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Technologies such as the Internet and text messaging are becoming common tools in recruiting young girls to the sex trade

Source: Taipei Times
Date published: Wednesday, December 17, 2003
Reporter: By Debby Wu
Editor: By Debby Wu 

Technologies such as the Internet and text messaging are becoming common tools in recruiting young girls to the sex trade, social groups said yesterday.

The groups, including the End Child Prostitution Association in Taiwan, Garden of Hope Foundation, Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation and Mennonite Good Shepard Center, said the results came from a survey of 94 girls in shelters who had worked in the sex trade.

The survey showed that 40 percent of the girls were lured into the trade by their peers and 20 percent through Internet chat rooms. Only about 10 percent responded to newspaper advertisements or were recruited by employment agencies or through other media, compared with 30.9 percent in 1990. The remainder were recruited in a number of other ways.

While 42.5 percent of the girls knew what they were getting into, 34 percent did not know but could accept the situation afterwards, and 15 percent did not know and could not accept the situation, but could not leave. The others did not respond to the question.

Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation executive director Wu Pei-ling said the result showed that in contemporary society the girls were more affected by their private personal networks than before, when young people would be more influenced by the media.

The survey also showed that 47.9 percent of these girls had engaged in enjo-kosai, a Japanese term describing the phenomenon of schoolgirls selling their bodies to older men.

The survey quizzed 40 girls who had voluntarily entered the sex trade to understand their motivations. They were given multiple choices and could pick more than one answer.

"Among these girls, 70 percent said they engaged in enjo-kosai because they needed the money, 35 percent said the job paid better than others and 35 percent said it was out of curiosity," Wu said.

Wu said it was worrying that so many young girls would try enjo-kosai simply out of curiosity.

"The Internet and mobile phone short message systems also allow young people to get in touch with the sex industry easily," Wu said.

"With another survey we have done on the Internet, we have found that 37 percent of Internet users encounter pornography every day, 51 percent have viewed information regarding the sex trade and 52 percent of users search for pornography actively, with 15-to-19-year-olds the most keen searchers," Wu said.

Wu said that 85.12 percent of users said they had received sex messages via the Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Cellular Corp or FarEasTone Telecommunications Co networks.

To address the issue the groups urged the government to improve its education program in shelters for teenagers, sex education in schools and its online detective work. They also demanded telecom service providers prevent sex short messages from spreading across their networks.

Reference:
TAIWAN: Internet, text messaging luring girls to sex trade http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/article.asp?parentid=5672
accessed on 29 October 2008

3 Comments

  1. Pity these girls but cant believe some girls actually accepted it ....... there should be some sex education program to teach this teengers ...

    While sms and the internet are actually aiding the sex industry, or causing more teenegers to be exposed to it, definitely we cant get rid of the sms or the internet totally because the benefits of them far outweights this trouble it brought.

    I think the real solution is to stamp down on this sex industries since by right they are not suppose to exist ...

    1. Unknown User (u0802110)

      The survey showed that 40 percent of the girls were lured into the trade by their peers and 20 percent through Internet chat rooms. Only about 10 percent responded to newspaper advertisements or were recruited by employment agencies or through other media, compared with 30.9 percent in 1990.

      .
      .
      .

      Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation executive director Wu Pei-ling said the result showed that in contemporary society the girls were more affected by their private personal networks than before, when young people would be more influenced by the media.

      I think she's accidentally misintepreted the facts.

      Check this out:
      In 1990: 30.9% of the girls were recruited via newspaper ads (i.e. 69.1% through other means)
      In 2003: 20% via internet chatroom, 10% via newspaper ads (i.e. 30% through advertisement and 70% through other means)

      I doubt there is sufficient evidence to show that "in contemporary society the girls were more affected by their private personal networks than before, when young people would be more influenced by the media" as mentioned by the executive director of Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation. Furthermore, given her position, I believe there is an inclination for her to read facts that is supportive of the movement of the foundation that she takes charge. It seems that girls nowadays are not all that much more affected by ICT than previously. Even if they were, we have to take into account the corresponding increase in usage of ICT in our daily lives as a whole.

      On the other hand, I do agree that internet has made undesirable pornographic materials readily accessible to everyone, including teenagers. Also, searching for these materials is much easier as compared to the 1990s when these things are traded perhaps in video tapes or vcds. Finding things on Google should be much easier than flipping through the yellow pages (if these dodgy businesses are even listed in the books...).

    2. Unknown User (u0807823)

      YES more sex education programs must be implemented in the education system. Observe, the rising trend of the number of teenagers exposed to it!!!! I DON't want my kids to be exposed to this, maybe at least know participating in such activities is a negative act.

      I believe parents themsleves must act on the issue immediately !!!

      monitor your kids closely!!!!