Prostitution: 'One-woman brothels': How to deal with them?

Essay by nadzwongCollege, UndergraduateB, May 2004

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I. Introduction

Prostitution, the exchange of sexual services in return for consideration in the form of money, is not illegal in Hong Kong. It has been described as 'merely deviant sexual behavior, characterized by barter, promiscuity, and emotional indifference' . However, although many agree that it is an age-old profession, with its roots deeply entrenched in Chinese history, our society still does not accept it as a morally upright and a normal occupation. Prostitution has been criticized for being 'a social fact deplorable in the eyes of moralists, sociologists and the great majority of ordinary people.' It has been said to be a 'nuisance' and a 'degradation of society'. It is classified as a vice - an activity that is considered immoral, and is not encouraged, but an activity that is not serious enough to be heavily penalized. Prostitution poses a great problem for lawmakers - it can not be totally unregulated, because many illegal activities, such as organized crime, trafficking of women and illegal immigration, are associated with it.

It also catalyses the spread of AIDs, a disease the government wants to prevent. Yet, despite all these undesirable consequences, prostitution cannot be prohibited as that would be too great an infringement on personal rights.

Thus, lawmakers drafted the law to discourage and to limit access to prostitution. Causing or encouraging others to become prostitutes is illegal; allowing premises to be used for prostitution is illegal; living on the earnings of prostitution is illegal; and soliciting for the purposes of prostitution is illegal. However, in spite of the lawmakers' efforts to circumscribe the practice of prostitution, this trade has been able to survive. It is said that 'so long as the demand for prostitution remains, it is unlikely that it can be eradicated as a social phenomenon'

Prostitution has been...