Sex Trafficking Essay

1341 Words 6 Pages
“Safe and Sound,” or “Bought and Sold”: How Media is affecting the

Perceptions of Sex Trafficking in America

“Sex trafficking has become the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world.” Regardless of how dehumanizing, exploitative, and tortuous buying and selling human beings for the purpose of sex is, “Modern-day slavery is actually getting worst.” The Polaris Project is an organization that battles this problem day in and day out. Their webpage gives some insight on how young people get drawn into sex trafficking. After predators lure their victims in with false promises of love and money, “traffickers use violence, threats, lies, debt bondage [and] force men women and children to engage in commercial sex against their will.”

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Media is used for these purposes through news articles, the television, the internet, and even through music. Through these means the media is often used as the ultimate tool for constructing realities in order to gain a profit. With that said, information coming from the media cannot always be trusted, some of the fantasies that are entertained in television and movies are illegal, and some people can easily be found online working within an entirely different network devoted to recruiting victims for sex trafficking.

People can be drawn to this underground, over glorified subculture without ever leaving their homes. Media affects the perceptions people have about sex trafficking in three ways: by portraying pimps and prostitutes as prosperous, by desensitizing society to sex and violence, and by lending itself to be used as a portal to lure in
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In an article called, New Studies Says Teenage Girls Are Sexualized On Network Television Jill Pantozzi explains that whenever young women were presented in a sexually themed setting on television, the scenes were made out to be humorous.” Moreover, the media desensitizes avid viewers by helping them to become more comfortable with seeing sex and violence. In Plato’s “The Allegory of the cave,” The one who is dragged out into the light and out of the dark cave is said to experience ache, anxiety, and confusion before the one can adjust to the new reality they are now faced. Subsequently if the one were to go back into the cave their senses would have to readjust to the darkness. If the avid viewer only knows of sex and violence by what the media has taught, then they are essentially in “the cave.” If the media has repetitively portrayed sex and violence as humorous or sexy, than viewers who later learn that sex trafficking is a continuous problem America is facing might experience ache, anxiety, and confusion. But, they might reside comfortably back into their cave where sex and violence is again humorous or sexy. Examples of repetitive, desensitizing, images that portray sex and violence can be found in a presentation that was made by H.E.A.T Watch, for the "Freedom in Action" conference at UC Berkeley on March 8, 2014. Its focus was on the role

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