Do people who practice prostitution in the U.S. do so of their own will?

  • The Right to choose.

    Women (and men) should have the right not only to prostitute, but to have a market who won't be criminalized for buying the prostitute's services. If a prostitute goes into this occupation willingly, then this is the decision of a consenting adult. Abuse, rape, and human trafficking are related issues, but they are not the same issue, and shouldn't be equivocated to prostitution between consenting adults.

  • Yes, Everyone has the freedom of choice.

    I had this bright that if I could positively influence a person's self worth, I could turn her life around into something meaningful. Yes, I took on a project of trying to help a prostitute turn her life around. I invested thousands into keeping her out of jail and off the streets while never sleeping with her once. The financial help that she received, the fact that her 10 year old son is now aware of the fact that his mom gets arrested for selling her body, and witnessing the murder of her best friend who was also a prostitute was not enough to convince her to stop. She said it doesn't define who she is, but I beg to differ. It does indeed define who she is and when it became apparent that it would never stop, I had to step away and let her deal with her own consequences. Last I checked her Mom had custody of her son and she was still posting ads on backpage instead of looking for legitimate employment. But I have learned that it takes all types to make up this world we live in. People like her will never be more than what she is now. When society is done with her, who knows where she will eventually be. Tragic!

  • In the US most definitely YES

    The greatest majority of prostitutes are embarrassed to admit that they are doing it willingly. Caught red handed it is much easier for a prostitute to blame a pimp, an abusive stepfather, lack of "decent" job opportunities, etc. than to admit that the choice was hers. Why? Because who wants to say: "I am just a wh*re", when one can say "I am just a victim"?

  • I am a gay male sex worker and chose to do this work by choice.

    I have another job but also work as a gay male escort/prostitute. I enjoy having sex so if I can get paid for it why not. True it's not the easiest of jobs out there but I do get the satisfaction of knowing that after someone has spent time with me they are satisfied.

  • I am a gay male sex worker and chose to do this work by choice.

    I have another job but also work as a gay male escort/prostitute. I enjoy having sex so if I can get paid for it why not. True it's not the easiest of jobs out there but I do get the satisfaction of knowing that after someone has spent time with me they are satisfied.

  • Just as people choose other jobs

    All the arguments that it's somehow not of their own will fall on reasons that could just as easily apply to people working other jobs. For instance a person might work at McDonald's when they'd rather work somewhere else.

    In some cases though prostitutes are coerced and this is easier when the prostitutes can't report abuse because it would mean revealing their profession to the police.

  • Laws should not Prohibit Self Determination

    As a sex worker my job can be challenging, like any job, however I find a use for my skills and gifts that I would not find working a minimum wage job or commuting to an office. Social stigma provides circular logic for many prohibitionists and their rhetoric of "selling your body" as arguments against the intrinsic value of the industry. I sell my time, I use my skill set. Like any tertiary industry. The biggest pressure that interferes with self determination in my job such as communication for the purposes of screening and safety are the laws that try to criminalize my job. The second biggest pressure is the assumptions that so many people make about sex work and sex workers. These were the same pressures facing the civil rights movements of other marginalized groups. We choose to be sex workers because its who we are as much as any job is who someone is. Let me educate you if you don't already know. I want to be a prostitute and I would support anyone to be whatever they want to be, including my children.

  • Freedom to Choose

    For many of the same reasons why I am pro-choice, I also believe that prostitution should be legalized. While I would never get or become a prostitute myself, I believe that women have the right to choose what they do with their body. In addition, the legalization and institutionalization of prostitution would allow it to be regulated.

  • Prostitution shouldn't be viewed for their actions, it should be by why they do it

    Sex work is only a temporary informal activity. Women and men who have occasional commercial sexual transactions or where sex is exchanged for food, shelter or protection (survival sex) would not consider themselves to be linked with formal sex work. So yes, prostitutes do it for their own free will, even if it's just for the thrill of having sex with a stranger, or providing for their loved ones. Why should it matter to others what prostitutes do when it isn't their body, it's not their choice to be a prostitute, its the prostitute him/herself that chose to be a prostitute. Why judge when you don't even know the full story?

  • They arent just women.

    The women taking part in this are CONSENTING ADULTS and are NOT forced into the trade. Women aren’t the only ones who should be thought of, there are male prostitutes but they are not called that. There is a job called MALE COMPANIONSHIP or escort if you will and it is completely legal. Male companionship is just about the same thing as prostitution, you pay a man to be your “escort,” go on dates, keep you company and yes even have sex.

  • No, there are many facts supporting that prostitution is sometimes forced upon people.

    "To believe prostitution has no victims, one must ignore these statistics published in Farley's Fact Sheet:
    --78 percent of 55 women who sought help from the Council for Prostitution Alternatives in 1991 reported being raped an average of 16 times a year by pimps, and were raped 33 times a year by johns.
    --62 percent reported having been raped in prostitution.
    --73 percent reported having experienced physical assault in prostitution.
    --72 percent were currently or formerly homeless.
    --92 percent stated that they wanted to escape prostitution immediately.
    --83 percent of prostitutes are victims of assault with a weapon.
    --75 percent of women in escort prostitution had attempted suicide.
    --67 percent meet diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    Estimates of the prevalence of incest among prostitutes range from 65 percent to 90 percent. The Council for Prostitution Alternatives, Portland, Oregon Annual Report in 1991 found that: 85 percent of their prostitute clients reported history of sexual abuse in childhood while 70 percent reported incest."

