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July 28, 2008

The ’Johns’ School

In the San Francisco area, the Erotic Service Providers Union is trying to increase their power by getting prostitution decriminalized. A spokeswoman says they want to end "violence and discrimination" against sex workers, but the reality for prostitutes where the trade is legalized isn't pretty. Many prostitutes are underage or trafficked slaves.


A 2007 study by San Francisco psychologist and prostitution expert Melissa Farley found that in places where commercial sex is legal—such as Nevada, Germany, Australia and the Netherlands—illegal prostitution, as well as the number of rapes and assaults against prostitutes, has increased. Farley also found that more than 80 percent of the women working as prostitutes in Nevada's legal brothels "urgently want to escape." Both Germany and the Netherlands—countries infamous for their red-light districts—are reconsidering their decisions to legalize the practice. (Emphasis added.)

Miyoko Ohtake has written an excellent article in Newsweek about the sex trade and a program directed at sex-buyers. Called the First Offender Prostitution Program, it teaches "johns" about the devastation wrought by buying sex, and it has proven to be very successful. Included in Ohtake's exposé is an eye-opening video by Norma Hotaling, co-founder of the "johns' school."   

Unfortunately, if the would-be legalizers get their way, programs like this will be shut down.

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Chris Clukey

Oh, I don't know...cigarettes are legal, and the government spends lots of time trying to reduce smoking.

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