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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. Harm reduction and structural approaches to reduce HIV risk among sex workers face several barriers. One such barrier is based on moral argument, and it has a rich historical context. This paper will examine the historical context of interventions with sex workers in New York City during the Progressive Era — Present at the time, though under a different name, the harm reduction approach was largely dismissed. These same moral underpinnings may be active today in driving interventions and policy toward those that are morally focused and away from those that focus on harm reduction and structural change.

Even in regions without a generalized epidemic, there is often a concentrated epidemic among three high risk groups: injection drug users, men who have White sex slave for lonely woman woman with men, and sex workers. Social context, harm reduction, and structural factors have been interwoven into interventions aimed at reducing HIV risk behavior.

This paper will explore the historical context of interventions with sex workers in New York City during the Progressive Era —which was a time when the white slavery scare was at its height. Historical context will be explored as one aspect of social context in order to contribute to the pool of contextual knowledge in the area of HIV risk reduction. Vice reform was infused into the progressive agenda Anderson, Langump. In other words, progressive reformers sought to solve the problem of prostitution by its elimination.

Interventions targeting sex workers were actively implemented during the Progressive Era. The goal of these interventions was to stop sex work. Today, one way in which HIV has changed the intervention perspective is that most interventions with sex workers are not aimed at stopping sex work but at decreasing the spread of HIV through sex work. Nonetheless, certain conceptualizations of interventions aimed at sex workers may retain elements of the pre-HIV period, which may or may not be helpful toward the goal of HIV risk reduction.

Specifically, one belief that will be examined in this paper is that sex workers are in need of moral saving, while other aspects of the social context that facilitate their induction into sex work are neglected.

This social context is also associated with the creation and maintenance of a state of powerlessness among sex workers that may increase their HIV risk behaviors, such as not using condoms.

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Morality may be better for prevention than for intervention; however, this has not been widely researched. In the United States, conservative voices often dissuade the public funding of harm reduction intervention; however, harm reduction is making modest progress Stauffer, Harm reduction approaches that have had success with sex workers include peer education, condom negotiating skills, safety tips, male and female condoms, the prevention-care synergy, occupational health and safety guidelines for brothels, and self-help organizations Rekart, Such interventions provide a degree of evidence for harm reduction and structural interventions.

However, morally-centered agendas often influence the types of sex work interventions that are funded and implemented. Through examining the historical context of sex work interventions in the Progressive Era, this paper will provide a historical explanation for some of the factors e.

This paper does not seek to be a comparative study of the Progressive Era and the current day, but to explore the historical context of barriers to harm reduction and offer the hypothesis that these barriers have similarities to the barriers faced by harm reduction in the present day. In short, the framework holds that history is underpinned by actions that are motivated by desires and beliefs. Moral desires and beliefs underpin the availability of interventions.

Regarding the linguistic framework of this paper, when referring to sex work and sex workers in the Progressive Era, this paper will use the terms prostitution and prostitutes in order to preserve historical accuracy and linguistic context. Newspapers and periodicals were selected as the primary source of historical evidence since they provide a unique window into the past. Newspapers articles from the New York Times and the New York Tribune were searched for content pertaining to sex work.

The medical model was the alternative to the moral model in the Progressive Era, and these periodicals were among the more widely read medical and public health journals. Moreover, viewing the above cited newspaper and periodical articles in chronological order conveyed an impression that the social climate surrounding sex work did not ificantly change over the years examined.

Newspapers are not scholarly sources of factual historical data, but they do provide a window into public opinion and the moral model that dominated public opinion. Nonetheless, employing cultural relativism with a historical lens allows for an appreciation of the culture of interest and how that culture changed over time Murphey, Two overriding assumptions guided the era: more active regulation from the state was needed and the private and public spheres were inseparable. Prostitution interacted with the private and public spheres in the following parallel constructs: sex work vs.

Films and novels were produced on the topic of prostitution. The Progressive Era was a time when society was rapidly changing, with influences stemming from urbanization, industrialization, commercialization, immigration, and civilizing morality, all interacting with one another to fuel both prostitution and the anti-prostitution movement.

