Not a Choice, Not a Job


Not a Choice, Not a Job

Exposing the Myths about Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade

Janice G. Raymond

272 pages


July 2013


$29.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

A generation ago, most people did not know how ubiquitous and grave human trafficking was. Now many people agree that the $35.7 billion business is an appalling violation of human rights. But when confronted with prostitution, many people experience an odd disconnect because prostitution is shrouded in myths, among them the claims that “prostitution is inevitable,” and “prostitution is a job or service like any other.” In Not a Choice, Not a Job, Janice Raymond challenges both the myths and their perpetrators. Raymond demonstrates that prostitution is not sex but sexual exploitation, and that legalizing and decriminalizing the system of prostitution—as opposed to the prostituted women—promotes sex trafficking, expands the sex industry, and invites organized crime. Specifically, Raymond exposes how legalized prostitution in the Netherlands, Germany, Australia, and Nevada worsens crime and endangers women. In contrast, she reveals, when governments work to prevent the demand for prostitution by prosecuting pimps, brothels, and prostitution users—as in Norway, Sweden, and Iceland—trafficking does not increase, women are better protected, and fewer men buy sex. Raymond expands the boundaries of scholarship in women’s studies, making this book indispensable to human rights advocates around the world.

Author Bio

JANICE G. RAYMOND, professor emerita of women’s studies and medical ethics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, has been a leader in the campaign to have prostitution recognized as violence against women. From 1994 to 2007, Raymond served as the co-executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), a nongovernmental organization in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. She is the author of four books, including A Passion for Friends: A Philosophy of Female Affection (Beacon, 1986) and Women as Wombs: Reproductive Technologies and the Battle over Women’s Bodies(HarperSanFrancisco, 1994). She has published many articles, some of which have appeared in the Guardian and the Christian Science Monitor. She lives in western Massachusetts.


“After many years as a government minister and activist in Sweden, I read this book with great enthusiasm. . . . Janice Raymond gives us new arguments, better knowledge, and further hope that another world is possible.”—MARGARETA WINBERG, former deputy prime minister, Sweden

Not a Choice, Not a Job is a timely and needed book for those who are looking to dispel the smoke and mirrors and uncover the horrific and complex truths of prostitution and the global sex trade. Janice Raymond’s years of experience in leadership, education, and advocacy are undeniably found within this book. This is a must read for those who want to understand the facts about the harsh realities that so many experience.”—VEDNITA CARTER, founder and director of Breaking Free, a survivor-led service for victims of sexual exploitation

“This is an extraordinary work that will serve for years as the go-to book on the relationship between sex slavery and prostitution. Janice Raymond, who has spent decades wrestling with the prostitution challenge, has covered every nook and cranny of this issue: the history, the efficacy of present practices and, where we should go from here.”—JOHN MILLER, former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large of Modern Day Slavery; former member of the U.S. House of Representatives (R-WA); and former director of the U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons from 2002–2006

“Janice Raymond has written a thoroughly documented book on combating prostitution in all its forms. I have no doubt that the book will greatly benefit not only governmental authorities and human rights activists but also academics and researchers in understanding the complexity of this ‘crime against humanity’ and methods to eradicate it.”—SIGMA HUDA, former UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children; Secretary General, Bangladesh Society for the Enforcement of Human Rights

“Janice Raymond has uncovered, analyzed, and exposed one of the biggest legislative scandals since the slave trade—that of state-sanctioned prostitution. Her research is impeccable, and her conclusion—that the international sex trade be seen as a human rights atrocity—should be taken on board by every politician, policymaker, and law enforcer around the world.”—JULIE BINDEL, journalist, author, and social commentator for the Guardian and other publications

"Not a Choice Not a Job is a desperately needed voice speaking out for the rights and dignity of women and girls worldwide, worthy of the highest recommendation."—Midwest Book Review

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