Calling Prostitution ‘Sex Work’ Doesn’t Make It Pro-Women

26 October 2021

3.3 MINS

Making prostitution legal and calling it “sex work” cannot hide the pain it causes and the threat that prostitution poses to women globally.

“Sex work” advocates promote prostitution as a legitimate occupational choice for women. Leftist activists equate sex work with workers’ and women’s rights. According to the left, sex work is inherently pro-woman; it is “moral and should be legalised.”

One of the more recent groups to glamorise prostitution is the Women’s Center at DePaul University. DePaul is a private Catholic university that recently sponsored a forum to declare that sex work is a “valid” choice for women.

The forum argued that prostituted women deserve the “freedom and agency” to choose such an “empowering” occupation and “deserve” to enjoy their occupation “in safety” because it is “sexy” and “fun.” Those who engage in “sex work,” they declare, are “attractive” and “happy” individuals.

Prostitution is Not Glamorous

Such arguments are divorced from the bitter realities of life as a prostitute. They are based on the myth – stubbornly and endlessly hawked by Hollywood – of the glamorous prostitute, such as the one played by Julia Roberts in the 1990 hit movie Pretty Woman.

The big money and glamorous lifestyle of the fairy-tale “pretty woman” is hardly the story of the street prostitutes whose pimps force them to service up to 15 men a night. The street prostitutes age rapidly, often ending up drug-addicted, battered, and used up by age 30 or earlier.

These victims are living proof that violence is part of the daily grind of the job. Drug and alcohol addiction is often necessary to endure the assaults and STDs that are a predictable consequence of the “occupation.”

Nor is the “pretty woman” myth the story of the women in brothels – even so-called high-end ones – or the “call girls” marketing the highly remunerated “girlfriend experience” to businessmen in major cities around the world. Only leftist proponents have a “pretty woman” view of “sex work” at any level!

The Harsh Realities of Prostitution

The actual prostituted women provide a more realistic, honest picture: they refer to their work as “paid rape.” They remind us that prostituted women live with abuse. Eighty per cent say their pimps have assaulted them. More than one-third claim to have had death threats.

Researchers report that over one half attempt suicide, and a reported 85-90 per cent desperately “want out” of what is more accurately called “modern-day slavery.” Indeed, pimps control 80-95 per cent of all forms of prostitution, and fully 70 per cent of those in prostitution started before they were even 16 years of age.

Countries that have tried to decriminalise or legalise prostitution also provide a more realistic picture of what happens. Any time demand exceeds supply, the result is sex trafficking. Not enough girls willingly choose or are blindly duped into “sex work” as a profession.

Amsterdam found that 80 per cent of the prostituted girls and women were there by force. Germany found that 60 per cent were foreigners, and Spain discovered that foreigners made up 80 per cent of the girls and women, with many of those identified as victims coerced by the gangs and organised crime.

Everywhere that jurisdictions have tried to make prostitution legal and decriminalise it have failed. The women do not want – or the pimps won’t allow them – to perform the “safety” measures that supposedly protect them.

They don’t register because they don’t want to be labelled. Records indicate that they don’t show up for regular health checks. Most importantly, the customers – the johns – are willing to pay extra for sex without a condom and other “unsafe” practices.

One john bluntly stated the reality of “sex work.” He said, “Men pay to get what they want; they go to prostitutes because ‘real women’ won’t put up with their demands.”

The Failures of “Regulating” the Industry

What about the tax revenue that is supposed to be a significant benefit of making prostitution legal or decriminalising it? The pimps and prostituted women find ways to avoid paying the taxes necessary for regulation. Germany found that legalisation did not increase tax revenues. Mafias and criminal networks don’t pay taxes.

Worse, making prostitution legal increases the number of illegal brothels. In Australia, after legalisation, the number of unlawful brothels increased by 300 per cent, pulling thousands of vulnerable women into prostitution and increasing HIV cases by 91 per cent in two years!

Amsterdam closed one-third of its legal brothels because organised crime moved in, and illegal brothels thrived outside town, winning the competition with the legal brothels. In the Netherlands, making prostitution legal and decriminalising it are considered a “failed experiment”.

Those who have studied anti-trafficking research or talked to survivors know that “sex work” is not even close to the reality that the vast majority of prostituted women experience.

It’s time for real men to know the truth about the industry and for boys to be taught that it is never okay to “use” a woman as a sex object.

As long as proponents give the industry the stamp of legitimacy conveyed by calling it “sex work,” sexual slavery will continue to be a blight on our humanity. It will remain a heinous threat to vulnerable girls and women around the world.

Originally published at American Thinker. Image by Sydney Sims on Unsplash.

We need your help. The continued existence of the Daily Declaration depends on the generosity of readers like you. Donate now. The Daily Declaration is committed to keeping our site free of advertising so we can stay independent and continue to stand for the truth.

Fake news and censorship make the work of the Canberra Declaration and our Christian news site the Daily Declaration more important than ever. Take a stand for family, faith, freedom, life, and truth. Support us as we shine a light in the darkness. Donate now.

Leave A Comment

Recent Articles:

Use your voice today to protect

Faith · Family · Freedom · Life



The Daily Declaration is an Australian Christian news site dedicated to providing a voice for Christian values in the public square. Our vision is to see the revitalisation of our Judeo-Christian values for the common good. We are non-profit, independent, crowdfunded, and provide Christian news for a growing audience across Australia, Asia, and the South Pacific. The opinions of our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of The Daily Declaration. Read More.