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Prostitution: An International Handbook on Trends, Problems, and Policies

NCJ Number
N J Davis
Date Published
416 pages
These 17 papers examine prostitution in 17 countries, with emphasis on its social and legal definitions, history and trends, social organization, theories, politics, law enforcement, intervention, and social policy.
The contemporary status and lifestyles of prostitutes are also discussed. The countries include Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England and Wales, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Taiwan, United States, Vietnam, West Germany, and Yugoslavia. An underlying theme of the studies is that prostitution serves as a crucial symbol for every woman's position in society. Each society has a distinctive history of control and regulation of prostitution; public policies regarding the sex trade change as religious or political ideologies shift. In almost all modern societies, police regulation of prostitutes continues to be a defining characteristic of the trade, although enforcement ranges from surveillance and containment to harassment and prison time. An effective social policy remains an open question in many societies. Criminalization, decriminalization, legalization, abolition, tolerance, intolerance, permissiveness, restrictiveness, quotas, and free trade have all been ineffective policies over time. A preface concludes that prostitution is related more to power and control than to traditional renderings of sex. Tables, reference lists, subject index, name index, and 136 references