The Childhood Abuse Myth

According to this highly informal survey of women coming to this site (about Internet dating), more than half have been molested as a child. Does this mean they’re all sex workers? According to popular myth, they should be. I’m guessing most aren’t.

This survey only means that women — as a group — suffer childhood sexual abuse. Since the majority of sex workers seem to be women, it stands to reason that many have abuse in their past too, just like any other woman. But it doesn’t mean only sex workers have such a history. If this casual, anonymous survey is to be believed, a lot of non-sex workers share the same history.

Obviously abuse does not have to lead to sex work.

8 Responses

  1. highly informal, yes, but still rather interesting to read through the results of the various surveys. Things like 67% of responders believe that adultery should be prosecuted in courts blow me away!

    http://www.womansavers.com/p_pollresults.asp?pID=29

  2. This leads me to believe this site depicts the feelings/experiences of the average American woman.

    Unless the average American woman also has sex work experience, all abuse victims obviously don’t become sex workers. BUT…if one wanted to believe that abuse creates sex workers, then this survey would lead one to believe that half the female population of the US has sex work experience.

    XX

  3. Good point, Amanda. I’ve noticed that when people talk about childhood abuse rates among sex workers, they often don’t compare these rates to people outside of the sex industry. What some people seem to forget is that there are also non sex workers who have experienced childhood abuse, so saying that childhood abuse causes people to enter the sex industry really doesn’t hold up when people don’t even compare this to childhood abuse rates of people outside of the sex industry.

  4. I’ve also noticed how prohibitionists such as Melissa Farley and Donna Hughes seem so focused on conflating sex work with childhood abuse and writing about how sex workers have experienced childhood abuse.
    Yet, have Hughes or Farley ever revealed whether they have experienced childhood abuse? If they’re going to conflate sex work with childhood abuse, ask sex workers if they’ve experienced such abuse, and then report on this, shouldn’t they also report whether they’ve experienced childhood abuse?
    Also, have they ever researched childhood abuse rates among prostitution prohibitionists such as themselves?

  5. SWA,

    I would LOVE for all the abolitionists to state their history of abuse (or lack of it). I would LOVE someone to gather statistics on that. Since they are so willing to probe into other’s pasts, they should be willing to take that first step and discuss their own.

    Probably won’t happen anytime soon, but it would be so good to know.

    XX

  6. That’s right, Amanda. People shouldn’t ask sex workers questions that they wouldn’t be willing to answer themselves.

  7. The abolitionist researcher types, Farley, Hughes, Raymond, see themselves as the rescuers thus above having to reveal their past. Instead in the case of Hughes of Raymond, they complain about how they have suffered because of “rescuing us”.

    Hughes blathered endlessly about how her career suffered because she “dedicated her career to prostituted women” and what kind of career she could have had if she had taken on another topic.

    Lest we forget Janice Raymond, Professorus Emeritus of Prostitutionus, in her diatribe about how she couldn’t even have her picture taken because of death threats, at an awards ceremony in which she was the recipient of some award in Glasgow, Scotland for her work on behalf of “us”. Poor professor…….

    How could these poor suffering academics have time to reveal their past when they are so busy rescuing and hiding from the vast “pro trafficking lobby”, whatever that is, that is terrorizing them and ruining their career. The only pro trafficking lobby I can think of in existence would be the guys that wash windshields in traffic. For them traffic is everything. If they have a lobbyist group one would have to assume it would be pro trafficking. Thus perhaps Madam’s Hughes, Farley, Raymond, etc, are being threatened by the street based windshield washer’s association and we don’t know about their travails?

    I’m constantly accused, as is reflected in my latest personal blog entry of receiving money from various pro trafficking lobbies,, Come on windshield washer type men, send me the money I am so often accused of receiving.

  8. […] The Childhood Abuse Myth « Bound, Not Gagged “According to this highly informal survey of women coming to this site (about Internet dating), more than half have been molested as a child. Does this mean they’re all sex workers? According to popular myth, they should be. I’m guessing most aren’t.” (tags: sexwork stereotypes abuse women) […]

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