CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF COMMERCIAL SEX WORK AMONG AKWA IBOM GIRLS (A STUDY OF YOUTHS IN UYO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA)
The rising wave of incidence of commercial sex work has given serious concern to the government, parents, health workers and the society. The causes and effects of commercial sex work among AkwaIbom girls in Uyo Local Government is the main concern of this study. The study seeks to find out the possible ways in which the problem of commercial sex work can be eradicated in the society. The study was empirically conducted where data was obtained through the primary and secondary sources. Instrument for data collection was questionnaire. Data was collected and analysed with simple percentage while the hypothesis stated were tested with percentage(%). The result in hypothesis one showed that, commercial sex work has implication on our general sexual health or wellbeing, that is the act of sex work has a negative effect on our sexual being. This hypothesis was accepted. In hypothesis two, which states that sex work is more likely to be caused by poverty. Based on the result, hypothesis two was therefore not accepted. Based on the result of this study a number of recommendations were made.
1.1 Background Of The Study
Commercial sex is basically sex for money. It is not restricted to any culture, its global and it transcends all age barriers as some cases girls as young as eight years are involved. Commercial sex has evolved over the last two decades, (National Behaviour Survey 2004). According to the National Behaviour Survey (2004), commercial sex work has indeed become complex in different ways as there are male sex workers in Nigeria who have sex with men for commercial reasons and there is an organization0 that support them which based in Ibadan, Oyo state.
Commercial sex has particularly taken a worrisome and indeed despicable turn on the continent through trafficking in person and violation of people’s human right and these have become major issues in West Africa (Human Right Action, 1997). In recent time, commercial sex has become a lucrative business in Nigeria especially among the youths (Ikpe, 2008). Research has it that, 31% of sex workers are students particularly in Nigeria institutions (Onah, 2000). Onah (2000), is of the view that, there are different forms of sex workers, those that stay in the brothels, those that stand on the road side, those that operate from home etc.
Furthermore, sex work has now become an occupation especially for the girls in countries like Netherland, Brazil, Norway etc, sex work serves as one of the sources of revenue for government, hence, taxes are paid to the government (Aday, 1990). Aday further says that, sex workers face systematic discrimination throughout the world and are therefore, at risk of variety of abuses, these include police extortion, arbitrary detention and other. Violations of their human and labour rights which in some cases even amount to slavery.
In Nigeria, sex work is an illegal business because, the law prohibits its, but no active action has really been taken against it by the government (Onah, 2000). In AkwaIbom State particularly, Uyo local government, commercial sex workers can be found in hotels, bars, brothels and on the street, (Onah, 2000). Despite the efforts made by the government and other private organization to eradicate sex work in Uyo, it has rather grown to become one of the outstanding social problems that have really apprehended the people of Uyo (Onah, 2000). It is on this background that, this research work attempts to find a possible way of coping with this problem.
1.2 Statement Of The Problem
The people involved in commercial sex experience negative effect even though they still make out from it. Lex (1992), argued that, sex work has been identified as the core group for transmission of HIV/AIDS and STD; Thus, they face discrimination throughout the world.
Due to the diseases that befall these people on daily basis, sex work has been considered a menace in the society and also violence against humanity, (Lex, 1992). These negative effects includes untimely death, frustration, unwanted pregnancy etc. one of the major challenges is that, some of these sex workers are illiterates, they neither attain seminars nor listen to news on television where they could be enlightened on the risk of their work. These work has then, become their life style, therefore, making it difficult for the government to cope with.
In country like Nigeria, prostitution is termed as deviance and unhealthy in the society. It is also a big embarrassment to the government and the families who their youths are involved in such acts, such families will lack their respect from people in the society no matter their position in the society, (Onah, 2000). This research work then, seeks to investigate the effects and causes of commercial sex work among AkwaIbom girls.
1.3 Research Question
The following research questions will guide the study.
1. What are the causes of sex work?
2. What are the implications of commercial sex work on our general health?
3. What are the age difference of sex workers?
4. What are the general attitude towards commercial sex workers?
1.4 Objectives Of The Study
1. To ascertain the likely causes of sex work
2. To find out the implications of commercial sex work on our general health.
3. To find out the age difference of sex workers
4. To identify the general attitude towards commercial sex workers.
1.5 Significant Of The Study
This significance of the study tends to treat both the theoretical and practical importance. Theoretically, this study will add to the already, existing knowledge of the causes and effects of commercial sex work among AkwaIbom girls in Uyo L.G.A. the study was written in order to know the causes and effects of commercial sex work and at the same time proffer solution to them. Moreso, the study will be a guide to future researchers in their research in knowing the causes and effects of commercial sex work and look for means of tackling those problems.
Practically, this research work will enable the commercial sex workers to know the dangers surrounding their work, so as to stop the rising wave of sex work. This can be done by the government to make sure of creating employed youths. This study will also help in exposing and tracking down the people behind sex work.
1.6 Scope Of The Study
This research covers the causes and effects of commercial sex work in Uyo local government area.
It will examine the challenges that are associated with sex work and how government can control the increasing number of sex workers in Uyo.
1.7 Definition Of Terms
For the purpose of clarification, the following terms are defined as used in this research work;
AIDS: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.
Brothel: This is a house where men pay to have sex with sex workers or where sex workers live.
Commercial sex: This is defined basically as sex for money.
HIV: Human Immune Virus.
Sex: Is an erotic attraction between two people or sexual intercourse that can lead to orgasm in female and the secretion of semen from the penis in male.
Sex Work: This is defined as any sexual performance carried out by a person for payment of certain amount of money or in exchange of any material thing. Their aim id mainly on money making.
Sex Worker: This is a person who works in the sex industry. They are paid to engage in sexually explicit behaviour which involves varying degrees of physical contacts etc.
STD: Is a sexually transmitted diseases it is transmitted during sexual intercourse.
Transactional Sex: This is sex in exchange for gifts, small favours or money.
1.8 Limitation Of The Study
In this research work, the researcher was limited by the unwilling attitude of the general public to provide correct answers to the questions that were given to them.
In financial aspect, the researcher was unable to visit all brothels in Uyo Local Government due to the high demand of money by the commercial sex workers.