2 Law & Ineq. 609 (1984)
Prostitutes: Victims of Men's Exploitation and Abuse

handle is hein.journals/lieq2 and id is 615 raw text is: Prostitutes: Victims of Men's Exploitation
and Abuse
Nancy Erbe*
I. Introduction
Some girls will die for money.
Some will die as they're born.
Some will swear they'd die for love.
Some die every morn.1
Most analyses of prostitution2 focus on whether prostitu-
tion should be decriminalized or legalized.3 These analyses fre-
quently conclude that prostitution is a victimless crime,4 and
that the state should not intervene in prostitution.5 Prostitu-
tion is not a victimless crime. Essentially, prostitution is the
economic exploitation and sexual abuse of prostitutes by men.
Customers, pimps, police, and many other men exploit and
abuse prostitutes.6 Prostitutes are the victims of prostitution.
* Nancy Erbe is a J.D. candidate at the University of Minnesota. Prior to
attending law school, Ms. Erbe advocated women's and girls' needs through the
development and management of holistic health programs. These programs in-
cluded the areas of sexuality, drug abuse, and family violence, and emphasized
building self-esteem, and building relationship and decision-making skills. She
also developed and managed leadership training, career education, and commu-
nity action programs for women and girls, and volunteered as a probation of-
ficer for low-risk felons.
1. Peter, Paul, and Mary, No Other Name, Album 1700 (record album).
2. Prostitutes are almost exclusively women. Karen Rosenblum, Female
Deviance and the Female Sex Role: A Preliminary Investigation, 26 British J.
of Soc. 169 (1975). For this paper's purposes, prostitution is a male customer
buying sex from a female prostitute. All data used in this paper is from studies
of female prostitutes and male customers.
3. See, e.g., Mary Farmer, Donn Kessler, Lawrence Rosenfeld, A Proposal
for the Legalization of Prostitution in Connecticut, 49 Conn. B.J. 163 (1975).
Marilyn Haft, Hustling for Rights, 1974 Civ. Lib. Rev. 8-26. Therese Wandling,
Decriminalization of Prostitution: The Limits of the Criminal Law, 55 Or. L.
Rev. 553-66 (1976). Decriminalization means the repeal of all laws which make
prostitutes' behavior illegal. Legalization means substitution of another set of
state regulations. State-regulated prostitution would be legal.
4. Farmer, supra note 3, at 163. Haft, supra note 3, at 8-26. Wandling,
supra note 3, at 533-66.
5. Farmer, supra note 3, at 163. Haft, supra note 3, at 8-26. Wandling,
supra note 3, at 533-66.
6. Mimi Silbert & Ayala Pines, Occupational Hazards of Street Prostitutes,
8 Criminal Justice and Behavior 397 (1981). Freda Adler & Rita James Simon,

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