Prostitution - Jobs & Economy - The Atlantic Cities

Mapping the 'Demand' Side of Prostitution - Jobs & Economy - The Atlantic Cities

The town of Kennebunk, Maine, recently made headlines for releasing the identities of men charged with patronizing a Zumba instructor-turned-prostitute named Alexis Wright. Despite all the attention, the strategy of "john shaming" is far from unique. It's just one of several tactics city and county police departments across the country routinely use to target the men who pay for sex, rather than the women who sell it.
Michael Shively of the Cambridge, Massachusetts, research firm Abt Associates has spent the past several years gathering loads of information about strategies that aim to reduce the "demand" side of prostitution. Shively and his colleagues have compiled a database of at least 825 cities that employ at least one of these tactics. The work has produced comprehensive reports for the Department of Justice [PDF] as well as a new website called DEMANDForumthat tracks the "anti-demand initiatives" occurring across the United States:
Shively's work has shown that targeting demand can be much more useful than arresting the so-called "supply" side of prostitution: the women themselves, or the pimps trafficking sex. Most communities begin by sweeping the streets for the suppliers of sex, but ultimately find the approach ineffective, he says. The women are often victims themselves who've been forced into the trade for various reasons, and the pimps are easily replaceable once they're taken off the street.

Often women can be R loners that hide in the Ro community and sell sex, they are preyed upon by Oy men and pimps acting as agents for a Y mafia. Exposing Oy-R interactions can help the problem because it works best with secrecy and deception. Oy pimps can grow in numbers exponentially as can clients when there is demand, also taking some R women off the streets just makes it more profitable for others to enter the profession. This is a disconnect caused by weak and biased O policing, R women might not fall through the chaotic cracks of the Ro safety net with more community cooperation. However colors will always manifest to some degree, problems can only be moderated to minimize problems. Legalizing brothels brings them into a neutral I market policed by O, enough transparency moderates exploitation of R and B women as well as reducing R contagion of venereal diseases.

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