Sex Tourism in Thailand

*Sirillhen Dabphet

A Lonely Planet global survey of 7500 travellers from 134 countries found ' Thailand is one of the top five tourist destinations in Southeast ~ s i a . 1hailand has been voted the most popular holiday destination for younger travellers and it ranks second behind Italy as a world wide favourite.* Tourist attractions in Thailand include the cultural sights of Bangkok, the resorts of Pattaya and Phuket, which can offer tourists tropical forest, dazzling beaches, coral reefs and well-known Thai cuisine. However, Thailand has been involved with a kind of tourisnr called the international sex tourism. The relationship between tourism and ex can be activities described as "the seeking of romance as perhaps a precursor to sexl~al play as motivators for travel; the nature of the encounter and the rol? played by tourism as facilitators of romantic and sexual "consisting of people from


Sex tourism is defined as nations t~ avelling to

economically developed

underdeveloped countries 'specifically to purchase the sexual services of local women [and men], it embraces a far broader range of people, a1:tivities and

People travel for many reasons and sex is one of the main travel motivations and it is a major component of international travel to Southeast Asiq especially

hail and.^ The number of international tourist arrivals to Thailand is more male than
female tourist. From January to September 2003 the number of interna-ional tourist arrivals was 8,832,478


The statistics cannot be shown how nuch of the

"it percentage constitutes tourists who come for sexual services. Neverth~?less, the high male sex ratio is associated with sex tourism, then the trend i*; increasing

*Department of History, Naresuan University Chan. Y.M, "Forecasting Tourism: a sine wave time series regression approach", Jozrrnol of7 6.nvel Reserrrch Fall, p. 58-60 mX newspaper, 15 January 2004, p. 2 3 Baure, T. & McKercher. B. (eds), Sex and Tourism: Journeys ofRomance, Love, and L~ist, c Haworth Tk Hospitality Press, New York, 2003, p. 5 Enloe, C., Bananas, Beaches & Bases: makingfeminist sense of infer national politic.^, Univer ,ity of California Press, Berkeley, 1990, p. 36 5 Hall, M., "Tourism Prostitution: The control and health implications of sex tourism in South-I nst Asia and Australia", Health and the international touris,, Routledge, London, 1996, p. 180


the relationship between tourism and sexual activity is either positive or a innocuous. This may occur by chance as ir the case of the shipboard romance or more deliberately by design. 10 0 Kane. England. by 1964. 'why male travelers choose Thailand as a sex tour destination? Tourism and Sex Industry in Thailand When people travel away from home. Soldfor Sex. T. sexual activities such as honeymoons. (eds). or of individuals joining a singles tour hoping to meet someone are all acceptable reasons to travel. Mondy and Morality. religious experience and cultural er richment or want to get away from their everyday routines. 2003. the tourists' urge to experience novelty may include seeking out romantic and sexual oppo tunities that may not be available to them at home. Tlie Haworth Hospitality Press. Love. after the United States had established seven bases in Thailand. New Jersey.. B.'' There were 20.University of Hawai'i Press. Tourism and the sex industry have been recognised as a com~onent the of touristic attractiveness of several countries in Southeast Asia. xii 8 . Sex. they seek the unusiral and the different.000 prostitutes in 1957. Arena Ashgate Publishing Limited. there is also a dark side if tourism and sexual activities focus on commercial sex tourism. HI. na~ional Identit). Zed Books Ltd. T. Sex and Borders: Gender. as well as to the urban centers.. p. L. Tourism plays an important role to offer a liminal environment away from the constrair ts of home. 2003. New York. which reduces inhibitions and provides increased opportunities for sex. The mair reason was American and other troops stationed in this area in the sixties and se~enties drove up the demand for prostitutes and helped to create a market after they had gone home with stories of exotic women. The destination may be an influential factor for travel. Sex and Tourism: Journeys ofRomance. Apart from seeking to ~ i e w exciting natural scenery and visiting manifestations of exotic cultures. W )men mainly from the poorer provinces in the northeast and from the north of Thailand began to migrate to the areas outside American air bases. 173 Baure. 1998. J. and Lzrsr. p. 1990. p.rather than decreasing1" This essay will consider the question. However. Truong. In most cases. Some seek adventure. the romantic weekends of ccuples.' Thus. 6 10 Jeffrey. & McKercher. and Prostitution Policy in Thailar {I.g Sex tourism in Southeast Asia dates back at least as far as the 'Jietnam War when there was prostitution associated with the American military. where soldiers enjoyed rest and recreation leave.A. p..

