Sociology of Deviance – Prostitution

Deviancy, undeniably, is the subject involved in the culture of the profession of prostitution. It defies the community standards that are set to regulate human behavior. In the course of this reading, we have included the deviancy analysis that involves prostitution culture.The majority of academic findings on prostitution have established the actual relationship between physical health, prostitution and risky behaviors. This concentration on disease and drug use does not only blur the whole picture of prostitution, but also distorts the realities of prostitution for many of these sex workers. Due to the objectivity and specificity perspective of most of these studies, they have neglected the assessment of what these prostitutes perceived as harmful and how they conceptualize and manage the risk. Deviancy progresses in these individuals as they sank deeper in their profession; however, these factors need to be critically analyzed in order to understand fully the situation of these sex workers (Sanders, 2005 p.10).Throughput time, prostitution has greatly been viewed as a deviant behavior since it violates the standards of morality imposed by the religious sectors, local agencies, health principles as well as community perspectives. Moreover, society views these individuals as vectors of other deviant practices. The idea of selling body and offering pleasure or sex service has greatly dismayed the public’s view; thereby, considering such behavior and the total profession itself as a deviant field.The paper deals with the issues associated in the deviancy perspective of prostitution. The issues are elaborated by different queries explained in this case.Describe why the behaviors of prostitutes are considered deviant or fails to conform to societal normDeviancy has been defined as the actual shift from a standard-norm conforming behavior towards a direct behavior alteration that is not accepted by society or viewed as unacceptable by the minor cultures. Prostitution is one of the unaccepted or deviant behaviors that originate from ancestral times. The society views the prostitutes as someone who varyingly, possess lowest status of life in the community. Essentially speaking, the main deviant behavior seen in the prostitutes is their willful selling of their body in exchange for material things.Prostitution is known as the oldest profession that has survived the every phases of human civilization. From the earliest times, this profession is known to render short span of pleasure for men accompanied by the right price. Prostitution came into existence in its first and Western variety in and around Mesopotamian temples. Morality has been a long time controversy among these issues that even the periods of earlier civilization criticize such profession.The society views these people as lowly individuals that succumbs the impurity of their behavior in order to obtain their living. Moreover, women are the only ones involved and recognized to offer such service; however, with the advent of modernization, men have also entered the field of prostitution that caters not only for women, but also for males. Systems of prostitution progressed, and behold, age limit has gone down lower and lower until it reached pass the minor’s age. The problems of runaway youths and prostituted teenagers have greatly expanded resulting to variety of sexual scandals. Knowingly, the primary focus of prostitution varies and considerably, does not only revolve in the purpose of earning money but lot more deeper reasoning (Flowers, 2001 p.64).Unfortunately, prostitution has even become a channel of disease transmission especially in places with poverty occurrence. Street prostitution has been closely related to HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Syndrome) or AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) in the United States due to its linkage with forbidden drug usage. However, patterns of prostitution may vary from places to places, due to the influence of tradition, culture, race, environmental settings and community perspectives. The setting and types of prostitution also varies depending as well on the factors stated above.  Although it is almost impossible to come up with the exact data on the types of prostitution, some researchers have estimated that about 20% of prostitution in the United States occurs as Street Prostitution and the remainder is spread among massage parlors, bar prostitution, outcall services, and brothels. The influence of deviancy occurs higher in the streets than with other areas; however, it does not conclude that deviancies do not occur in those places other than the streets (Weitzer, 2000 p.103-104).These are some of the reasons why the society views such acts as deviant since, it defies the standard norms and standards imposed by various perspective that greatly influence the society’s view and concept especially in terms of morality that consequently affects their view in prostitution.What is the societal norm or legitimate authority for regarding this person or group and their behavior as deviant?The legitimate authorities involve three domains that impose the values and the ought-to-be principle that governs the society. Any flaws from these imposed concepts are considered deviant. These domains are the society (involving standard governance and public’s view), religion (involving the concept of morality and value for human being) and health (involving health-related issues that centers on prostitution is a contributing etiology).The society view the body as a respected and highest form of being that is able to rationalize and dominate. The concept and perspective involving the subject, human beings, is quite sensitive and requires utmost respect. As for them, human beings possess the highest form of pride that they even view their existence far more essential than any other living creatures. Unfortunately, prostitution comes in and portraying a lifestyle that seemingly comparable to animals, in terms of having sex with no considerations imposed. Such reasoning provides a logical rationale for the deviancy involved in prostitution.However, there