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Cultural impact of prostitution

Prostitution is the selling of sex for money. Male or female does it either. A person involved in sex as a profession is called a prostitute. The honorific word for a prostitute is “sex worker”. Generally, there is fixed area and a single owner under whom the prostitutes sell their body. It is usual that the owner of the sex house gets higher benefits than, the prostitutes themselves. A person interested in sex goes to the sex house and involves in sexual intercourse by paying a certain amount of money. Prostitution indeed has both negative and positive connotation in the 21st century in accordance with varying cultures and traditions.

Prostitution has been in practice for a long time. In almost all the civilization, there is some trace of prostitution in one way or the other. Sometimes it is also regarded that prostitution is the oldest occupation taken for earning money. Right from the civilization of Greece or even before, prostitution exists until the present era. A few countries like Thailand and Holland have legalized prostitution while a junk of many countries still takes it as illegal, immoral and unethical. However, we cannot neglect the fact that prostitutes are selling sex either legally or illegally all over the world. This sex trade is flourishing in underdeveloped and developing countries due to the poor economic condition of the people. For instance, many NGOs and INGOs have reported that thousands of young girls of Nepal and Bangladesh are traded all the way to Bombay of India for the prostitution.  

In the context of Nepal, there is evidence of prostitution, though it is illegal. Badis, Jhumas and Deukis people in western Nepal are working as prostitutes for their survival. Prostitution is found in the major tourist destinations and at junctions of major highways fulfilling the sexual desire of tourists, drivers and sometimes the passengers. In the case of Kathmandu, prostitution is flourishing mainly around Thamel, which is also the major tourist area in the country.

Culture is the way of life. Therefore, it is obvious that prostitution has a huge impact on culture. Since Nepal is predominantly a nation of Hindus, prostitution is going to have negative consequence than the positive ones. Still, we cannot neglect the fact that prostitution has contributed a lot in sex tourism in the countries like Thailand that has ultimately boosted the tourism industry as a whole. If prostitution is legalized in some specific areas, it will surely help sex tourism with less impact on culture. Nevertheless, we should never forget that there are millions of alternatives for promoting tourism in Nepal apart from sex tourism. Taking prostitution strictly from the cultural point of view, it will definitely affect our social values in an adverse manner.

It is also true that prostitution is rather a compulsion than a desire. Hardly a few people adopt prostitution as their own interest. Poverty is the root cause of all this. A hungry stomach does not count ethics.