international tourism agencies often advertise their trips to Thailand with references to he "exotic" women of Thailand. p.'~ Prostitution in Thailand is promoted by word of mouth and through a variety of media throughout the developed countries. p. the Vietnam War provided for "[injecting] some $16 million into the Thai economy annually..000. R. prostitution had existed in Thailand long before t'ie country became a popular destination of sex tourism. T.13 Economically. p. 1990. Sex. John Mur~y. "Death in the Candy Store". which the soldiers themselves called 'intercourse and ntoxication (1&1)'. cited in ISIS International Bulletin.that number had skyrocketed to 400. government tourism promotion also draws upon the sexualized image of Thai women to boost tourism numbers. new brothels and ago-go bars sprang up rapidly. This was money that tourism would replac:e after the war was over. The growth of tourism in Asia during the 1970s and 1980s mas a boom period for the sex industry. "Thailand: The dynamic growth of Thai tourism"."14 When the American military forces pulled out of Vietnam in the early 1970s. many entertainment businesses saw tourism as an opoortunity to expand. For instance. A. Zed Books Ltd. Thailand The Lotus Kingdom. p. it was only with the Vietnaln War that the number of women involved became an issue of wide public concert. This was the real beginning of the extensive practice of prostitution in this country. T.. Cassell Imprint. November 28. 1991.. W. 67 " Li. Thailand began to be mentioned as a 'sexual paradise' since then. Rolling Stone. London. little slaves wlio give real Thai warmth"" Not only did international tourism agencies promote sex tours in Thailand through tourists. & Zhang. 1990. 178 17 Truong.ibilities are unlimited. cited in ISIS International Bulletin. England. N e v Jersey. To meet the demand for prostitutes. February 1985. Money and Moralip. Money and Morality.66-67 15 Shearer. a survey in 1980 show?d that the number of bars. 1997. Tourism and Econom Developjnenf in Asia andAustralasia... clubs and disguised brothels in Bangkok alone had grown to 977. The number of girls in the city involved in prostitution including free-l jncers was reckoned to be about 200. 178 " II . the Thai governme~t agreed to provide 'rest and recreation (R&R)' services to American servicemen during the Vietnam War. 34 Ibid. p. p.12 Although. L.. "Thailand is a world full of extremes and the pos6. 1989..'' In 1967.000. The Progressive.especially when it comes to girls"'" 'you can get the feeling that taking a girl here is as easy as buying a package of cigarettes . Even in business ma!gazines and advertisements proffered by official Thai organizations still use of sexual and Gay. 288 14 Rhodes. Zed Books Ltd. For instance.. p. 105 16 Truong. "The 'Patriotic Prostitute". Sex. J. N e v Jersey.

