The Effects of Prostitution on Girls’ Future in Post Conflict Liberia

A Case Study of Center Street Community

Term Paper (Advanced seminar), 2015

20 Pages




Why Study Prostitution?

Causes of Prostitution
Physical, Emotional, and Sexual Abuse
Runaway Teens

The Economic Factor of prostitution

Types of Prostitution
Forced Prostitution
Homeless Prostitution
Streetwalker Prostitution
Drug-addicted Prostitution

Overview of the Feminist Theories on Prostitution




The Effects of Prostitution on Girls’ Future in Post Conflict Liberia: A Case Study of Center Street Community

Thesis Statement

Prostitutionis described as a practice of engaging insexual relations forpayment or benefits. There have been two schools of thoughts on prostitutions in society. Depending on the jurisdiction and community, prostitution can be legal or illegal. A global statistics shows that there are about 42 million prostitutes in the world. Prostitution is frequently viewed as a form of exploitation of orviolence against womenandchildren. It helps to create a supply of victims forhuman trafficking. However, there has not been any empirical examination and data of the effects and causes of this social phenomenon in Liberian society, specifically in the in the Center Street community which is the focus of this term paper. Thus, the purpose of this study is to bridge this gap in the literature by providing knowledge of the effects of prostitution among young girls between ages of 18 to 35 in the targeted community.


The Center Street is a local community situated in central Monrovia, which harbors some of Liberia’s leading and professional prostitutes the country had ever known. A prostitute by definition is one who exchanges sex or sexual favors for money, drugs and other desirable commodities”. According to academicians as well as public opinions, there are many reasons why women enter the world of prostitution. While many of these reasons may be important to examine, relatively few capture the experiences of women. As such, I will argue in this paper, after presenting some of the basic underlying assumptions that are frequently associated with this controversial subject, that some approaches to understanding prostitution are more valid than others. Historically, it appears that prostitution is something that is typically looked down upon and viewed as morally repugnant—something in which only women with low self-esteem and low socioeconomic status participate. This, however, is not always the case. Prostitutes as well as the men who use them come from all walks of life; in fact, some prostitutes make a great deal of money. Many people have difficulty in understanding how individuals end up in the prostitution industry. Similarly, many prostitutes have a difficult time leaving prostitution. This paper will explore a high degree of investigation from those involved as well as feminist perspectives to identify the root or background factors that lead someone into prostitution and its effects on girls’ future. This paper moves beyond common perceptions of prostitution and examines this topic from an academic perspective. Such an approach will provide a more valid understanding as to the different reasons why women end up in a life of prostitution. Because of the nature of their job, it is fair to say that many individuals in society tend to look down upon prostitutes. I am interested in bringing to the forefront their individual situations and clarifying common misunderstandings that are held about prostitutes and prostitution within our society.

Definition of Prostitution: A prostitute by definition is one who exchanges sex or sexual favors for money, drugs and other desirable commodities”

Why Study Prostitution?

Prostitution has been a controversial subject that sociologists, theologians, philosophers and psychologists alike have found interesting over the years. Psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus (1909) once stated that prostitution has had a long past however has also had a short history. Ebbinghaus argues that prostitution is a very complex subject to study. He suggests the difficulty is in obtaining any sort of worthwhile data on a representative sample of women who engage in prostitution. I endeavor to research on prostitution in order to understand the specific circumstances through a women’s point of view; I believe that it is important to approach the topic of female prostitution through a feminist perspective. Besides that, I also seek to understand which of the main factors found within the academic literature are the most important in becoming a prostitute. Therefore, the following sub topics will discuss these factors, as well as demonstrate the important aspects of each factor. Prostitution can come across to some people as a less than desirable career choice; however, for some women, it is a means of survival and subsistence. Understanding many of the background factors may help us to have a deeper empathy towards what they have gone through and why they are in the positions they currently are. This is the underlying reason as to why I chose to study the act of prostitution through a feminist point of view and I hope that by the end of this thesis you have a deeper understanding as to the importance of women’s unique experiences and the impact her past can have on her future.

Causes of Prostitution

Prostitution has greater effects on the future of girls in the Center Street community and generally our nation’s population. However, this is due to several precipitating factors that lead people into the prostitution industry. Some of the more influential factors are physical, emotional, pre-mature home leaving, childhood sexual abuse, drug abuse and a poor financial situation. Most prostitutes have encountered at least one of these problems, and many have experienced them in combination. There are many different types of prostitution that exist within our society, almost all of which are illegal (Chapter 17 of Liberia Penal Code/ Offenses Against Public Immorality).

Physical, Emotional, and Sexual Abuse

Many who have conducted research in the area of prostitution discuss the relationship between abuse and prostitution. R. Barri Flowers (2001) is one of those researchers who posit that girls in particular, are much more likely to enter into high-risk activities, including prostitution, than girls who have not been abused in some manner. It is important to underscore that abused children often become more vulnerable to high-risk situations than children who have not been abused. Promiscuous behavior is one of the outcomes of sexual abuse. Brannigan and Van Brunshot Gibbs (2002) posit that the abuse thesis is that childhood sexual victimization leads to being a prostitute, a role itself characterized by sexual exploitation teaches the victim to view herself as sexually degraded, which in turn prepares her for entry into adolescent and adult role in which deviant definitions of self are functional. The sexually victimized child learns a sexually deviant identity. (P. 2). When a teenager is exposed to circumstances of sexual and physical abuse over a period of time, running away from the problem may seem to be the best answer. Therefore, many of the teenage prostitutes that are found on the streets are victims of physical or sexual abuse; in their opinion, the only escape is to run away from home.


Excerpt out of 20 pages


The Effects of Prostitution on Girls’ Future in Post Conflict Liberia
A Case Study of Center Street Community
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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Effects, Prostituion, Girls, Future, Conflict, Libera
Quote paper
Julius T. Jaesen, II (Author), 2015, The Effects of Prostitution on Girls’ Future in Post Conflict Liberia, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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