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I find the arguments about actual numbers, which cannot be substantiated one way or the other, silly and detracting.
One of the last stories I covered while a journalist in Asia was that of child prostitution in the Philippines. Most of the patrons were Westerners such as the American editor of a widely circulated Hong Kong based magazine who "retired" to Manila for the ready access to young victims. As I remember, he preferred boys in the 8 to 10 year age range.
While Portland is about as far from Manila as a city can be in many ways, there are many common aspects of this sickening business.
It was the worst story I ever covered. The men who used the kids actually looked me in the eye and claimed that the kids "wanted it." And, as I led several different publications to the story, the pedophiles several times threatened my life. In response to the embarrassment caused by the publicity, the Marcos regime rounded up and jailed the children; I do not recall any of the pedophiles being punished.
Just remembering it makes me feel sick.
The social structure leading to child prostitution is different in Asia and the USA, but I believe this is the lowest, most despicable adult human behavior, and liberal that I am, I would embrace special severe punishment for the adults that do this to kids.
posted 2 years, 9 months ago
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