Sex Tourism in Thailand

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Sex Tourism in Thailand

As we enter a new millennium the post-colonial nations in the world are still searching for ways to compete in an increasingly globalized, consumption driven economic environment. Many developing countries have speculated that Tourism is an effective catalyst for development as well as increased international understanding. Thailand, who has embraced tourism as the key to its modernization strategy, has been hailed by many as a paradigm for success. Over the past twenty years Thailand has enjoyed one of the fastest economic growth rates of any developing country. This rapid progress has allowed Thailand to emerge as an economic leader in the Third world. The $4 billion a year in tourism revenue is the core
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Until recently Thailand was a patriarchal society. One study showed that 73% of the families said they would like to have daughters, while only 27% expressed the desire to have sons (Jubilee, p. 3). Widespread poverty has lead families to consider children, especially females, as economic burdens. Children and women have dropped to the lowest strata of the socioeconomic scale, and have thus suffered the most (Jubilee, p. 4). The closing of options for many families have compelled parents to force their children to fend for themselves and in some circumstances it has led people to sell their children, especially daughters (World Congress, backgrounder, p. 1).

The influx of western ideals is another factor that has contributed to the victimization of many women and children by the sex industry. The spread of consumerism by the mass media and through face to face interactions with western tourists has caused Thais to increasingly value money and consumer items. Materialism has led many to value possessions more then their sense of self worth. This materialistic greed has lead many poor families to sell their children in order to obtain material possessions. The market value of a child is between 7,000 and 30,000 baht, depending on the physical attractiveness of the child (Jubilee, p.2). To families living in constant poverty and who only earn 5,000 baht a year 30,000 baht is very enticing.

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