Chapter 3 Social Problems Related to Sexual Behavior Download

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Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
Chapter 3
Social Problems Related to
Sexual Behavior
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
Prostitution
Prostitution: The renting of one’s
body for sexual purposes –
 “The world’s oldest profession”
 Attitudes toward prostitution have varied
immensely throughout history
 Attitudes of Americans toward the
legalization of prostitution vary
 People between the ages of 50 and 64 are
the most likely to favor the legalization of
prostitution
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
Prostitution Today
• In the United States, prostitution is only legal in parts
of Nevada
 By Statutory definition, Prostitution is illegal in only one
County, Clark County, location of Las Vegas
 Douglas and Lincoln Counties prohibit prostitution, Eureka
County has no ordinance and 11 other counties specifically
permit prostitution. However, some cities, including Reno
and South Lake Tahoe, ban prostitution.
 Officials believe that legalized prostitution might drive away
“family-type” gamblers
• Researchers estimate that there are:
 23 prostitutes per 100,000 Americans
 Approximately 69,000 prostitutes in the U.S.
 Average prostitute serves 694 customers annually
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
Prostitution Today
• Issues in measuring prostitution:
 Illegal nature
 Police reports are more likely to only reflect arrest rates
of streetwalkers
 Temporary nature of the work
• Sex Tourism: Occurs when an individual
engages in prostitution while visiting a
foreign country

Becoming so common, there is now a movement to
create an international court to punish offenders
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
Continued on next slide
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
Prostitution Viewed Theoretically:
Applying Functionalism
• The social functions of prostitution
 Flourishes because it satisfies sexual needs that are not
met elsewhere
• Prostitutes provide a sexual outlet for men who:




Have difficulty establishing sexual relationships
Cannot find long-term partners (travelers, military personnel)
Have broken relationships (divorced)
Seek sexual gratification that may be viewed as immoral or
would be considered unacceptable by wives or girlfriends
 Sexual gratification without commitment
 Curiosity about sex or sexual acts - want to have sex with
someone who has a specific body type, age, or race–
ethnicity
 Sexually dissatisfied with current relationship
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
• Elizabeth Bernstein (2001)
 Studied the customers of prostitutes and found that some
men find emotional connections with prostitutes
• Prostitution as a way of controlling sexual behavior
 Functionalists argue that, by meeting needs, prostitution
functions as a form of social control over sexual
behavior
 Sadists: achieve sexual gratification by inflicting pain on
others
 Masochists: Having others inflict pain on them
• Most johns are “regular” married, middle-aged men
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
• Functionalists stress: When people demand
a service not supplied by legitimate sources,
hidden, or “subterranean,” sources will
develop to meet the need
• Underground channeling of illegitimate
services is called a black market, built on
symbiosis: a mutually beneficial
relationship
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
The Conflict/Feminist
Perspective
Feminists point out that prostitution is just one
of the many ways that men exploit and
degrade women
 Some men use prostitutes as objects for their own
pleasure, other men (pimps, clients, and police “on
the take”) exploit prostitutes for profit
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
Research on Prostitution
Types of prostitutes
 Call Girls, the elite
 Convention prostitutes specialize in conventions
 Apartment prostitutes set up a “business” while their
husbands are away at work
 Stag party workers serve all-male parties
 Hotel prostitutes work out of a hotel and share their fees
 House prostitutes work in a “whorehouse”
 Bar girls, also known as “B-girls,” wait in bars
 Streetwalkers, lowest status among prostitutes and are most
frequently arrested
 Parking lot lizards, frequent truck stops
 Male prostitutes who service women are known as “gigolos”
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
Becoming A Prostitute
• Researchers typically focus on streetwalkers
 Means most research comes from poor women
who have been arrested
• Simplest answer to why someone becomes a
prostitute is money
• Abused as children, most often by men, these
women become locked into a way of life in
which they continue to be victimized
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
Three Stages In Becoming a
Prostitute
• First stage: women drift from casual sex to the first
act of prostitution
• Second Stage: Transitional Deviance: experience
role ambivalence, conflicting emotions regarding
their decision to become a prostitute
 Many girls try to normalize their acts; try to
convince themselves that what they are doing is
normal
• Third stage: Professionalization: identify
themselves as prostitutes
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
The Pimp And The Prostitute
• Functionalists: Pimps serve the following purposes
 Locate customers, screen out sadistic johns, and bail
arrested prostitutes out of jail
 In actuality:
• Pimps are not beneficial to their prostitutes – opposite of
above
• Conflict–feminist theorists
 Male pimps have the power
 To control women, use physical strength and are ruthless
• Symbolic Interactionists
 Analyze what pimps represent to prostitutes
 Take into account the background of a typical street prostitute
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
Homosexual Prostitution
• Often takes place in areas known as “meat racks”
• Face intense pressure, only those with best bodies
remain employed
• Teenagers who act as prostitutes still maintained a
heterosexual identity requiring an intricate mental
balancing act