London. Some come regularly to see a particular woman they have established a relationship with. what they are looking for and why they think they can find it in Thailand and not in their own country. media exposure about sex tourism with usually fscusing on tourism prostitution in Thailand and the sex tourism industry has been clbscured in the public by the growing awareness of number of women from Thailand working in the prostitution industry. Monafv and Moralig~. HI. England. p.. W. Health and the interna~ional touri. "Some say it's our beautiful wide-bodied DC-10s that cause so many heads to turn at airports throughout the world. there is also a culture amorlgst some Jeffrey. Nevertheless. One major reason why male tourists choose Thailanll as a sex destination is because they believe it is easily available in Thailard with its reputation in this respect. 1997. Sex and Borders: Gender. Thai lllternational Airline.. 1 8 9 . Sex. 24. but men do travel to Thailand specifically for the purpose of sex. for one is known to use female sexual allure in its advertising: ' Smooth as silk is a beautifully prepared meal served by a delicious hostess". it is available in enough places and enough kinds of places at a low price to confirm that Thailand is recognized as the 'sex capital of the east'.\. 2003. "Thailand: The dynamic growth of Thai tourism". Cassell Imprint. o Thailand are sex tourists. or to put it another way it has been stigmz tized. Although.78 cited in Truong. Routledge. L.20 The following questions deserve to be asked: why they do come to Thailand.sexualized images to sell products is a worldwide phenomenon. Tourists visit entertainment places which provide sexual service5 are not necessarily sex tourists. 18 August 1989. has helped to breed the reality. it could be argued that Thailand's association is of a more sordid kind. Paris and romantic love.A. cited in Bangkok Post. for instance. We think our beautiful slim-bodied hostesses have a lot to do with itv1' In recent years.. L. New Sersey. sex is not sold everywhere in Thailand. This kind of group is difficult to identify since 'sex tours' are officially 3anned by tourist organizations. 179 l 9 Li. Just as other destinations have acquired certain positive associations. Zecl Books Ltd. 1 lniversity of Hawai'i Press. "Tourism Prostitution: The control and ~calth implications of sex tourism in South-East Asia and Australia". p. 288 20 Hall. & Zhang. Tourism and Economic )evelopmen/ in Asia and Australasia. Others are in search of love or someth~ngexotic. p. p. T. national Identity and Prostitution Policy in Thailand.. 1996. It would appear that there are several kinds of sex tourists. The reality breeds the image and the image. M. p. in turn.lg Not all travelers . 1990. Somf?come for an orgiastic few days.

so they act more recklessly. 5 25 Douglas.. (eds). p. 1994. 1 12 27 Jeffrey. p. J. NY.27Also women stand in a different relation to the nation than co men in a social relation of gender power in Thai society. L.28" In Thailand.25 The other reason is woman's status in Thailand has been traditionally low. women cannot be ordained as monks because it is related to female sexual misbehavior but not with riale sexual behavior.26For example. xi 28 Ibid. 200 1. 200 1.29 For instance. ChildProsfitutiona n d S e . S. p. USA. B. p. 2 22 Seabrook. sincerity and honesty. University of Hawai'i Press. Modern Babylon?: Prostitziting Children in Thailand.John Wiley & Sons. & Hall. Transnational Prostitution: Changing Patterns in a Global Context. p. 20 July.A. & Pattanaik.. Berghahn Books. The interpretation of Buddhist morality does not carry the same moral weight for Thai men as Thai women. women are supposed to be chaste until marriage and monogamous afterward. Pluto Press. Special interest fozrrism." "Western men need more than sexual services from Thai sex workers. They loo'( for loving care. The blame is again placed on the Thai women. "These men find themselves not only with untold economic power. A Royal Proclamation in The law of Three Seals stated that "a good wornan should not let more than one man gain access to her body"30In Thai society. UK. 2003. many men search for something more than sex. Travels In The Skin Trade. 12 OIConnell.. 2002. 1991 . which are not part of this power game and which they certainly do not expect in their home countries. who dare to make them realize the reality of the prostitution business. 50 30 Montgomery. V.. (eds).. good women Thorbek. USA. J..western countries of feeling less inhibited and being allowed more fun when they travel overseas."24 This makes assumptions about the -elationship between the sex tourist and prostitute in a recognition that the reality of !.39 1 26 Montgomery. H. Sex and Borders: Gender. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 1992. (eds). & Douglas N. 1 13 21 " " . HI. p. Tourism A Gender Analysis. p. N. Modern Babylon?: Prostitzrting Children in Thailand. This can be seen from the view of religion. 1996. p. t h ~ y also find themselves 'spoilt for choice'. England. The relationship between tourists and prostitutes can be definec as "openended" relationship.viii 23 Kinnaird. p.."22 The relationship between traveler and host in a tourist country IS a factor. p. Buddhism is the official statct religion in Thailand. Zed Books. "The social relations of the tourist focused on the different class positio i s of those who could be tourists and those who are only in a position to serve the tourist"23 Also the relationship between the sex tourist and the sex industry is so complex.J.. H. 200 1. ~ fourism Thailand. xxi Newsweek. national ldentity and Prostitution Policy in Thcr~land. & Sanchez. D. Berghahn Books. Qld. ECPAT. Men are supposed to be promiscuous. USA.ex tourism lies somewhere in between.