Many reformers of the time assumed that women could be predisposed to prostitution by a weakening of moral resiliency Abrams, Moral resiliency could be weakened through lack of work, poverty, or deterioration of family and community ties; however, it was moral resiliency that was at the center of the argument not the structural factors.

Social problems, such as low wages for women, corruption of the police and politicians, and the spread of venereal diseases, were factors linked to prostitution; however, they were overshadowed by moral concerns. A focus point of moral concern was the threat of white slavery. It was not a phrase indicative of race, but simply referred to the practice of organized coercion of unwilling persons into prostitution. Any race could be forced into white slavery, although of main concern were White women B. Donovan, The term white slavery appeared, at times, to have a somewhat fluid meaning; white slavery was used to refer to voluntary and coerced prostitution, and also simply to any female sexual behavior deemed immoral.

Data estimating the occurrence of white slavery tended to lack consensus. Theodore Binghamwho was a NYC police chief, estimated that 2, foreign women were brought into the United States and enslaved in brothels. In this instance, making reference to white slavery as a cultural myth does not imply it did not occur; however, it does question the extent to which it did occur and how it became a collective belief that most sex work was done through white slavery. More specifically, a woman who was kidnapped, beaten, and imprisoned by a white slavery ring was in a different position than an immigrant woman who was recruited for work in a brothel and who had limited language skills and little education, and who needed to support dependents.

Progressive Era ideals of womanhood were protected by the explanations offered about white slavery. For example, a common belief was that women did not become prostitutes for mundane or material reasons; they did so out of being victimized by a powerful conspiracy orchestrated by foreigners. During the Progressive Era, several films emerged showcasing white slavery.

For example, Traffic in Soulsone such film publicized the tension of social regulation in the interest of social health and welfare Diffee, The dividing line between public and private spheres was brought into question. It is perhaps this fear of greater social control that limited the acceptance of structural interventions.

Moreover, the generational tensions exacerbated by acculturation difference in immigrant families also weighed in on the acceptability of interventions. Immigrant families were negotiating a ificant generational gap. The aim of the law was to address prostitution, immorality, and human trafficking. The Act was amended by Congress to limit its applications to criminal offenses, as its ambiguous language had been used for selective prosecution. It is still used today, for example, in the recent prostitution case involving New York Governor Eliot Spitzer Rashbaum, and the polygamy cases of individuals associated with the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Anthony, The anti-prostitution movement was composed of three main groups: Christians, Progressive Era feminists, and physicians.

Christians sought to uplift White sex slave for lonely woman woman nation to a higher standard of Christian values. Prostitution was only one of several vices that concerned them. Alcohol consumption and gambling were also vices that the faithful considered threats to the Christian home and family that could be corrected with moral education. Most feminists of the era opposed prostitution, seeing it as symbolic of the power inequality that sanctioned sexual exploitation White sex slave for lonely woman woman women via vice syndicates, corrupted politicians, and corrupted police.

Feminists of the era lacked an institutional power base and saw the need to recruit powerful men to advance their cause. Many of these feminists saw the medical profession as the embodiment of the male perspective, but also as the best option for partnership. Physicians were the last group enlisted in the movement. Within the framework of effective disease control, physicians debated suppression versus regulation of prostitution. Many individuals involved in the anti-prostitution movement found themselves sharing perspectives and concerns from each of these groups.

Jane Addams, perhaps the most notable of early American social workers, wrote a book addressing prostitution. In A New Conscience and an Ancient Evil Addams,she argued that the low wages paid to women were a leading cause of women turning to prostitution. However, she also gave weight to the lack of family regulation of female chastity as younger women moved away from their families in rural areas to urban locations.

At Hull House, which was the settlement house, founded and run by Addams, programs were instituted to provide alternatives to the street for young single women. Overall, Addams believed that prostitution would cease to exist if the social conditions that caused it were corrected. At the turn of the century, New York City had several red-light districts, as did most major American cities. Urban prostitution was tolerated and often woven into a system of corruption involving police and politicians. In the s, moral reformers mobilized to save women involved in prostitution, as was the case with the New York Magdalen Society Hill, The commonality of coalition membership was a commitment to social reform.