  • It is NOT a choice.

    Almost the entire time someone was physically or mentally manipulated into it. No one truly wants to sell their body. People should help the ones who are involved in prostitution, not look down on them. If men weren't buying sex this would not be a problem. Most are mentally and physically manipulated by pimps. Almost all prostitutes have a pimp.

  • Women don't practice prostitution for their own will

    Maybe they decide to do it, but its the conditions and situation that made her make that choice. The lack of working opportunities or the need for economical resources may lead a women to chose and practice prostitution. I could bet any girl who has the option between being a prostitute and having a good job, or even paid the same .. The woman would chose not to be a prostitute. And even if she decides to be one, then its ok prostitution should be legal but if it was a woman who has had an education then she would be able to get a job, or al least make the informed decision to not put at risk her body, or in risky situations, even in contact with drugs. Then the problem would be education, if thats what is missing and also more opportunities for women to get better jobs.

  • No one would choose this

    People choose prostitution just like people choose suicide. It is the result of feeling trapped, helpless and desperate. Coercion and a history of abuse play a huge role in the sex industry.

    Do drugs or tricks come first? Many, if not already addicted turn to drugs to numb the psychological pain of being treated like a piece of meat.

  • Evil is not in nature but nurtured

    Since men decided to live socially, there emerged a pattern, a hidden structure. In a social organization, however small or large ,there are layers as we have class status according to our wealth and income, classed as poor, lower middle class, middle class, rich and very rich. There are other layers too, such as intellectual, intelligent, average minded, and below average. Similarly there are layers based on power--very powerful, as the army and government; powerful, like media; civil servants; simple power like ordinary people; and less powerful as the poor homeless and deprived.

    So we have layers in our social setup.

    Usually those who are in high power positions also have intelligence to use this power or they can be advised to use their power wisely. The media or think tanks suggest to these power position holders whether to act or not to act.

    If we take this layer analogy, the prostitution layers come on the low level, these prostitute gangs are organized and function by these lower class persons.

    In this layer system, those who are more privileged and more powerful have more resources, freedom, and intelligence. Their actions effect all those who are below them. If they are intellectually dishonest and bankrupt, their actions will effect the lower layers accordingly. If they want society to behave on instinct, namely greed and lust, they will create an environment for it in the sections of society through media, literature movies and education.

    If there is prostitution in society it is because this invisible section of society willingly wants prostitution to flourish in society.

    If some section of society from the lower layers of this hierarchy wants to do a thing on its own, the highest position people will not let them to do it with freedom. The upper class will use force and power to crush such moves by lower layer persons.

    For example, if one segment of society from the lower layers wants to rob banks, and they create an organized system to attain their aims i.e gangs, the upper layer of powerful people will not allow this bank robbery because this will effect them too via a complicated cause and effect chain.

    So the higher layer, the power layer, will not let them rob, but a gang propositional organization does not harm them so the power section will not take strong measure to crush such gangs.

    If there is a suitable environment for a desire to fulfill rest will not be hard. And somehow a girl or boy gets into this black-hole, they will be pulled into this and the gravity will be so high that escape will not be easy.

    So if there is an environment to do bad, to do evil, surely it is the powerful who let it be.

  • I oppose the idea that American prostitutes choose their lifestyle, because I believe that, instead, they are forced into it by economics and criminals.

    There are occasionally documentaries about hookers, especially the legal brothels in Nevada, that want good public relations for more business. And, in them, there are prostitutes that say it's their body and it's no one's business if they sell themselves for sex. But, most prostitutes are forced into it, because they can't make enough money in legitimate jobs, and foreigners in prostitution are often victims of gangs and cartels conducting human trafficking.

    Posted by: FlakyHerb64
  • No, because I don't believe anyone grows up thinking that they want to become a prostitute.

    While there are most likely exceptions, I believe the vast majority of prostitutes do not go into the business because of any great desire to become a prostitute. Many prostitutes are runaways, with no other options for making money. I can't imagine that this career would help anyone's ego, since it puts them and their welfare completely at the mercy of others. I think desperation is the main reason people become prostitutes.

    Posted by: TrainLock
  • The average age of entry in the commercial sex industry in the US is 12-14.

    Please open your perspective to recognize that the majority of people working as prostitutes are victims of commercial sexual exploitation (CSE), not criminals. The average age of entry into the commercial sex industry in the US is 12-14 years old and 240,000-325,000 youth in the US are at risk for CSE annually. Children who are recruited into prostitution are victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC), which is a form of human trafficking and child abuse. Only about 3% of people working in the commercial sex industry choose to do so, the rest are vulnerable and manipulated by pimps. If you or someone you know is being sexually exploited call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

  • I answer "no", but this can be a very tricky question, because I'm sure there are very small amounts of prostitutes who are forced into prostitution.

    Some people practice prostitution here in the United States under their own free will. But there are others who are forced into it by a scumbag boyfriend. The worst of them are people who kidnap teenage girls and force them into it. This is a very tricky subject, because it can go either way. But sadly, there are still some who don't want to be doing it.

    Posted by: deceitfulx
  • People who practice prostitution in the US do so on their own at first. I do believe however, that over time it fails to be their own choice anymore.

    Most women who turn to prostitution do so out of desperation. They view this as the only way to feed their family, survive, etc. However, over time they tend to get involved with someone who is soliciting their services and at this point they lose the choice in the matter.

    Posted by: NiI35Kix

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