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Sex Tourism Thriving In Bible Belt

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Sex tourism is defined as travel for sex purposes. People travel to various destinations to engage in sexual activities (Free Dictionary). Sex tourism is a practice that has been on for the longest time. Underage girls are used by many people who run these services. The vast world believes that minors are least exposed to sexually transmitted diseases and thus tend to consider them as safe sex partners. Those who manage these brothels capitalize on this and charge the clients high fees to have sex with these minors. This trend is demeaning and the fact that these girls are drugged makes the worst form of abuse. This case study seeks to explore how and why sex tourism has thrived in the Bible belt.

Sex Tourism Thriving In Bible Belt

Brittany is a young teenage girl aged 16. She has found herself in this trade since she ran away from home after having disagreements with her mother. She landed in the hands of a bunch of 19 year olds who demanded her to pay back for their hospitality. Brittany did not have a choice and ended up being initiated into prostitution (Gates and Goodman, par. 1-32). In a single day, she can have up to 17 clients. She is paid up to a $1000 a night and has to stay high on drugs to handle the eventualities. The United States Bible Belt in Atlanta is the hub where this crime is taking place. Its proximity to the busy airport makes it an ideal base for sex tourism. Men are known to fly in frequently to lay these minors and get back to their families in time. These girls are as young as 10 years old and this is quite destroying to the future of the United States. The Bible Belt has beaten places like Costa Rica and Bangkok, which are synonymous with underage sex tourism. (Gates and Goodman, par. 1-32).

These underage girls are sourced from internet sex and social sites. Seduction also plays a major role in nailing these underage girls. Handsome men as well as girls are used to lure them. Other targeted groups are frustrated girls who run away from home due to pressure from parents. These girls are groomed to fit in. this grooming involves threats, gang rapes and beatings. In other cases, the young men who have befriended them sleep with them. Gifts, alcohol, and drugs are also used to hook these minors. The pimps conduct this illicit trade professionally whereby they book in their minors during rap concerts, sports, and conventions. In other cases, parents are known to trade their young girls for money. Some of the United States cities that are notorious with underage sex tourism include Atlanta, Las Vegas, Miami, san Francisco, New York, St. Louis, Detroit, Dallas, Tampa, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Chicago (Gates and Goodman, par. 1-32).

Underage sex tourism is triggered by many factors. Some of the reasons why these minors engage in sex are due to poverty. Due to unstable economies occasioned by unstable politics, many nations succumb to child sex tourism. Many poor people are illiterate and this makes it hard for them to find meaningful employment (Nair, par. 4-6). Another factor is the issue of broken homes. Many children from such homes seek solitude from wherever just as long as they are away from home. Gender discrimination also leads to child sex, as the girl child has to find other means of putting food on the table. The internet has played a big part in sex tourism. It conveniently advertises this trade and guides the sex tourists on where to access the underage girls. Travel agents have also played a role in the growth of sex tourism. Some agencies advertise the young girls to tourists who in turn pay handsomely to sleep with them. Countries with thriving tourism most of the time lure more tourists who in turn exploit these minors (Nair, par. 4-6).

Child sex tourism is commonly referred to as CST. Children are being sexually abused by tourists in their millions. This can be attributed to weak laws when it comes to sex tourism. Lately, global efforts have been felt which seek to put this practice to a stop. America has had to pass strict laws to ensure that this immorality is curbed. In 2003, a law against underage prostitution was passed. A sentence of up to 30 years awaited tourists who insisted on sleeping with girls under the age of 18. Laws on underage sex have been lenient in many states. For example, Georgia’s laws on underage sex sentence offenders for 5 to 20 years only (Gates and Goodman, par. 6-7).

 In 1996 and 2001, a convention was held in Yokohama and Stockholm in an effort to fight sexual exploitation. In 1999, the World Tourism Organization (WTO) launched a code of conduct that looked at combating CST. Awareness programs revolving around sex tourism have been launched. Child sex offenders have been prosecuted in many parts of the world and this is a clear indication that sex tourism is being fought (Montaldo, par. 1-3).

Pope benedict XVI has not been left out in the fight against underage sex tourism. He has encouraged the bishops to embark on the fight against child sex tourism. He feels that this vice can only be curbed if both international communities and civil authorities embarked on fighting this immorality. He advocates for legal protection of minors and the liberation of women. Most men who indulge in child sex tourism are aged 40. Young men below 24 years are also getting into the trade (Kralis, par. 1-3).


Sex tourism is a deep-rooted vice that destroys the young generation. It is insulting to target minors for this illicit trade as depicted by the case study. It is important for the relevant authorities to introduce harsh sentences for those who engage in underage sex tourism. This can help in curbing the vice and ensuring that the young and vulnerable are not exploited. Sex tourism is demeaning and the fact that these minors are exposed to sexually transmitted diseases, self-hate, drug abuse, and physical abuse is even worse. Children must be allowed to be children. Women need to be empowered at an early age to ensure that they engage in legal activities as they struggle to earn. It is important to sensitize young people about the vices that come with social sites, which offer a platform to pedophiles. Parents who trade their children to pimps need to be punished. Human trafficking also needs to be curbed if this vice will be completely eradicated from our societies.

Work Cited

Free Dictionary. Sex Tourism, 2009. Web. 12 May, 2010,


Gates, Verna and Goodman, Mickey. Sex Tourism Thriving in Bible Belt. Reuters, 4 April 2006.

Web. 12 May, 2010,


Kralis, Barbara. Child Sex Tourism. Renew America, 21 July, 2006. Web. 12 May, 2010,


Montaldo, Charles. The Facts about Child Sex Tourism. US State Department, 2010. Web. 12

May, 2010, <http://crime.about.com/od/sex/a/cst1.htm>.

Nair, Sowmia. Child sex tourism, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 2010. Web. 12

May, 2010, <http://www.justice.gov/criminal/ceos/sextour.html>.

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