Prostitution: Definition, Impacts, Causes, and Ways To Manage it

What is Prostitution?

Prostitution is the act of providing sexual services in exchange for compensation, usually money. It is a serious crime in many countries and therefore, prostitution laws are formulated to prohibit or manage it.

Prostitution in Nepal is illegal. The Human Trafficking and Transportation (Control) Act, 2064, Act Number 5 criminalizes prostitution by including it under the definition of human trafficking.


Impacts to Individuals:

The impacts of prostitution on individuals are not only physical but also mental. Some of them are;

  • Women are assaulted by men in the course of their prostitution activities.
  • They suffer from moral collapse and lose their status and position which other respectable men and women enjoy in society.
  • The prostitute and the pimps (male) are caught with fatal diseases like HIV AIDS, Herpes, etc.
  • The person who is a prostitute is discriminated against by society.
  • Many girls become drug users after engaging in prostitution.
  • Girls (women) feel lonely, isolated and hatred as others in the society avoid their company.
  • Some of them even commit suicide.

Impacts on Society:

As long as prostitutes live in society, there are some negative impacts to the society as follows;

  • Since there is a relationship between prostitution and human trafficking, many girls are trafficked and forced into it or other illegal activities.
  • It contributes to gender inequality where women meant to be used as objects of sexual satisfaction for men.
  • It scatters marriage and ruins the family of many women and men in society.
  • The pimps and prostitutes perpetrate criminality in society by trafficking girls.
  • It also leads to a degradation of morality in society.

Causes of Prostitution

The causes of prostitution are multi-dimensional. The major ones are as follows;

Economic Causes:

It is one of the causes of prostitution which includes other factors such as;

Poverty: Poor women are normally illiterate and lack gainful employment. In such a situation, a woman may prostitute herself in order to live well and give first-class education to her children.

Under-age employment: Many females who work in hotels, industry, and shop at an immature age, are easily misled by lust-seekers and therefore end up in prostitution.

The Social Causes:

The social causes are extremely important factors in encouraging and promoting prostitution and they include,

Family causes: When the parents leave away from their daughter due to family troubles, they receive no love and their activities are not monitored. If anyone shows love to an unloved girl, then she offers all of herself to that person and hence may end in prostitution.

Marital factors: When the marriage breaks or becomes a widow, she is forbidden to re-marry in much Hindu society. But in order ‘to fulfill their physical needs, she is likely to self-abuse, seduces the young, etc. But as these are poor substitutes for real sex, they may choose to become prostitutes.

Illegitimate motherhood: When society knows the woman has an illegitimate child, then nobody wants to marry them but everybody wants to enjoy them sexually. Desperately such women prefer to become regular prostitutes.

Biological Factors:

The persons born with defective sex organs or overactive glands may feel compelled to seek sexual gratification in a bizarre manner and therefore engage in prostitution.

Religious and Cultural Factors:

In some parts of the world including Nepal, India, there has been religious sanction to prostitution may not be directly but indirectly. For e.g. the Deukipratha, in which the family offers one daughter to the temple where, apparently, she is supposed to serve gods with total dedication. But in actual practice, they lived the life of prostitutes. Another example is the Badipratha in the Mid-Western region of Nepal.

Measures to Prostitution Or Ways To Reduce it

There are views that it should be legalized while there are also voices against it. However, in order to control or end or manage prostitution, the following measures can be helpful.

  • By formulating laws and implementing them against prostitution.
  • There should be the provision of punishment for both the parties; those who sell sexual services, as well as those who purchase the services.
  • Establishing a licensing system for it can make prostitution more manageable and lead to the eradication of abuses in the sector.
  • As human traffickers force girls into sex businesses, laws should be formulated to punish them.
  • Create employment opportunities for girls and equal pay as men.
  • Since it is an inevitable phenomenon in society, it, therefore, can be legalized.

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