POLICY PRIORITY
Normalization of the Sex Trade
The normalization of the sex trade emboldens buyers to enter the market and increases trafficking to meet the demand for commercial sex.

Likeability & Objectification Conflict With

EMPOWERMENT & AGENCY

Alisa Bernard, Thistle Farms Director of Public Policy & Advocacy


In Popular Media

Body positivity is important, but has it equated being positive about our bodies with being positive about the sex trade? The sex trade objectifies rather than empowers. 

Mass media and entertainment continue to portray women and young girls as sexualized objects. A study examining the top 10 TV shows directed to white and Latina girls found that the female cast members were portrayed in a sexualized manner 75% of their screen time.³

Another study found that in 52% of magazine advertisements and 59% of music videos, women are portrayed as sexualized entities.

It seems that no matter where women and girls turn, they are confronted with hyper-sexualized, objectified, and unrealistically unattainable images.

In Pornography

Pornography (digital exploitation) itself is a form of exploitation and while many in pornography are directly harmed by the images taken of them and the acts inflicted upon them, it also promotes the objectification and sexualization of women and girls by those who view it.

Pornography doesn’t just harm the people exploited in it. Pornography is often acted out within prostitution transactions, where buyers demand the prostituted people they’ve purchased perform actions they’ve seen in pornography. Even sex buyers treatment and perception of prostituted people is indicative of how they’ve been conditioned to objectify them.

Listening To Survivors

This is a business built on brokenness. Everyone involved in the sex trade— victims, buyers, and pimps— are broken, hopelessly seeking to feel something affirming in a world built on objectification.

Rachel Thomas, worldwithoutexploitation.org

In this day and age, it’s a shame that in the U.S. a human being can still be bought, sold, or traded at a price. We are a land of the free, except for those ‘others’ who are being sacrificed for the sole purpose of adult sexual satisfaction and what the U.S. calls ‘adult entertainment.’ The abuse and violence inflicted on a person’s child is acceptable as long as someone is willing to pay the price for this exploitation. This should not exist! We need to stop justifying and minimizing it now!

Joy Friedman, thenewabolitionists.com

Prostitution and trafficking are human rights issues, the core of which stems from not understanding our own worth as well as the lack of value society places on women. Prostitution is slavery. No little girl aspires to sell herself for sex. Girls have learned that their worth is tied into one aspect of themselves – their bodies. It produces a false sense of empowerment.

Susan Johnson, thenewabolitionists.com

All across the spectrum from mainstream magazine covers to high-end cocktail bars to porn videos, women are objectified and commoditized. This will change primarily through the empowerment of women and girls—through their insistence on a different world—but it won’t change fast enough, or thoroughly enough, until more and more men renounce the dominant culture—and do it visibly.

Gara Lamarche, thenewabolitionists.com

Human trafficking has devastated our society for centuries and the demand for sex fuels its burning fire, which is void of humanity as it swallows up true economic equality and individual self-worth. The adult industry is the platform being used today that tells our culture it is acceptable to view our sons and daughters as products rather than persons of real value.

Marjorie Saylor, thenewabolitionists.com

ROOT FACTORS TO NORMALIZATION ARE NOT INEVITABLE

We stand against these oppressions by supporting initiatives that:

Holding holding internet service providers accountable for promoting sexualized violence.
Making it easier to remove pornography that was posted without consent.
Primary prevention programs that teach young girls to become empowered women and young boys to become good men.

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Education Resources

View all
Texas Attorney General Investigates TikTok for Potential Child Privacy Violations and Facilitation of Human Trafficking
 The CIDs request that TikTok describe its content review practices, including the company’s procedures for identifying and removing content for child safety purposes.
The Evolution of Human Trafficking During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated human lives, the global economy, and educational systems. Given the enormous financial hardship on families, the mass movement of people, and the closing of schools, the risks of human trafficking have increased. In this environment, multidisciplinary interventions coupled with innovation, technology, and entrepreneurial thinking must remain a priority.
Remembering the Murdered Women Erased by the Pro-Sex Work Agenda

Mellory, Suzie, Anna, and Sky. Say their names. Their lives matter. And they were viciously murdered by johns in a country where prostitution is being normalized.