R. London . (ed.39.). Sex for Sale. Routledge. Weitzer.

Montgomery... Routledge. John Murry. Berghahn Books. Zed Books. Zed Books Ltd. August 199:: . London. VanLandingham. NY. Sex. C. EC PAT. Cassell Imprint.. Sex Tourism: hlarginal people and Liminalities. England. Modern Babylon?: Prostituting Children in] 31.. Sex. Sorajjakool. U K. Tourism Authority of Thailand [http://www. & Zhang. USA. J. 1992 32. Travels In The Skin Trade. & Pattanaik. & Hall. New Jersey. The Haworth Press Inc. 2001. Qu.. cited in lSlS International Bulletin. Li. 2002 34. Child Prostitution in Thailand: Listening to Rahab. The Nation. B." Demography. Shearer. Souveni~Pree. M.or. Skrobanek. 19 $0 38...18. 1993 33. R.. 15 January 2004 21. Thorbek. L.Thailand's Ladyboys. Number 3. Zed Books Ltd. London. & Zhang. Sex Tourism: Marginal people and liminalities. 19920'Connell. Truong. S. & Sanchez. R. Ryan.. H. mX newspaper. Money and Moralilv. Thailand The Lotus Kingdom. Pluto Press. J. M. The Economist. T. Transnational Prostitution: Changirig Patterns in a Global J.Y. N. London. New Jersey. London.( et al). Strategies Against Prostitution: The case of Thailand Foundation for Women.php] 36. Volume 30. S. "Death in the Candy Store1'. 2001 26. H. Rhodes. 1997 23. The Third Sex: Kathoey.. T.. Tourism And economic Development in Asia an J Australasia. 2003 30. 1991 24. 198'3 28. "Sexual Activity Among Never-Married Ven in Northern Thailand. Totman.. S. England. "Thailand: The dynamic growth of Thai tourism" Tourism and Economic Development in Asia and Australasia. H.tat. Child Prostiti /tion and Sex tourism Thailand. C. Seabrook. 2001 25.go. 1993 29. J.boi. 2003 35. The Board of Investment of Thailand [www. (eds).. November 23. Ryan. A. 20 July. Ftoutledge. 1996 27.. 1 November.. 1994 22. W.Rolling Stone. & Hall. Cassell Imprirlt. cited in OIConnell Dvidson Julia.. M. Newsweek. Mondy and Morality. Truong. 1997 19. 1990 37. USA 20. Bangkok. 8 February.

Hall.. (eds). Thai Tourism: Hill Tribes. 1996 11.M. 1 398 17. February 1985 10. P. & McKercher. Thailand. Kinnaird. Bananas. 1!)96 12. Baure. 2001 7. Routledge. & Sethaput. University of California Press. Kaewthep.. England. D. John Wiley & Sons. 2003 15. P. 1999 14... Love. London. Tourism A Gender Analysis. White Lotus Press. Sex and Borders: Gender. (eds). John Wiley % Sons Ltd.. V. Wives Views on the Extramarital Sexual Behaviour of Thai Men.M.. Health and the internationsl tourist. HI. Thailand.. & Hall. 1992 13. M. T. Routledge. Sold for Sex. "Prostitutes Are Better Than Love:s"." Far Eastern Economic Review. Special interest tourism. Ard-am. "Tourism Prostitution: The control and health implications 01 sex tourism in South-East Asia and Australia". Chulalongkorn Book Center. Enloe. Health and the international tourist. M. 9. Kane. Cummings.national politics.. 13 Cebruary. London. 1996 5. New York." The New York Times Magazine.A. 1994 . "Tourism Pro: titution: and The control and health implications of sex tourism in South-East A s i ~ Australia".ution. Qld. p. The Haworth Hospitality Press.. Handley. cited in Bangkok Post. 1990 8. Chan. Hall. N. "A plague awaits. 1994 2. 0. London. Gay. "Catch if catch can. Thailand. E. University of Hawai'i Press. The Progressive. J. B. Berkeley. N. "The 'Patriotic Prostitute". "Forecasting Tourism: a sine wave time series regression approach". Beaches & Bases: making feminist sense of infe.. Silkworn. and Lust. (eds). & Cook. 2003 3. Y. & Douglas N. (eds). Erlanger. J. 1999 6. C. Jackson. L. Sex and Tourism: Journeys of Ron ance. Child Prostitution in Thailand. 18 August 1989. K. Mahidol Utliversity. Islands and Open-Ended Prosti. Lonely Planet Publications. Jeffrey. Journal of Travel Research Fall 4. S.A. Douglas. Pangkok 1999 16. Arena Ashgate Publishing Limited. Thailand. Wipak Tun Niyom Thai. 24.Bibliography 1. England.. national Identity and Prostitu 'ion Policy in Thailand. 14 JI ~ l y1991 . C. J. Cohen.