Abolitionists had the opportunity to replace their initial reform goal with another cause due to the Emancipation Proclamation and 13 th Amendment to the U. Constitution, both of which provided a degree of closure to their first main goal. Ministers were motivated to address prostitution for moral reasons.

The Civil War had geographically concentrated prostitution activity in locations near to where troops were billeted, resulting in it being a more visible affront to Christian values. Concurrently with the purity crusade that crystallized soon afterthere was a push to regulate and medically monitor prostitution. The purity crusade attempted to force social conditions into alignment with its perspective of morality, despite social conditions not being conducive to maintaining this morality.

The committee sought to investigate vice, and its first focus was prostitution. The committee was mainly occupied with responding to the concerns of New York clergymen and with investigations into corruption among police and politicians.

Through the work of these White sex slave for lonely woman woman organizations, an appreciation developed that a major barrier to intervention was a lack of understanding of the scope of prostitution and of its customer base. Rockefeller, Jr. However, studies of this type did not address the second major barrier -- the behaviors that constituted prostitution. Definitions were broad, for example, any woman who will cohabit with any man for the pleasure that it gives her Connelly,p. The definitions of the time were linked to the concept of civilized morality.

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Prostitution seemed to include any sexual behavior that was not aligned with moral ideals derived from Protestantism. Faith-based organizations were heavily involved in anti-prostitution efforts, and religion guided many of the reformers. Inshe was brutally beaten when she attempted to save a girl from her procurer "How Rose Livingston Works in Chinatown,"p. Livingston, who was supported by several suffrage organizations, toured the country lecturing on white slavery in Chinatown. Livingston routinely criticized the police for turning a blind eye to prostitution.

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Her efforts brought public pressure on Mayor Gaynor to seriously address the issue of the prostitution rings "How Rose Livingston Works in Chinatown,"p. Livingston was all too familiar with white slavery in Chinatown. She herself had been held captive and abused from the age of 10 to Eventually she was rescued by a missionary worker and underwent a religious conversion Lui, The WCTU was a ificant contributor in staging the fight again white slavery, particularly through investigations of forced prostitution in lumber camps in Wisconsin and Michigan Brian Donovan, Concurrently, the WCTU advocated the vote for women as a means to elevate the status of women and reduce the impact of white slavery through what today could be thought of as an empowerment perspective.

HIV was absent in the Progressive Era; however, concerns over gonorrhea and syphilis fueled the involvement of the American medical profession in the anti-prostitution movement. It was widely held that prostitution was responsible for venereal disease, but there was little data to validate this claim. Ina committee of 7 physicians of the Medical Society of the County of New York surveyed 4, physicians in NYC asking how often they treated venereal disease Connelly, They received replies and estimated there to bepersons with syphilis in NYC.

This estimate was widely disputed as being both too low and too high. Several studies followed, but none clearly linked prostitution to venereal disease. The argument that prostitution was the cause of venereal disease carried weight, despite the argument having more moral than causal implications.

Regardless of the cause and transmission routes, venereal disease was a problem in New York City during the Progressive Era. Inin New York City, there were clinics that treated venereal disease Platt, Treatment of venereal disease was not fully developed at the time.

For example, syphilis is treated with penicillin, which was discovered in The transmission of disease was not well measured due to stigma, and the effectiveness of treatment was also difficult to measure due to a lack of follow-up.

One factor that may have contributed to the lack of data regarding treatment was that more emphasis was given to prevention than effectiveness of treatment. The physicians involved in the anti-prostitution movement tended to be supporters of increased sex education.

The emphasis of many education programs was to address sexual continence for males. A message that White sex slave for lonely woman woman continence was not in conflict with perfect health was promoted.

White sex slave for lonely woman woman

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Sexual Relations Between Elite White Women and Enslaved Men in the Antebellum South: A Socio-Historical Analysis