Prostitution is commonly referred to the “world’s oldest profession”. It is something that undoubtedly does now and has always existed in every corner of the globe. Prostitutes are depicted on television and in Hollywood films in a wide range of ways from drug addicted homeless women lurking in the shadows of urban city streets to high priced escorts who cater to some of the richest men in the world.
In many countries including the United States, prostitution is illegal. Despite this, it is usually not viewed with the same contempt as more “serious crimes”. Instead, most view it as more of a morality issue, a “vice” or a social evil that because of human nature, can never be completely extinguished but should be kept as far out of public view as possible. Each specific country and their people have their own respective view of prostitution and the Dominican Republic is no exception. In this article, we will examine prostitution in the Dominican Republic and everything that relates to it in some detail.
The prostitution rate per capita in the Dominican Republic is considered very high. Additionally, the Dominican Republic is statistically the 4th largest exporter of prostitutes in the world behind Brazil, Thailand and the Philippines. So why are the rates so high? Why are so many Dominican women prostitutes? Well, we can probably point to a number of social factors to answer that question.
First and foremost, the Dominican Republic suffers from a very high poverty rate. Over 25% of the Dominican population is said to be living below the poverty line. Educational standards are very low and the majority of people living in the campo (countryside) stop attending school at a young age. The adult literacy rate is a low 87.8 percent. For most, there is little or no opportunity. Unemployment is at a staggering 17% and many, who do have jobs, work for very low pay. There is also a very high rate of teenage pregnancy and fatherless families are extremely common. It is not surprising with so little opportunity and so little hope of future opportunity that many Dominican women turn to prostitution.