Moreover. 1997. Routledge. National laws have begun to develol~ and a sex tourist can be prosecuted for participating in overseas sexual exploitatior~. London. However. plus strong laws and social programs are what is requlred to stop the forced prostitution of women into the sex tourism industry. England.would do so 'depending on who they met' and the typed of partne likely to be chosen included bar girls (14 per cent). Policies. many of these women see the sex industry as a? alternative -economic activity..^' Not only the Thai government but also other nations and o . H. Tourism And economic Development in Asia andAustralasia. 69 Hall. This kind of cooperative effort. & Zhang.ex tourism and travel agents in many countries support ending sex tourism. Cassell Iml. M. the country needs some action to take place in other ell-known destinations for international sex tourist. many projects have been established wh ch try to rehabilitate and train women from the sex industry to a new lifestyle anll focus on the potential victims. Health and the international tourist. H.69 The issue of poverty has been used as a basic reason to push women into sex trade. plans and laws liave been developed to discourage the sex industry and change the sexual paradise image of the country. With the economic development in the 1970s. 1996. Organizations have produced travel industry information about '.ganizations are concerned about sex tourism. p. "Tourism Prostitution: The control and health implications of sex tourism in South-East {sia and Australia". p.rint. hai women migrated to Bangkok where there were only limited opportunities to join the industrial workforce and sex tourism provided them with importart economic incentive^. 189 70 Qu. 299 . In tlie case of Thailand.

the solc iers are the most likely to have visited a prostitute recently: 81% respond that they llave visited a prostitute within the past six months. Wi'ves Views on the I~xtramari~crl Sexual Behaviour of Thai Men. "Prostitutes Are Better Than Lovers". London. it could be argued that the cause of the increase of prostituticn is tourists because the country promote the tourism industry to earn foreign current:ies. p 77 64 Cummings. Sex and Borders: Gender. August 1993. 1992. HI.. E. & Cook. Islands and Open-Ended Prosti~zrtion. J. p. only 34 per cent s l i d they had no plans to have sex. the act is often a part of high school and university hazing rituals and that 95% of all men over 21 have slept with a ~ r o s t i t u t e " ~ ~ However. Silkworn. M. 8 February. L. ~ t i o n a l s . p. 2003. Thailand. the tourism industry became the largest source of foreign exchange for Thailand's economy with the rapid growing number of iliternational visitors to Thailand since the 1980s. p. One of the tourist attractions is sexual service and the number of prostitute. 33 66 VanLandingham. 29 " Cohen. Thailand. J. (eds).. P. Lonely Planet Publications. while 57 per cent said they would 'definitely' t~ave sex or A."65 "[almong the respondents who have ever patronized prostitutes. 1999. p. Number 3.." Demography. 252 63 Jeffrey. Volume 30. "Sexual Activity Among Never-Married Men in Northern Th: iland. P. German and Japanese tol~riststravel by "the sex package tour" mainly to buy sex on short trips to ~ a n ~ k o k . 13 February. For instance. The title 'Prostitutes Are Better Than Lovers' is a comment on the general acceptability of single Thai lnen visiting prostitutes. ~ ' Although. has risen dramatically by the number of tourists each year. the majority of customers patronizing prostitutes are still party of a local clientele rather than foreign tourists. or thereabouts is confined to Thai n ..White Lotus Pre . Thailand. 106 65 The Economist." The Tourist sex industry represents only about 5 per cent of contact between custonier and sex worker in Thailand. prostitutes play a I Jrge part in forming the sexual identity of young Thai males. N.A. 1992. p. and 95 per cent. ~ ~ A survey of military conscripts from the north of Thailand yielded that "73% of them lost their virginity with a prostitute and 97% regularly visit prostitutes. ( et al).commercially organized tours." Far Easfern Economic Review. In a sample of a study of planned sexual behavior of young Au:.M. 1999 68 Handley. Thai Tourism: Hill Tribes. national Identity and Prostitution Policy in Thailnn~University of Hawai'i Press.tralian who were visiting to Thailand without a spouse or partner. "Catch if catch can."66Certainly.A. 305 67 Jackson. 1996.67 One of studies show that "the majority of Thai men have their first sexual experience with a prostitute.