are groups of people who wish to add the right to legal prostitution to the list. If prostitution were legalized it can hurt society, as well as the prostitutes themselves. The argument states that tests for STDs can be conducted if this profession is legalized. Moreover, taxes from these prostitutes can be obtained if their discreetness can be brought up through legalization. However, governmental policies consider such practice as a violation of human rights and basic moral principles, making such actions deviant to societal norms; hence, such legalization is indeed impossible to implement.In terms of theological perspective, the human being is believed to be the highest form of being, and a remnant of God’s image. Such religious firm strictly holds on to the side of morality and its implementation in the society. Sex, in a religious perspective, is a gift from divine bodies that requires respect, appropriateness and divine blessing before conducting. The basic religious fundamentals, however, is tarnished and defied by practice of prostitution wherein the sex workers engages into intercourse without considering the value of their body, divine law that governs morality and principles that direct and regulate the norms of sexual act. Providing this statement proves another reasoning for the deviancy of this profession, prostitution.However, in another view, these prostitutes are perceived to be victims of consequences imposed by unpredictable situations encountered though-out life. The approach of the religious reformers to prostitution excluded the voices and perspectives of prostitutes and thus obscured the possibility that women were not victims and that perhaps women exercised agency in their choice to engage in sex work (Wahab, 2002).As for biologic and health conformations and standards, health is derived from varying view of every individual; however, in the case of prostitution, health is absolutely at-risk. People in prostitution usually suffer from serious neurobiological and personality disorders that hinder the formation of a cooperative working relationship. Moreover, this profession is known to be the primary vector of disease transfer that facilitates the channel of spreading Sexually Transmitted Disease and worst of all, HIV or AIDS. Their actions have defied the value of their own body in health perspective that induces risk in acquiring such cases. The health behavior portrays non-conforming actions thus, making these actions deviant.Why do these people engage in deviant behavior? Provide a detailed analysis and if possible alternate perspectivesPerspectives and probably ideation of causes of prostitution provides access in understanding the reason behind such deviant behaviors. In the current span of this profession, the viewed cause has evolved together with classical society towards millennial change. The former view that rationalizes the reasons behind prostitution involves the mere fact that women engage in such profession are sexually active and lacks control of their drive. Time passed by, and various reasons have been brought up creating multi-causational tree regarding the etiology of such practice.Interestingly enough, according to a former study conducted with subjects amounting to thousand prostitutes in New York’s House of Correction on Blackwell’s Island, results has negated the evangelical’s claim that seduction and male sexual aggression pulled women into prostitution. It has been found that only 15% of the prostitutes in his study listed seduction as the cause of prostitution. Indeed, more than one third of the study participants have reported having a “personal inclination” to prostitution, “wanting an easy life”, or ironically, “being too lazy to work” as reasons for entering prostitution (Mullen, 2002).Especially in a country wherein work and financial matters are not that easy to obtain, prostitutes utilized this kind of profession in order to satisfy their financial needs, ironically, while satisfying as well the arousal needs of the customers. For prostitutes, this type of sex business provides them the easiest means in order to survive the high demands that are imposed to their financial capacities. This reason, however, does not apply to every individuals engage in such profession.For these prostitutes, the profession of prostitution is not a career choice. More often than not, it is a woman’s last choice. According to surveys conducted, the majority of these women have suffered some type of mental or physical abuse in there lifetime. A survey of prostitutes in the San Francisco area showed that 75% have been physically or sexually abused as children. The women who become prostitutes have mental scares, which blind them from reality. Legalization would not help these women, but it will only encourage their defiant behavior. Moreover, the abuse many prostitutes suffered early in life is also found in their profession. Another survey of prostitutes found that 82% have been physically assaulted, 83% have threatened with a weapon and 68% have been raped. There is no amount of regulation that can protect these women when they are alone with their clients. They are putting themselves in the most vulnerable position imaginable (Mullen, 1999).How do these deviants view their behavior? Do they regard their deviance as a one-time aberration or see it as a deviant career?Individuals vary among their perspectives and concepts related to their current estate; similar to that, prostitutes possess their varying perspectives and reasons for involving themselves in a job like such as this. As stated in the latter section, such scenario is the last option of every individual. Prostitutes resort to such kind of profession in order for them to earn their living in an easy and most flexible way for them. In fact, there are three broad major reasons way prostitution results. First, it becomes a product of a negative scenario that occurred in the past especially during childhood, which is the behavioral forming stage, that triggers such defiant behavior. Second, for easy financial source in order for them to meet the financial demands imposed to them, they sell their bodies in exchange