The oldest trade in the world


The sex trade in Macau is overall regarded as a ‘permanent part’ of the local community, with respondents to a survey regarding ‘the idea of eliminating prostitution through legislation as being infeasible’.
The results come from a study on the subject conducted by professors Libo Yan, Jing Xu and Yong Zhou of the Macau University of Science and Technology and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
In general, however, ‘the overall attitude towards sex tourism could be described as generally negative,’ point out the researchers, noting that respondents ‘had a slightly negative perception of the role of prostitution in local economic development’. This however, was contrasted by the responses being ‘likely influenced by a moral perspective, thus underestimating the contribution of sex tourism to the local economy’.
The researchers point out that ‘regardless of Macau residents’ moderate acceptance of casino gambling, they did not show a similar attitude toward sex tourism’ and that men were ‘more likely to accept prostitution than females’.
‘Residents who had a more normative perception of prostitution tended to support sex tourism’ and vice versa, while ‘the two different value orientations towards prostitution suggest that Chinese values are changeable over time,’ the research notes.
‘In contrast to the moral evaluations of prostitution, residents appear to be more concerned about the related social problems,’ point out the academics, opining that ‘the government must face the dilemma of implementing measures to administrate the problematic area of the sex trade’.
‘The public’s perception of prostitution cannot serve as deterrents for initiating measures to manage sex tourism development,’ the academics’ research opines, noting that ‘with appropriate regulations, sex tourism can be developed in a beneficial manner by eliminating human trafficking and forced sex, preventing threats to public health, and satisfying various stakeholders’.