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SOC 1500 Oct 6 2011 Lecture Note (F11)

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SOC 1500
Alexander Shvarts

SOC 1500 Thursday, October 6, 2011 Lecture 4: The Criminalization of Sex Hackler: Chapter 14 Criminalizing Sex in Permissive Society o Sex in public places: offence o Prostitution, sexual activities in public toilets: victim unclear o Prostitution: Technically legal, but impossible for a sex worker to sell services without violating laws > Prostitution in Canada is technically legal, but everything related to it is illegal – Canada is on its way to decriminalizing prostitution Sex in Public Places: An “Order Maintenance” Problem? o Desroches (1991): Police in Canada – crime-control model of enforcement, specifically when dealing with sexual activity in public washrooms (homosexual encounters – “tearoom” participants) > Needs to be criminalized and enforced o Desroches: Crime control model has not achieved deterrence – tearoom behavior – order maintenance problem – low level threat to society > Not a major threat to anyone in society – about as serious as graffiti; Has not achieved any deterrence and has not decreased the number of people engaging in these crimes Laud Humphreys: The Tearoom Trade – Why Do They Do It? > Men engaging in sexual activities in public washrooms o Men in Humphrey’s study (1970): Married > Hangs outside public washrooms and interviews men; most are married and are fairly stable – lacking sexual needs o Desroches (1991): Participants tend to be strangers – anonymity, impersonality of the sexual liaison > Most of these men are strangers to one another; not friends/acquaintances; remain anonymous o Cause – “aging crisis”: Men looking for orgasms > Why? Ex. Been married for 20 years, getting old, wife doesn’t find him attractive, don’t sleep in same bed, still want sex; don’t have an affair/use prostitute because they can’t maintain anonymity (ex. Tiger Woods – sex outside marriage causes a problem… You get caught!) Extending the “Socialization” Argument to Theft and Other Crime o Sutherland’s differential association theory: Crime is learned in group interactions > What leads someone to commit crime? Have to learn the behavior from someone else. Tearoom – men not satisfied with marriage, learn solutions from other men o Humphreys: Men – learning environments provide new definition of sex The Making of Marginal Men o Most of those who played the “straight” role – married – interested in orgasm-producing action: shun involvement in the gay subculture o Humphreys – four types of tearoom participants: 1) Trade > Trade are the men who come there to preform acts of fellatio, but if you ask them again, they will tell you that they are completely straight; majority 2) Ambisexuals > Small minority; like to experiment – with anyone, anything 3) Gay guys > Guys who consider themselves to be gay 4) Closet Queens > Guys who are gay but have not come out of the closet yet (married, not married, single); always have had heterosexual relationships; never aware that they were gay, then tried it and realized they were gay Marginality and Criminality o Marginal men (or women): Prone to deviance and crime > People engage in sexual crimes in particular because they are marginal; MARGINAL: Different from the rest of societies behaviors (racial minority being discriminated, poor who live in poverty) – people who are marginal in some ways commit crime o Control theory: Bonds with conventional others inhibit crime and ties to deviant peers increase the likelihood of crime > How do you prevent them? Try to help them with their marginality. o Men in tearooms: Not strongly bound to conventional society > Why are they marginal? Have weak bonds in marriage/family; living in unhappy marriage. Jail is not the answer. o Crime-reduction Strategy: Social policies that improve family life, provide social networks among lonely individuals, reduce marginality and deviance > Want to help these men back into their family; help them create happy marriage; give them family counseling; help them find bonds with other people; reduce their marginality o Sex education strategy: Contribute to better-quality relationships in the future, less need for tearooms, less rape and sexual assault by heterosexual males against women > A lot of people are involved in adultery – use prostitutes, tearooms; want to teach children from an early age how to develop good relationships; good sex education in schools to prevent rape/sexual assault o Crime reduction enhanced by minimizing the number of teenage mothers: Ex. Sweden > Teenage mothers more likely involved in property crimes and prostitution – good money; Sweden – reduce Sweden’s teenage mothers through sex education Prostitution: The Myth of Legality o Prostitution: Legal in Canada – but every avenue of it expression contravenes other laws o Vagrancy (someone who wanders about with no sense of purpstatues: Used to control prostitutes > If you were wandering around without reason, you would be arrested o Municipal by-laws in some cities curtailed street prostitution o 3 sections of Criminal Code of Canada affects prostitutes: a) Section 213 > It is an offence to communicate with a person for the purpose of engaging in prostitution or of obtaining the services of a prostitution in any public area (soliciting) b) Section 210 > It is an offence to keep a common body house (a whore house) c) Section 212 > It is an offence to live wholly or in part in the avails of prostitution – you cannot use money from prostitution to live o Criminal Code make it almost impossible for a prostitute to work without violating laws – also marginalizes prostitute
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