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King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 1 Chapter 18 Sex and the Law For use with text, Human Sexuality Today, 5 th edition. Bruce M. King Slides by Callista Lee
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 2 Prostitution – Historical perspectives It was not a crime for a father to prostitute his daughter in ancient Hebrew culture, but if the daughter chose to have sex (depriving her father of income), she could be put to death. Fornication – sexual intercourse between an unmarried man and woman; from the Latin (cellae fornicae) for the vaulted cellars where prostitutes took their partners after the theater, circus or gladiator contests.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 3 Prostitution through the ages The Catholic church was tolerant of prostitution through the Middle Ages, considering a “necessary evil.” Prostitution flourished in the prudish Victorian Era as a sexual outlet for husbands. In colonial America, northern Puritanism and southern slavery kept prostitution to a minimum, but it became common during the western expansion in the late 19 th century. Opposition to prostitution grew in the 20 th C.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 4 Types of prostitution (1) Prostitution differs from other exchanges of sex for goods/services in the indiscriminate manner in which it occurs. Streetwalkers – solicit in public; pimps; oral sex performed on the customer is most common. Brothel prostitutes – legal in some Nevada counties; elsewhere replaced by “B-girls” who use subtle cues to solicit customers in hotel bars, generally with consent of management.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 5 Types of prostitution (2) Massage parlors – thinly disguised storefronts; “hand whores.” Call girls –customers are screened by phone; often works from her home; high status clients and high fees; for sex or just a pretty date. Gigolos – male counterpart of the call girl. Escort services – male or female prostitutes; slightly lower fees than call girls or gigolos. Hustlers – male streetwalkers.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 6 Characteristics of prostitutes Primary motive world wide is economic. Drug addiction prior to of after becoming a prostitute is extremely common. Some are attracted to the thrill and danger. Most were sexually and otherwise abused as children, felt rejected, few friends. Most teen prostitutes are runaways or “throw- away” children. Most have serious problems with anxiety, depression, social alienation, drug abuse.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 7 Characteristics of customers Johns, tricks, scores – most are white, middle- class, middle-aged, and married. Sex tourism to foreign countries is sought by those preferring sex with children or teens. Reasons – – Feelings of inadequacy with women – Lack of a partner – Desire for a new partner or novelty – Sex without the time and effort of emotional involvement – Customers of hustlers often consider themselves heterosexual
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 8 Prostitution and the law Primary concern of most people is the moral issue, although STDs, drug abuse and violence against prostitutes, other crime are also cited. Many see prostitution as a victimless crime. Proponents of legalization advocate licensing, regular health checks, mandatory condom use and taxation (already done in Nevada’s legal brothels). Few states put serious effort into prosecuting the customers. Would legalization increase the demand?
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 9 Prostitution and HIV Heterosexual transmission is now the major cause of most new AIDS cases in women. Fewer than 1% of U.S. citizens are infected but 25-50% of streetwalkers and hustlers in major cities are infected. Regular condom use substantially reduces HIV risk; none of Nevada’s legal prostitutes have tested positive for HIV.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 10 Pornography Sexually explicit, erotica or pornography? Comstock law (1873) forbid mailing of any sexually explicit materials, including birth control information and prized literature. Censorship of literature, movies and TV was common until the 1970s. One-third of all internet use is porn related. Americans now accept sexually explicit content in the mass media.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 11 Uses of sexually explicit material People use it learn about sex. – Many high school and college aged youth use sexually explicit material as a source for sexual information. It is used for rehearsal for sexual behaviors, in the way that fantasy is used. Fantasy and masturbation with porn/erotica is “safe sex.” People simply enjoy the arousal it invokes.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 12 Effects of nonviolent materials (1) Political and social bias have often tainted interpretation and release of research data. Recent studies support the following: – Materials produce physiological arousal in both men and women; men are more psychologically aroused. – Female arousal is greater when material is female friendly, with more romantic themes. – Continued exposure leads to decreased interest in these materials (habituation).
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 13 Effects of nonviolent materials (2) Regarding pornography and sex crimes – – Materials do not create desires that were not already present in the individual; majority do not change their behaviors. – Convicted sex offenders most often had less exposure to pornography during adolescence than non-offenders. – The large majority of offenders report that sexually explicit materials was not what caused them to commit their crimes.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 14 Violent and degrading materials By the 1990s, explicit videos and magazines often showed men and women in egalitarian roles, with aggression being consensual. Most people today have negative responses to sexually explicit films that are violent or are degrading to women. Forget about the porn industry…1 in 8 Hollywood films shows a rape scene. Rape is more common in R-rated movies and TV than in X-rated movies or magazines.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 15 Effects of violent materials Numerous studies find that most males will experience sexual arousal when viewing violent sexually explicit material. After watching violent sexually explicit films, many males become less sympathetic toward female rape victims and greater levels of belief in rape myths. Becoming aroused by violent fantasies is not the same as actually committing a rape.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 16 Pornography involving children Children are legally unable to consent to participating in sexual posing or acting. Children who are used in this way generally grow up feeling like objects and suffer a range of emotional and sexual problems. “Kiddie porn” is currently the only type of sexually explicit material that is legally banned, nationwide.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 17 Legalization or censorship? Social scientists point to research that shows that repression of sexual fantasy leads to abnormal sexual expression. First amendment rights to free speech and expression vs. obscenity. – Obscenity is a legal term used to define materials or activities that a community finds offensive enough to legally ban. – Obscene materials are deemed to lack serious literary, artistic, political and/or scientific value; and to appeal primarily to prurient interests.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 18 Rights to sexual equality Feminist Catherine MacKinnon argues that pornography perpetuates sexual inequality and that the antidiscrimination provisions of the 14 th Amendment of the Constitution should take precedence over the 1 st Amendment. Other feminists are more open to allowing pornography and avoiding the assertion that women are sexually different from men, needing special protection.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 19 Laws against fornication and adultery The District of Columbia and seventeen states have laws making fornication and cohabitation a crime. Adultery is a crime in 26 states. Five states have laws prohibiting the sale of vibrators and other “adult sexual aids.” Some states prosecute teens for statutory rape in order to prevent teen pregnancy.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 20 Laws against sodomy Sodomy laws include oral-genital as well as all forms of anal sex. In 2003, 13 states still had sodomy laws; reflection of the early Judeo-Christian attitude that the only natural sexual act is heterosexual penile-vaginal sex that can result in reproduction. Many state sodomy laws specifically targeted homosexuals; heterosexual sodomy was legal.
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall 21 Sexual freedom and respect 2003 – U.S. Supreme Court rules in Lawrence v. Texas, invalidating most state sodomy laws. In regard to homosexuals, Justice Anthony Kennedy stated they are – “entitled to respect for their privacy…the state cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime…Adults may choose to enter upon this relationship in the confines of their homes and their own private lives and still retain dignity as free persons.”
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