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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 115397 Find in a Library
Title: Failure of Prostitution Law Reform
Journal: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology  Volume:21  Issue:4  Dated:(December 1988)  Pages:202-213
Author(s): M Neave
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 12
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This article examines the nature and effects of Australian prostitution law and proposes principles by which to measure the effectiveness of such legislation.
Abstract: Australian laws which determine the circumstances in which prostitutes (mainly women) provide sexual services to clients (mainly men) reflect the dominance of a masculine idealogy of women's sexuality. According to this idealogy, prostitution is necessary, indeed inevitable, because men's sex drive cannot be repressed. Women, on the other hand, who violate the masculine ideal of female chastity by becoming prostitutes must be stigmatized and punished for such deviance. Law and law enforcement, however, do little to diminish the extent of prostitution; they only determine the shape of the prostitution industry and the methods by which prostitutes ply their trade. Four principles should underlie the reform of prostitution law. First, the prime cause of prostitution is the economic and sexual inequality of women. Second, laws penalizing the act of prostitution and related activities should be repealed. Third, laws which affect the business of prostitution should be designed to empower prostitutes, so they can exercise greater control over the circumstances of their work and have the ability to resist coercion by employers and clients. Fourth, the control of the aspects fo prostitution which the community finds most offensive should be regulated by public nuisance laws rather than laws against prostitution per se. The author uses these principles to critique recent prostitution law reforms in Victoria. 41 notes.
Main Term(s): Prostitution
Index Term(s): Australia; Crime specific law reform; Prostitution causes
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