Who┤s paying for prostitutes?

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According to a new report, college-educated men with wives and girlfriends are the johns who frequent West and South Side prostitutes. Researchers at the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation interviewed 113 men who buy sex and reported that 79 per

Roughly 40 percent of the interviewees were Black, 36 percent were white, 14 percent were Latino, and the remaining were Asian or multicultural. The average age was 39. Most of the men, 83 percent, said that buying sex was an addiction, and about half said that they did it to obtain sex acts their partners would not perform.

Anal sex and oral sex were the most commonly cited. “I want to pay someone to do something a normal person wouldn’t do. To piss on someone or pay someone to do something degrading who is not my girlfriend,” one participant said. The average age for the first purchase of sex was 21 years old, with some men starting as young as 10. Only 22 percent reported feeling guilty or shameful when they purchased sex, and 43 percent said that a prostitute should do whatever a man asks, if he pays her.

“She gave up her rights when she accepted my money,” one participant said. Although they felt relatively guiltless about participating in prostitution, many men acknowledged that it was detrimental. Eighty percent said that prostitution had a negative impact on communities, and 42 percent said that it psychologically and physically damaged the women involved.

Ninetyfour percent said that they would not want their daughters to become prostitutes. “Getting beat up, robbed. Vaginal, stomach, back problems. Being stretched. It wears them out,” one participant said. “From prostitution comes drug involvement, pimps, and violent crime like battery and assault,” said another. The West Side, followed by the South Side, were the most popular locations to buy sex.

Thirty-four percent said they used the Internet to find women, 57 percent walked the streets, and 84 percent used indoor venues like bars, strip clubs and private parties. Close to 90 percent of interviewees said that some form of public exposure, like jail time, would deter them from buying sex. Sixty percent said that men under 18 should not follow in their footsteps. “Learn to trust and love a woman first.

“If you start out thinking of a woman as a sexual tool, you always will think of her as a sexual tool,” one participant said.

______ Copyright 2008 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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