2003. 1994. Prostitution in Thailand has developed into a lucrative business that influences emplc yment and national income and contributes significantly to the region's economic grcwth.(eds. F )r instance.. sex tourism may be regarded as "a result of shifts in the international division of labour within a globalizes economtl and the development of consumerism in Asian countries of which tourism is a major constituent. Tourism A Gender Analysis. 2003.A. C. Souvenir Pree. 49 58 Jeffrey. in 1980 the number of women working in prostitution was estimated at 500.54 Sex tourism has been a major income generator for Thailand. p. 137 . earnings from tourism ir creased by 50 per cent. R.A.~st Asia and Australia". By the early 1990s that number had reached more than two million. Health and the international tozrrisf. D.Thailand's Ladybo-vs. Marginalpeoplr andliminalities. Sex and Borders: Gender.. HI. damaged Thailand's image. Since the international tourism is a part of economic developmerit. 2001. & Hall. "Tourism Prostitution: The control and health implications of sex tourism in South-E. p." From the perspective of political economy. It has made Thailand infamous as "the world's biggest brothel". Estimates of percentage of the gross national product from sex workers range from 2 per cent to 14 per cent. p. prostitution has become an industry rather than a service. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. I November. London. p. national Ider~fiQ Prostifution Policy in Thailand. lniversity of Hawai'i Press. HI. The Thirdsex: Kathoey . 184 57 Ryan. ~ ' economic benefit of sex tourism has provided foreign exc hange and The large profits for local entrepreneurs. and it remains one of the country's major earners of foreign exchange. the Thai government promoted sexual services to tourists to earn foreign exchar ge and job ~ r e a t i o n . 1996. p. M. 102 Ryan. Routledge. the World Bank recommended that Thailand p lrsue mass on tourism as an economic strategy and the economic initiative conseq~~ent the bank's report led to what is routinely described today as a $4billion a ye qr business involving fraternal relationships among airlines. 2003. p. p. 78 5"he Nation. national Identity and Prostifution Policy in Thailand. Sex tourism ha. 2001 p. & Hall. 496 56 Hall. tours.. London."" 54 The sex industry has changed from traditional t rothels to Jeffrey. London. M.56 It can be described that "sex tourism must be recognized 3s first and foremost a form of economic exp~oitation"~~ Yet prostitution is not only illegal but it is also considered shameful to promote the country as a destination for sex tourists. M. & Hall. I55 Totman. Sex Tourism: Marginc~lpeopleand Lim nalities.000.. tourist and leisure companies such as hotels chains and restaurants.).58 However. Sex and Borders: Gender. operators and the masters of the sex industry 55 and between 1985 and 1990. L.. Sex Tourism. x 59 60 61 Kinnaird. For example. Routledge. England. 1993. during the Vietnam War. travel companies. L. V. C. Routledge.countryside seeking work in the sex industry. lniversity of and Hawai'i Press. London. cited in O'Connell Dvidson Julia.

