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International News Coverage of Human Trafficking Arrests and Prosecutions: A Content Analytic Study
Unformatted Document Text:  sexuality as a commodity is a result of patriarchal structures in society (Bertone, 1999; Jeffreys, 1999; Savona et al., 1996). Jeffreys (1999) contends that women cannot choose prostitution as ‘work’ because prostitution is an act that requires only a woman’s body to be present. The woman is not working: rather, she is facilitating the sexual desire of a man by disassociating and offering her body (Jeffreys, 1999). Kelly (2003) suggests that the argument of whether women can choose or are always forced to prostitute themselves, or whether or not prostitution can be considered ‘work’, is the wrong approach. Instead, she recommends that the focus should be on the perceived possibility of a woman from a poor country with little or no income travelling between or across continents. The importance of this distinction is that women, in these cases, are more likely to be forced to repay, through debt-bondage, the individual(s) who funded the trip. Such arrangements can be circular and the woman may find herself unable to ever repay what the debt-bonder claims she owes (Murray, 1998). Discussions pertaining to whether or not a woman chooses to prostitute in order to repay those who funded her migration are rare. The notion that a woman may agree to prostitute, without force or coercion, in order to acquire financial stability, is taboo and discussions involving such inferences are often avoided in human trafficking literature. Bruckert & Parent (2004) address this taboo and the results of their study indicate that many women are aware that they are smuggled for the purpose of prostitution. They also contend that women become involved in prostitution in the destination country because employment in the sex trade permits financial stability. 13

Authors: Denton, Erin.
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sexuality as a commodity is a result of patriarchal structures in society (Bertone, 
1999; Jeffreys, 1999; Savona et al., 1996).  Jeffreys (1999) contends that women 
cannot choose prostitution as ‘work’ because prostitution is an act that requires 
only a woman’s body to be present.  The woman is not working: rather, she is 
facilitating the sexual desire of a man by disassociating and offering her body 
(Jeffreys, 1999).  Kelly (2003) suggests that the argument of whether women can 
choose or are always forced to prostitute themselves, or whether or not 
prostitution can be considered ‘work’, is the wrong approach.  Instead, she 
recommends that the focus should be on the perceived possibility of a woman 
from a poor country with little or no income travelling between or across 
continents.  The importance of this distinction is that women, in these cases, are 
more likely to be forced to repay, through debt-bondage, the individual(s) who 
funded the trip.  Such arrangements can be circular and the woman may find 
herself unable to ever repay what the debt-bonder claims she owes (Murray, 
1998). Discussions pertaining to whether or not a woman chooses to prostitute in 
order to repay those who funded her migration are rare.  The notion that a 
woman may agree to prostitute, without force or coercion, in order to acquire 
financial stability, is taboo and discussions involving such inferences are often 
avoided in human trafficking literature.  Bruckert & Parent (2004) address this 
taboo and the results of their study indicate that many women are aware that 
they are smuggled for the purpose of prostitution.  They also contend that women 
become involved in prostitution in the destination country because employment in 
the sex trade permits financial stability.
13


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