Gandonu: Curbing prostitution will take extra effort
Babatunde Gandonu is a lecturer in the Psychology Department of the Lagos State University (LASU). In this interview with IJEOMA THOMAS-ODIA, he touched on the effects of prostitution on society.
What factors are responsible for the continuous choice of commercial sex in the society?
There is what we call the token economy; an idea of using what you have to get what you want. Let’s ask ourselves a question, who are the people who make use of them or patronize the prostitutes? Prostitution is in different dimension. There are low class, middle class and high-class prostitutes.
Those in the lower class have no fixed price and could be mostly found around or in beer parlors. Those who patronize such are, Okada riders, bus conductors, commercial drivers, bricklayers etc. it is commonly referred to as ‘short time’.
The second level are those who patronize big and famous hotels and clubs. They have fixed price, but can still allow bargaining if the need be. They go after big guys, bankers, civil servants in high levels, businessmen with exotic cars etc.
The last level works in gangs or groups. They are classic in nature and their targets are honourables, senators, company managers, CEOs, etc. Such ladies are found in high class get-togethers, parties of repute, government functions etc.
There is also the peer pressure factor; most of the ladies involved in the act believe there is nothing their friends are doing that they too cannot do. Many are lured into it, and gradually, it becomes a habit. It could also be traced to a hormone called Oestrogen; over secretion of the hormone will increase the urge for sex, hence, such a person cannot do without having sex daily or often. The society is so loose that acts of immoralities are celebrated and honoured, especially in the movie and music industry. We are only getting what we sow as values and behaviour.
Looking at the family economic standard, how can you explain a situation where a girl in school comes home with what the family will feed on? Some, being the first child will have to take care of their younger ones as well, where the father and mother have nothing doing to cater for themselves, let alone, the children? What do you expect from such a lady?
Also, the insensitivity of our government policies is a factor as most of them only bring hardship upon citizens. Likewise, the inability of government agencies to provide social amenities in communities also promotes the act of prostitution – ‘Man go survive’ syndrome.
How can the society check the growth of commercial sex?
There is a need to preach, teach, educate and create awareness among the populace to the ill effects of such an act on self, family and the society at large. These and many others should have been the sole responsibility of national orientation agency, the church, mosques and institutions of learning (from primary to tertiary). But is it the same society that encourages immorality that will checkmate growth of sex workers? There is no way a kingdom will stand against itself and survive.
Why government’s effort at curbing them has not succeeded?
Government cannot and will not succeed in such exercise without putting the round peg in a round hole. We have professionals who were trained in handling behavioural issues and problems, but we are in a society where we prefer to make mouth, waste money without achieving our target goal. Those who were been used to curb the act are mostly the promoters. When the ladies are arrested, money will be collected from them and their body too for an exchange. The act of prostitution should be seen just like the law enacted sometime ago in Lagos state about smoking in public. Today, men in uniform smoke in the public, let alone the masses, yet no one is talking about it again.