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No emotional attachment to the man
Seeing money as the only motivator
Tolerating nothing other than oral sex
Never seeing a homosexual outside of work
Having a girlfriend in public
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
Prostitution As A Social Problem
Subjective Concerns:
 Sociologists argue morality is primary reason
 Others view prostitution as immoral
 Prostitution ruins “good” neighborhoods, depressing property
values by bringing in unsavory characters and illegal activities
such as drug dealing
 Prostitution is a crime
 Profits from prostitution feed organized crime
 Profits are also used to corrupt police and judges
 Prostitutes spread disease
 Concern about aesthetics—the disgust that people feel when
they see used condoms and tissues left in public places
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
Pornography
Pornography: writings, pictures, or objects
of a sexual nature that people object to as
being filthy or immoral
• Determining what is and what is not
pornographic is difficult
 Lies in the eye of the beholder
• On one matter, almost everyone agrees
 Pornography, whatever it is, should be
restricted
 94% of Americans in favor of legal restrictions
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
Continued on next slide.
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
Pornography Viewed Theoretically:
Applying Symbolic Interactionism
Roth v. United states ruled that materials are
pornographic or obscene when
1. “taken as a whole,” the “dominant theme” appeals to
“prurient” sex
2. the material affronts “contemporary community
standards”
3. the material is “utterly without redeeming social
value”
Until people attach meaning, words are merely
sounds and human acts merely behavior
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
•California v. Miller
 Court tried to remove these ambiguities
of Roth decision
•Social class is significant in helping
to determine people’s perceptions of
acts as pornographic or not
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
Child Pornography
•Magazines that depicted children in sex
acts with adults or with other children used
to be easily accessible
•Went underground, resurfacing on the
Internet
•In the coming years it may be even more
difficult to restrict child porn
 Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition
 Legal to possess virtual child pornography
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
Controversy and Research on
Pornography
• The National Commission on Obscenity
and Pornography
 Concluded that pornography affects some people
more than others
• The Meese Commission
 Concluded that pornography does indeed pose a
serious threat to women
 Concluded that “common-sense” makes it evident
that violent pornography causes sex crimes
 If all we need is common sense, we wouldn’t
need science, and science requires evidence
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
A Question Of Cause And
Effect
•Does pornography cause sex crimes?
•Researchers have been able to
document only correlations
•The matter of cause and effect is
seldom simple, but is made more
difficult because pornography has
different effects on different people
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
Science Vs. Social ACTION
• When research is published, it enters the
“court” of science, where it is judged by a
jury of critical scientific peers
 Some people find too slow
 Based on their ideas about what is right,
wrong, and what they find offensive, they often
take a stand
• Resistance to pornography, though
strongly rooted, has lost to the porn
industry
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
Safety Valve Or Trigger
•Safety Valve Theory
 Do some types of pornography protect women and children
from rape and other sexual violence by providing the private
release of sexual fantasies
•Trigger Theory
 Do some types of pornography trigger sexual offenses by
stimulating sexual appetites, often for deviance and violence
•Researchers have been unable to
settle this question
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
Social Policy
•Victimless Crime: refers to illegal acts
between consenting adults
•Not all prostitution and pornography
involve victimless crimes
•Alternatives to Making Consensual
Behavior Illegal:
 Legalizing prostitution
 The matter of privacy
 The matter of children
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
The Future Of The Problem
• Prostitution and the Future
 Demand for the services of prostitutes will
continue
 Although prostitution will continue to flourish, it
will remain illegal in almost all areas of the
United States
 We are likely to see an increase in an aspect of
prostitution that upsets both the public and the
police, the prostitution of children
 More laws will be passed, most of them will have
little effect
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved
• Pornography and the Future
 Changes in pornography are likely to be driven by
two forces:
• Technology and Profits
 Because pornography is so profitable, it is likely that
the mainstream media will embrace it even more
 As pornography becomes more mainstream, the line
between pornography and art will become even
more blurred
 Pornography is now so entrenched in our society it
is likely that those who oppose it will limit
themselves to occasional statements decrying the
fall of American values and then retreat into
enclaves of people who agree with their views
Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach, Tenth Edition by James M. Henslin
©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved