Sex Industry in Thailand and Malaysia Essay

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Compare and analyse the sex industries of Thailand and Malaysia over the period c.1960-2010 with particular focus on government policy, civil society organisation (both for and against) and Cold War political dynamics. Prostitution is considered to be the oldest profession on earth. Most studies show that women enter the sex trade for economic necessities and survival, while men engage in sexual relations with prostitutes purely for pleasure. Prostitution is a global, but I will focus on Thailand and Malaysia during the period c.1960-2010. During the Vietnam War, Thailand was seen as a stable base in South-East Asia to defeat the communists in Indo-China. The United States military was present in Thailand from April 1961. Thailand allowed the US military to use its Royal Thai Air force bases to run missions into neighbouring Vietnam (North) and Laos. In 1966 the Thai government passed the Entertainment Places Act, since 1960 prostitution had technically had been illegal. It remained ‘illegal’ but the new laws allowed for the sex industry to thrive. The laws gave way for brothels to be legalized under the disguise of massage parlours, night-clubs and bars. An example would be a customer arriving at a massage parlour, viewing the girls behind a glass wall, picking the girl of his choice and then once in the room rending a ‘special service’. Establishments which obviously catered to men’s sexual desires were operating legally as long as they didn’t hold up a big sign saying “PAID SEX HERE”. Thailand’s capital Bangkok became the top R&R (rest and recreation) or I&I (intercourse and intoxication) destination for GI’s coming from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. New Petchaburi road, parallel to Sukhumvit road was the ‘night entertainment’ district, full of bars, prostitutes and cheap hotels. Allan Dawson, a Canadian born journalist based in Bangkok said “All

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