In continued news that shouldn’t surprise anyone:
For years, the sex trade was “their” problem, a heinous part of culture in poorer nations. But attention here to sex trafficking has slowly increased in recent years with the reauthorization of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act and other federal state laws.
Still, males remain a largely invisible population within the dialogue on sex trafficking. According to a 2008 study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, in fact, boys comprised about 50 percent of sexually exploited children in a sample study done in New York, with most being domestic victims.
However, the percentage of male victims may be higher due to the underreported and subversive nature of the crime, said Summar Ghias, program specialist for the Chicago-based International Organization for Adolescents.
“We’re conditioned as a community to identify female victims more readily,” she said, “because that has been the more prominent focus of the anti-trafficking movement…
“When people think about male prostitution, they think of it as gay phenomena, that [the boys] are in control of what they’re doing,” Pricopio said. “They don’t see them as victims … It’s not an issue of sexual orientation, it’s an issue of right circumstances which bring you to exploitation or the vulnerability that brings you into being sexually exploited.”
Men and women are treated differently: we refuse to see men as victims, and have virtually no interest as a society in restoring them to decency. Some might suggest that it’s because men run things, and they naturally show less sympathy towards each other than they would women. But that’s beside the point – in a society that claims to strive to provide sustenance for the downtrodden, where do men fit in? Often, it seems like they don’t.
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