Social Control of Prostitution

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Social Control of Prostitution

Prostitution is ambiguous to define. The Macquarie dictionary defines prostitution as 1. the act or practice of engaging in sexual intercourse 2. any base or unworthy use of talent, ability, etc. But the act of prostitution involves many other associated facets that are included under this extensive act. There’s the act itself, soliciting, advertising, pimping, house brothels, street prostitution, phone sex and even computer sex.

Sweden treats prostitution as legal, however pimping is illegal. Canada bans soliciting for prostitution, but not the act themselves. Except for a few places in Nevada, the United States bans prostitution but permits its advertisement and tolerates massage parlours or bars that house it. Germany has legal and inspected houses of prostitution, but uninspected prostitutes can still do business illegally, and those inspected can still buy and trade illegal drugs (Felson 1998 p 67). Do the difference in laws and regulations from country and states, prostitution as deviance can only be analysed through selecting a particular social environment. For this reason I will look at the prostitution as a deviance in Queensland, Australia.

The Australian Criminal Code Act 1899 defines prostitution as:

(1) A person engages in “prostitution” if the person engages, or offers to engage, in the provision to another person, under an arrangement of a commercial character, of any of the following activities-

a) sexual intercourse;

b) masturbation;

c) oral sex;

d) any activity, other than sexual intercourse, masturbation or oral sex, that involves the use of 1 person by another for his or her sexual satisfaction involving physical contact.

(2) However, a person does not engage in pros...

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...s ranging from derision, applause, scandal, glance to banishment with any member of the social group administering the sanction.


Black, Donald J 1976, The Behaviour of Law, Academic Press, New York United States.

Cohen, Albert K. 1974, The Elasticity of Evil: Changes in the Social Definition of Deviance, Basil Blackwell, Oxford. (Check to see in

Roach Anleu, Sharyn L. 1995, Deviance Conformity and Control, 2nd Ed Longman House, Melbourne Australia.

Mundy G and Caffery S. 1996, Crime, Deviance and Society, Greenwich University Press, United Kingdom.

Glover Edward, 1969, The Psychopathology of Prostitution, Institute for the Study and Treatment of Delinquency.

Heiner R. (editor) 1996, Criminology, West Publishing Company New York.

Felson M 1998. Crime and Everyday Life, 2nd Ed Pine Forge Press California, Untied States.
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