Prostitution as an Economic Activity

Prostitution as an Economic Activity

THE EVOLUTION OF PROSTITUTION AS AN ECONOMIC ACTIVITY IN A DEVELOPING COUNTRY

This paper deals generally with the treatment of female prostitution within a capitalist economic structure. The use of the terms “prostitution” and “prostitute” in this paper may be assumed to refer to female prostitution unless a contrary meaning is stated. Further, this paper stems from participation in a sociology seminar dealing with “the ethnic economy.” Examining in the context of “the ethnic economy” the evolution of prostitution as an economic activity in a developing country requires some extensions and modifications of the concepts inherent in the theory of “the ethnic economy.” Rather than detailing or cataloging such extensions and modifications at this point in the paper, these exceptions to theory are identified and explained at appropriate points in the narrative of the discussion topic.

The findings of the examination of the evolution of prostitution as an economic activity in a developing country are presented in three major discussions. The initial discussion considers prostitution as a concept, together with the treatment of prostitution by political and social leaders and theorists. The discussion of prostitution is followed by the development of the economic framework within which the evolution of prostitution as an economic activity in a developing country is pursued. The last of the three discussions traces the evolution of prostitution as an economic activity in the Kingdom of Thailand in Southeast Asia.

Prostitution: Concepts and TreatmentPolitical, Social, and Economic

Prostitution reflects the extreme aspect of gender relations in a society (McIntosh, 1978, p. 219). The economic vulnerability of women in a capitalist economy is the factor that causes some women to view prostitution as an acceptable alternative to other forms of work. The historical relegation of women to a subordinate societal position, ho…

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