Victorian Child Prostitution

520 Words2 Pages

Prostitution is a controversial issue, especially when it involves children under the age of twenty-one. The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon breaks down and analyzes late- Victorian England’s viewpoint towards child prostitution, and how it tends to dramatize the issue and make it seem ethically wrong in their perspective. Although child prostitution was an illegal act, most viewed it as a sexual sin rather than an economical issue. For instance, children who engaged in prostitution were considered to be sexually innocent and passive victims who were coerced by evil men (355). Child prostitution shifted all the blame onto individual people, rather than focusing on the deeper problem, which consisted of the economic structure that thrives …show more content…

Purity reformers disregard the reality of young girls engaging in prostitution willingly. For example, many young girls who were former prostitutes were not drugged or physically coerced into child prostitution, however made the decision voluntarily (365). In the eyes of the law, when young women become prostitutes, it is due to coercion rather than the woman’s choice. Because of this assumption, most citizens in late England believed these young women were innocent and delicate beings, rather than someone with sexual needs or desires. Since young women in England were still perceived as children, the age of consent faced controversies. In detail, to define the ideal age for an adolescent to consent is troubling due to reasons, such as puberty and frequency of sexual activity. For instance, in modern times, the appropriate age of consent is determined on the average age of puberty and how often adolescents engage in sexual activities (369). It is problematic to consider young prostitutes who lean more towards adolescents to be children, and view them as victims or as corrupt individuals. Both perspectives deprive young women of the ability to be sexual willingly and presume women to either be delicate and naïve or as toxic and problematic individuals. Thus, defining child prostitution is correlated to the age of consent, which is dependent on the concept of being an

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