. national Identity and Prostitution Policy in Thailand. 2003. However. exists because economic opportunity operates on the law of supply a i d demand and men are willing to pay for sexual services. Other girls want a better lifestyle. Sex and Borders: Gender. prostitution could be one of the better-paid options for women. even if the conditions of wor k are often inhumane. In turn this has become a part of Tourism in Thailand as well. 0. C. lniversity of Hawai'i Press. This then feeds the spiral of activity. 19 53 Jeffrey..(. or they seek a way to support tt-eir families. better education. So prostitution becomes the avenue to quick revenues and more decent lifestyle. only 10% of girls who voluntarily entered into prostitution .. S. poverty is not the only factor that motivates girls l o offer their sexual services. Mahidol University. & Sethaput. Some women become prostitutes after working in other jobs and findrng that the wages are too low to live on. L. It was popularized by the "R&Rl1[rest and recreation] vacations of American t~ oops. women working in bars and brothels need to hand over approximately half of their earning to bar owners and managers. Thailand. As the demand for sexual services in the tourism industry continues to grow so too does the supply of womctn from the Ard-am. p.tnd 90% of prostitutes were tricked into the sex trade but from 1995-present about . a better opportunity in life. There are multiple factors involved.. whose only other choice would be to work in factories. After It still the war Thailand became an increasingly attractive destination of sex t o ~ ~ r i s m . Child Prostitulion in Thailand. some of them still find they can earn much money and enjoy better work conditions than in other workplaces. HI. p. Thus. 2003..A. p. Some girls leave t ieir families because of personal tension and conflicts. Child Prostitution in Thailand: Listening to Rahab.countryside to Bangkok to find a job and some of them get into prostitution because it offers increased income opportunities compared to other occupations. The basic needs and wants seem so difficult with limited alternatives. 79 52 51 .ZO% of girls had the explicit intention of working in sex services.52 Conclusion The sex industry in Thailand first developed during the 19EOs. Nevertheless. '1 Nonetheless. 45 Sorajjakool. In 1980-1995. Whether foreign or locill. men are willing to use women to satisfy their sexual needs in Thailand to a dt>gree other countries might consider remarkable.53 Most of these women have had little education and no occupational train. N Y. Even though working in the sex industry provides one of the few better paid opportunities for women. 199. The Haworth Press Inc.

continued to grow but the impoverishment of the countryside continued to deepen i r l the 1980s and early 1 9 9 0 s . p. Wipak Tun Niyom Thai. the dutiful daughters need to provide for the basic needs of famil\! members and family income.). 1996.. D. This can be explained on the grounds that "the women )vorking with tourists are in many ways the 'elite' among the prostitutes: they earn significantly more than those working with Thais. it was five times greater in the 1980s and it affected directly to wcmen in the rural agricultural areas because according to the patriarchal structurl?~ Thai in society. enjoy greater independence. J. videos. Se. and are rarely controlled by pimps or pushed into prostitution against their It can be seen that poverty is an important factor in making prostitution an attractive alternative lifestyle. & Sethaput. L. 75 47 Kaewthep. goods for the household. 69 46 Seabrook.~~ Thailand adopted economic policie:. Mahidol Universit}. "Death in the Candy Store.^^ The cycle of poverty for poor families in Thailand probably stared in 1957 with the initiation of a strategic plan for national development. R. motorbike^. p. Thailand. 1994. 1994. They saw their neighbors send their children to Bangkok and the only conseqllences they saw were that their neighbors then acquired new houses.. more women than men migrated from the Jeffrey. p. Trmtels In The Skin Trade. Child Prostitution in Thailand. L. xii 50 Ibid."42 Thai men think it is their right to have cheap sex and there are enough poor Thai women to make it possible.... 1991.. Tourism A Gender Analysis. 14 48 Ard-am. ~ ~ Moreover.(eds. 1 lniversity of Hawai'i Press. 154 45 Rhodes. there is a study of three villages in the North of Thailand where the researchers set out to discover who sold their children anc why. It was a cqange from agriculture toward industria~ization.r and Borders: Gender. Pluto Press. and these new policies have destroyed the diversity and integrity of the local econo nies4' The gap between the rich and the poor was expanded. 2003.. Sex and Borders: Gender." Rolling Stone. Iniversity of Hawai'i Press. Chulalongkom Book Center. HI. p. 0. John Wiley & Sons Ltd.A.Thus. rural poverty was three times greater than urban po~erty the in 1970s. p. 44 49 Jeffrey.43However. p. xii - 42 - .50 Therefore. C. November 28. "One study of 1000 Bangkok massage girls found that 70% came from farming families"45For example. p. England. V.. & Hall.A. Some poor families sell their children into prostitution. Bangkok 1999. p. national Idenlily and Prostitution Policy in Thailand. HI. The export industrier. prqstitutes are willing to work with tourists than locals. xv 43 Ibid. the incredible rate of prostitution in Thailand is cultural A standard definition of prostitution is as "the exchange of sexual services for ma erial gain. p. 26 44 Kinnaird. 2003. television sets. K. nafional Identip und Prostitution Policy in Thailand. U S A .

