Academic journal article Madhya Pradesh Journal of Social Sciences

Males' Role-Relations in the Life of Female Sex Workers

Academic journal article Madhya Pradesh Journal of Social Sciences

Males' Role-Relations in the Life of Female Sex Workers

Article excerpt

Historically, prostitution, an age-old and stigmatised profession, has sucked the female of different ages due to diversified reasons where the poor economy is the main factor. But in all cases the male's deceived role has taken the significant role for their situation and it is well known to almost every body to the society. So, the male is the cause of the entrance of females in the trade. They are also serving the sexual needs of the males. The males are closely attached with the females in many ways through out the life of a sex worker. This situation has been described in the paper to specify the relation of male with a female sex worker.


The primordial division between the sexes in all societies is clothed in cultural values that normalise the relationship of the sexual/genetic reproduction by social reproduction. The complimentarity or inequality of gender relationship is culture specific. But the subordination of women by men for sexual exploitation arose at a specific stages of history of development of market and subjugation through warfare creating a "gender specific phenomena" (Howrad, L.A. 2003) unique to stratified society. Male's dominance in domestic market or state system is mediated by social structure. The pattern of dominance is also not uniform everywhere. In tribal societies the male-female relationship is more complimentary than in non-tribal societies where the relationship is often unabashedly dominantly subservient in nature.

In each of the layer of interaction the pattern of role relationship, rights and responsibilities, authority and dominance receive its receipts from the ideologies of the concerned societies but at the same time leave enough room for flexibilities to adjust to the unforeseen situation.

One way of looking at the relationship between the sexes is to look at it through the prism of socio-biology wherein the relationship of males' dominance is explained evolutionary in terms. The biological necessity and concern of protecting the children creates an indelible bond between the mother and her offspring. But the systems of prostitution--a social construction invented by males--provide scope to males to inflict their masculinity on female sexuality. As Meillasoux (1986) point out that in prostitution relationship can be had on 'strict short individual bilateral bases, without further social implication' (p. 19). The opposites of the prostitutes are the virgins. But they too have privileges, not the identity as a women is broken down into several constituent pieces (Dworkin, 1994) leaving her sexualised body dangling in the market that can be ruthlessly exploited. At each of these existences of the females in prostitution market from the point of her entry to her journey through several stages of her stigmatised existence the males contrive a situation through which she can be subjugated and exploited for pleasure leaving her rootless and homeless.

Prostitution is 'a gender-specific phenomenon'; the overwhelming majority of the victims are women and girls, while perpetrators are invariably 'men' (Howrad, 2003). The root cause of demand of prostitution is men. The male maintains the power over women (Dworkin, 1994). So in their various stages of development the women are victims of gender baisedness, inequality and injustice. The poor economy, unstable marriage, high rate of illegitimacy and their distressed family life are consequently the crucial factors to push them into low skilled and well paid profession of sex trade in spite of the stigma and danger attached to the work from their ordinary life. So, in the 'culture of poverty' for unskilled, often illiterate women whose lives are a struggle for survival, sex trade is a way of economic alternative (Lewis, 1965).

In studies on the problem of prostitution the roles of female sex workers occupy a prominent place and rivet our attention. The males are, on the other hand, usually depicted as clients or in relationship that are only of secondary importance in the context of prostitution's central concern. …

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