with materialistic gains. Lastly, depression and rebellious behavior that triggers defiance towards the imposed societal norms (Kuo, 2002 p.112).Prostitutes possess sensitive emotions especially when dealing with their reasons for entering such profession. Another fact is, most often than not, these individuals tend to view their field more like a career of profession and not just a one-time transaction. In some cases, they even possess their regular clients whom they regularly provide service. However, even with this easy business that they are acquiring, psychological assessments performed to these individuals reveal that they possess hurts, depression and inferiorities in their professions. Self-actualization, love and belongingness, and self-esteem are the common angles afflicted by such profession (Flowers, 2001 p.71). In a broader sense, the defiance of prostitution does not only cause physical harm but most especially emotionally, socially, and psychologically.What impacts does this deviancy have on various members of society and society as a whole?Society connotes this deviant behavior as channels of inappropriate sexual service. As a whole the society, greatly discriminate such individuals who enter in this kind of profession. Ridicule, shame and discrimination are the undeniable statements that the society provides for these prostitutes. The reigning perspective over this type of business provides discrimination not only to the person itself but also to the whole family and relatives involve with the person. The society figures that since, the primary and initial training zone for child development, family or relatives responsible for upbringing are the inducers of such behavior. However, this mentality is not always true in reality, although discrimination is really present.Due to the fact that these situations and treatment are present, the deviant behavior of these individuals is suppressed until they encounter the customer itself. This causes these individuals to be discreet in terms of their exposure to the public in order to avoid further discrimination. However, this does not apply to every situation as prostitution varies still among every individual. In some cases, a person even possesses a decent profession but still renders to such services. Others expose themselves to the public without fear of ridicule due to various personal reasons rationalized by the individual. Hiding their identity from the public is one of their defense protocols in order to avoid such societal treatment.What are the ways utilized by the society to respond or react to the deviancy?Some of the ways utilized by the public in order to respond to the situation of such deviancy are the implementation of policies that prevents the expanse of prostitution, formation of groups that protect the welfare of these individuals from the claws of prostitution and public awareness. These steps are the most evident features available in the society in order to halt the progression of such so-called profession.In some countries, they have organized Women’s Groups and Agencies that protects women from abuse of prostitutions. It responds and provides their service in accordance with the policies ordained by the government with aims of halting down such self-abusive defiance. Aside from this groups and agencies, there are also rules and regulations imposed by the government, such as Illegal Prostitution Act, regulation of brother ownership, etc (Kuo, 2002 p.13).Provide an analysis of the deviant behavior from the perspective of one or two sociological theories presented in the courseLabeling Theory is also known as the Social Reaction Theory, which looks at the deviant behavior through labeling of the character in terms of being defiant. The process of labeling is related to the power and status of those persons who do the labeling and those who are labeled. Generally, those in power label the behavior of others as deviant (Kendall 2006, p209). The labeling theory stresses the social process through which certain acts and people are labeled as deviant. The society is one of the major contributors of label formation towards these individuals. Social Control agencies, such as the police, courts, and corrections, are created to label certain people as outside the normal, law-abiding society, which implies deviancy labeling.The formation of deviant identity is supported by the public by agreeing and solidifying the label imposed. Once labeled, the person is presumed by others to be deviant, and they react according to the appropriate deviancy negative-feedback reactions. On the process of labeling, the society instills the definition of such action as deviant and in the end automatically influences the over-all belief pattern. The case of prostitution has been labeled by society as a deviant behavior involving the selling of their bodies and defying the moral principles. This is the reason for negative-feedback reactions, particularly by discrimination, ridicule and oppression, brought by the society towards this people (Cole & Smith, p.50).Another theory to be utilized is the Subculture theory, which connotes that subculture, being one of the socially influential factors, has greatly affected the occurrence of prostitution. Such theory is related to the formation of a cultural environment that encourages or legalizes prostitution, and promotes lesser consequence towards this action. Since the individual view such action as legal and have lesser consequence, the individual resort to such action. However, culture varies and viewed differently by varying cultures hence, if the culture of morality and prostitution collides, this is the time where discrimination and other socially related negative responses occur (Flowers, 2001 p.64).The view of public for this type of action is consequently related to the fact that individuals involved in a culture of prostitution are more likely to develop the deviant behavior. Cultural transmission is more socially related than biological in origin; hence, the development of such behavior occurs through the molding by the cultural environment made.


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