. N Y. p. H. H. even married women.7 36 Montgomery. 1991 p. Thailand..go.. Modern Babylon?: Prostituting Children in Thailand. Berghahn Books. p. 298-9 3s Erlanger. p.35 Sex is seen as something that men have a right to.. Mahidol University. a research from Ramathibolli Hospital's Mental Health Science Department states that it is common for Thai mctn for having second or third wives if they could afford it.& Sethapiit.32 For instance. The Haworth Press Inc.. ~ ' Skrobanek. Child Prostitution in Thailand: Listening to Rahab. at will and according to their own rules." The New York Times Magazine. Routledge. Foundation for Women. C. Modern Babylon?: Pros~ituting Children in Thailand. most of the " Ard-am. 1 13 35 Weitzer. {angkok.445 are male aged betweenl5-64 years. 1 16 37 VanLandingham. Sex for Sale. Volume 30. Berghahn Books. 47 34 Montgomery. R. Berghahn Books. a married --hai woman said that she gave her husband money to go out to a brothel and all he. Child Prostitution In Thailand. J. S. USA. 1993. 2003. M.friends did the same. Modern Babylon?: Prostituting Children in Thailand. "A plague awaits. "The Thai governmer t estimates ~~ that over 90% of Thai men have at one time or another time visited p-o~titutes. p..40 Several studies show that 50 per c?nt of Thai men have sex before 18 years and most of them have their first sexual experience with a sex ~ o r k e r .€ 19. 1991. p. however. p. p.000 of which 21 . there are no prohibitions on a man.are expected to remain virgins until marriage. H. (ed.).( et al). 200 1 . every day at least 450... August 1993. 200 .. For example. S. Most Thai people belitwe "virginity before marriage is the most important value of a "decent" girlu3' According to Montgomery. 34 Double standards still prevail in attitudes to men and women Most Thai people believe that men are mischievous. the wives are expected to feel dutiful and grateful for their husbands to make them the legal wives. p. I 14 31 " " http://www. Number 3. S. Berghahn Books. 5 1 . I I3 13 Sorajjakool. condescending thtl cheapest establishments are native "[alccording to reliable surveys of sexual beha ~iour. Modern Babylon?: Prostitlrting Children in Thailand. USA." Demography. Strategies Against Prostitution: The case of Thailand. 14 July. H.. Women are simply to provide the opporturlity for men to take their pleasure. USA.boi. a woman should be virgin before niarriage and afterwards should stay with her marriage partner is the ideal. USA 200 1. 200 1. p. Women are categorized as 'good girls' or 'bad girls'. 0.~' The population in Thailand is estimated to be 63.36 survey of both sexes in 1990 revealed that "80% of males and 74% of A the females responded that it was natural for men to pursue sex at every ~pportunity"~~ While the foreign aspect of prostitution in Thailand may garncv the most attention and money.. 26 39 Montgomery.430.000 Thai men visit p r o ~ t i t u t e s .33 Moreover. "Sexual Activity Among Never-Married Men i n Northern Thail: nd. London. 15 Montgomery.