Sociology of crime and deviance explains the violation of social norms in the society by the individual indulgence to specific activities that are against the societal expectations. The deviance and abuse of the social norm are termed criminal. In our current societal settings, individuals break some social standards and regulations meant to protect the smooth running of the society. One primary norm broken by individuals especially the females in the community is the violation of dignity and sex. In a standard societal setting, sex is for married and adult people, and its sole purpose is for enjoyment and procreation. In the society today, people violate this norm to the extent that it has now become a part of the community. Sex workers have continued to increase despite the awareness created by the societal components to reduce and discourage people from indulging in commercial sex work. This is due to the risk of attracting diseases like STI's and HIV. As a result, some legal and social laws and conditions are in place to regulate this increase. Therefore, these social and legal conditions have influenced the social worker in negative and positive ways (Weeks, 2014).
Impact of Social Conditions on Sex Workers
On the onset of the commercial sex work, the society was completely against the move and considered individuals who indulged in such kind of business dirty and evil. An example of a societal entity that viewed sex workers as evil and unwanted in the society were the churches that biblically stood against this kind of activity. In their defense, commercial sex work was unholy and violated the body that was a representation of the temple of God. However, the church did not consider the economic aspect and how individuals who in most cases were unemployed; would satisfy, and meet the households needs. In some instances, orphaned children at a very young age, they opt to drop out from school and engage in this kind of work to provide for their siblings and themselves. Sex workers were unwanted, in most cases used in the society as bad examples and in the societal view were not fit to live with others. As a result, this affected the social workers negatively since they were not able to explain and justify themselves and to enjoy the freedom and rights other normal human beings enjoyed (Kerrigan, Fonner, Stromdahl & Kennedy, 2013).
Another impact of the societal condition on the sex workers is that it views sex workers as the main reason for the breakage of marriages in the society. The society relates the rise in sex work activities to the increasing rate broke marriages. Marriages break due to cheating by a partner, and in most cases, with a sex worker. The society has also prejudiced the females in this area since the women are the majority in the sex industry. This notion paints the image of the girl child negatively in the society besides that of the sex workers. Sex workers found in broad daylight by the community faces rough and embarrassing ordeals that are against the human rights. In most cases, the community implicated the female or the provider of the service and exempting the client. This unfair treatment of the sex workers made them have the low self-esteem of themselves and operate like criminals. The society justified their actions by viewing sex workers evil since they participated in the degradation of the moral standards of the community and portraying a bad image to the young children (Kovner, 2012).
The society in general up to date has not given a clean bill of health to a sex worker. Despite hard economic times in the country, it has maintained its stand concerning commercial sex work and termed it as a form of human trafficking. However, it does not stop the rising number of sex workers in America and its neighbors; especially in Mexico, that has the largest population of sex workers (Decker, McCauley, Phuengsamran, Janyam, Seage, & Silverman, 2010).
Impact of Legal Conditions on Sex Workers
Every aspect of the society was against the commercial sex activity. Sex workers in most cases found themselves on the wrong side of the law in their line of duty. In the beginning, the authorities mistook them to be criminals who were waiting to rob or steal from people. However, this notion changed with time when they began to echo their voices against unfair societal treatment (Shannon & Csete, 2010). Therefore, the sex workers began to form and register their sex organization and movements with the aid of the human rights departments. Despite the outrage from the public, the sex workers even promised to legalize and push for registration of sex activities as a legal and formal job that obliged them to pay tax. An example is Mexico that has the most extensive organization of sex workers that addresses their issues. A vivid example is the Global Network of Sex Work Projects that is a coalition of commercial sex workers and has a secretariat in Scotland (Sullivan, 2010).
The legal condition continues to protect sex workers and their activities through the establishment of several human rights entities that address the problems facing the commercial sex workers and other issues like HIV. Some of these issues include the right to health that Universal Declaration of Human Rights enshrines protection of their work enshrined by the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights that eliminates all forms of discriminations against the sex workers. Sex workers, therefore, have enjoyed legal protection and coverage of their issues (Decker, Crago, Chu, Sherman, Seshu, Buthelezi & Beyrer, 2015). Establishment and creation of organizations that protect the rights of the health workers have made the sex workers to increase and join such movements. Economically, the legal framework and conditions allow commercial sex work as long as it generates revenue that in turn reduces the number of unemployment and increases the national GDP. The organizations pay registration and tax fees on behalf of their customers that act as an income and revenue generator to the country (Decker et al, 2015).
The national budgets, through the legal framework, have included sex workers in the budgeting. In every financial year, the American government allocates money for the purchase and distribution condoms to sex workers in to prevent increasing rates of HIV in the third world and other neighboring countries. Protection of sex workers against human rights violation by the legal stipulations has continued to favor sex workers in the society by restoring their dignity and the societal view of their work. Most of the individuals who join the sex business aim at generating income for household purposes. As a result, the society has continued to accept the sex workers slowly following the high numbers of unemployment (Ross, Crisp, Mansson & Hawkes, 2012).
Decker, M. R., Crago, A. L., Chu, S. K., Sherman, S. G., Seshu, M. S., Buthelezi, K., ... & Beyrer, C. (2015). Human rights violations against sex workers: burden and effect on HIV. The Lancet, 385(9963), 186-199.
Decker, M. R., McCauley, H. L., Phuengsamran, D., Janyam, S., Seage, G. R., & Silverman, J. G. (2010). Violence victimisation, sexual risk and sexually transmitted infection symptoms among female sex workers in Thailand. Sexually transmitted infections, 86(3), 236-240
Kerrigan, D. L., Fonner, V. A., Stromdahl, S., & Kennedy, C. E. (2013). Community empowerment among female sex workers is an effective HIV prevention intervention: a systematic review of the peer-reviewed evidence from low-and middle-income countries. AIDS and Behavior, 17(6), 1926-1940.
Kovner, S. (2012). Occupying power: Sex workers and servicemen in postwar Japan. Stanford University Press.Ross, M. W., Crisp, B. R., Mansson, S. A., & Hawkes, S. (2012). Occupational health and safety among commercial sex workers. Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health, 105-119.Shannon, K., & Csete, J. (2010). Violence, condom negotiation, and HIV/STI risk among sex workers. Jama, 304(5), 573-574.
Sullivan, B. (2010). When (some) prostitution is legal: the impact of law reform on sex work in Australia. Journal of law and society, 37(1), 85-104..Weeks, J. (2014). Sex, politics and society: The regulations of sexuality since 1800. Routledge.
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