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The Problem with Selling Sex

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With only the purchase of sex being illegal, johns can be rightfully punished by the law and the sex industry wouldn’t go underground. While people think that sex workers, because they create the opportunity, should be punished, it is often the men who initiate sex with prostitutes. It is the johns who pay sex workers to “to submit to his sexual demands as a condition of 'employment'" (Jeffreys 260). Yet despite this, most police officers focus the attention on prostitutes, rather than the johns and as a result of that, citizens mimic the attitudes of the law enforcers. An unfair balance is created between the number of sex workers arrested versus the number of johns who are arrested. While one could say that both are deserving of the punishment, the johns aren’t the ones trying to do a job, but the sex workers are. In a sting operation in Midtown, Atlanta caused the arrest of 61 prostitutes but only 8 johns (Wenk). With such an uneven divid of sex workers arrested but so little johns, exemplifies the overall tone of how prostitution is handled. Sex workers should not be arrested in any greater numbers than johns because it takes two to tango, and the johns are just as much at fault. However, johns seek out sex workers for sex because it is in the job description, and the women who go with them so they can be paid. Because johns deliberately go to sex workers, they are the ones who need to be punished, not the other way around. According to Sheila Jeffreys, a feminist activist, "Little literature exists on the motivations of johns compared with that on prostituted women, because the men's motivation is considered to be self-evident; only the women are seen as acting unnaturally." (215). Even scholarly writers refuse to see johns a...

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