Demand for Children

child - image courtesy of Alf-Marty from Pixabay
image courtesy of Alf-Marty from Pixabay

Sex tourists are individuals who enter sexually exploitative relationships with local women, men, and/or children while traveling for leisure purposes (O’Connell Davidson, 1996, p. 5).

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Pedophiles and preferential child abusers often elect to do business in a foreign country to have easy access to their sexual interests at a low cost and in comparative safety (O’Connell Davidson, 1996, p. 5)

Although most sex tourists are heterosexual men; some sex tourists are female. The age range of the sex tourists are from 18 to 80. In many resort areas, sex tourists represent the major source of demands for prostitution. The selection of a destination is based exclusively on the knowledge that they will have sexual access to children relatively cheaply, easily, and safely. Many sex tourists have very specific “radicalized” sexual fantasies. They travel to secure cheap, easy, and/ or safe sexual access to “Oriental” Asian, Black, or Latino women, men, and/or children. The sexual exploitation of local people is the central focus of their holiday in just the same way that skiing is the primary leisure activity pursued by those who take skiing holidays (O’Connell Davidson, 1996, 5).

A 1985 study estimates that between 70 and 80 percent of the men who visited Thailand were from Asia, Australia, Japan, the United States, and Western Europe (Chon, Singh, & Mikula, 1993). They traveled to Thailand expressly for sexual entertainment.

Barrett also informs us that there is some local demand from Africa, South and Latin America, and Eastern Europe, but “a major contributory factor in the growth of this exploitation is the increasing number of visitors from Europe, Australia, Japan, and North America.”

Demand from more affluent consumers can act to “legitimize” commercial child sex abuse in some countries and increase the profit margins of those involved in procuring and selling the children involved (Barrett, 1998, 11). In the Dominican Republic, sex tourists include heterosexual and homosexual men and women of different nationalities, social classes, ages, marital status, and race. The vast majority, however, are white heterosexual males (Davidson& Taylor, 1995, 15).

Not every sex tourist is interested in children; however, a UNICEF survey found that “child prostitutes in the cities of Santo Domingo and Santiago (Dominican Republic) reported between 20 and 30 percent of their clients to be tourists, while in tourist areas between 60 percent (Sousa) and 80 percent (Boca Chica) of clients were tourists” (Davidson & Taylor, 1995, 15). Doing the math on these statistics, Davidson & Taylor determined that “500 under-age prostitutes work in Boca Chia, each turning an average of two tricks a week. This would mean that children in Boca Chica turned a weekly total of 1,000 tricks, 80 percent were purchased by tourists. Annually this means that tourists enter into some 41,600 sexual transactions with underage prostitutes in Boca Chia (Davidson & Taylor, 1995, 16).

The demand is for children under the age of twelve, or even ten (Wallace, 1994). The buyers believe that sex with children will give them longevity. It is also a belief that younger children will reduce the risk of AIDS (Robinson, L., 1993, p. 3). Some perpetrators believe that sex with a virgin or a child cures venereal disease; many pimps represent their child prostitutes as virgins (Klothen, 1994). Some perpetrators operate under the mistaken belief that sex with a child leads to male longevity (Hermann & Jupp, 1988, 144-134). “Deflowering a virgin is said to increase virility” (Robinson, L., 1993, p. 2).

“Girls and boys as young as eight years old are purchased for their sexual services (Mirkinson, 1997/98, p.3). The Economist reports that child prostitutes are visited by “10-12 million men every week” (Fighting Child Sex, 1996, p. 2).

© Dr. Elinor Garely. This copyright article, including photos, may not be reproduced without written permission from the author.

This is a multiple-part series. Read previous articles below.

INTRODUCTION

PART 1

PART 2

Stay tuned for article 4.

WHAT TO TAKE AWAY FROM THIS ARTICLE:

  • Pedophiles and preferential child abusers often elect to do business in a foreign country to have easy access to their sexual interests at a low cost and in comparative safety (O'Connell Davidson, 1996, p.
  • Barrett also informs us that there is some local demand from Africa, South and Latin America, and Eastern Europe, but “a major contributory factor in the growth of this exploitation is the increasing number of visitors from Europe, Australia, Japan, and North America.
  • The sexual exploitation of local people is the central focus of their holiday in just the same way that skiing is the primary leisure activity pursued by those who take skiing holidays (O'Connell Davidson, 1996, 5).

About the author

Avatar of Dr. Elinor Garely - special to eTN and editor in chief, wines.travel

Dr. Elinor Garely - special to eTN and editor in chief, wines.travel

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