From the January 15 Guardian, Julie Bindel continues her outstanding coverage of this subject. This article is based on an international study of 700 men who buy sex:
Why men use prostitutes
Research published in 2005 found that the numbers of men who pay for sex had doubled in a decade…
… most of them told the researchers that they would be easily deterred if the current laws were implemented. Fines, public exposure, employers being informed, being issued with an Asbo [Anti-Social Behaviour Order] or the risk of a criminal record would stop most of the men from continuing to pay for sex. Discovering the women were trafficked, pimped or otherwise coerced would appear not to be so effective. Almost half said they believed that most women in prostitution are victims of pimps (“the pimp does the psychological raping of the woman,” explained one). But they still continued to visit them…
Half of the interviewees had bought sex outside of the UK, mostly in Amsterdam, and visiting an area where prostitution is legal or openly advertised had given them a renewed dedication to buying sex when they returned to the UK…
Only 6% of the men we spoke to had been arrested for soliciting prostitutes.
Sweden’s Prostitution Solution: Why Hasn’t Anyone Tried This Before?
In the fog of clichés despairing that “prostitution will always be with us”, one country’s success stands out as a beacon lighting the way. In just five years Sweden has dramatically reduced the number of women in prostitution. In the capital city of Stockholm, the number of women in street prostitution has been reduced by two thirds, and the number of “johns” has been reduced by 80%…
In 1999, after years of research and study, Sweden passed legislation that a) criminalizes the buying of sex, and b) decriminalizes the selling of sex…
In the state of Victoria, Australia, where a system of legalized, regulated brothels was established, there was such an explosion in the number of brothels that it immediately overwhelmed the system’s ability to regulate them, and just as quickly these brothels became mired in organized crime, corruption, and related crimes. In addition, surveys of the prostitutes working under systems of legalization and regulation find that the prostitutes themselves continue to feel coerced, forced, and unsafe in the business.
A survey of legal prostitutes working under the conditions of the Netherlands legalization policy finds that 79% say they want to get out of the sex business. And though each of the legalization/regulation programs promised help for prostitutes who want to leave prostitution, that help never materialized to any meaningful degree. In contrast, in Sweden, the government followed through with ample social service funds to help those prostitutes who wanted to get out. Sixty percent of the prostitutes in Sweden took advantage of the well-funded programs and succeeded in exiting prostitution.
Abolishing Prostitution: The Swedish Solution – An Interview with Gunilla Ekberg by the Rain and Thunder Collective
Hunt Alternatives Fund: Demand Abolition
Not For Sale Media Project; Downloadable Posters
Why Do Johns Buy Sex?
Dorchen Leidholdt, “Demand and the Debate”
Unlike prostituted women and girls, prostitution customers do have choices to make. And when they see that choosing to buy women devastates lives and threatens their own freedom and social standing, they make different choices…
CNN.com: “‘John schools’ try to change attitudes about paid sex”
Some evidence suggests that John Schools are working. A study released in 2008 by Abt Associates Inc. for the federal government looked at the John School program in San Francisco, California. It’s one of the largest programs in the country; more than 7,000 johns have attended since 1995.
According to the study, the re-arrest rate fell sharply after the school was launched, and stayed more than 30 percent lower for 10 years afterward…
A recent study by the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation conducted among johns in Chicago, Illinois, found that 41 percent of them said John School would deter them from buying sex, compared with 92 percent who said being placed on a sex offender registry would scare them from re-offending…
Newsweek: “A School for Johns”
PBS: “John Schools” (5/30/08)
Media Watch: “Censored Truth”
How to Deter Johns from Buying Sex
…some 89% would stop using prostitutes if “named and shamed” on the sex offenders’ register.
The Guardian, “Ending a trade in misery”
The Guardian, “Eradicate the oldest profession”