Peculiarities of Colombian brothel prostitution as well as its similarities to that practiced elsewhere are reported. Data gathered through interviews with a group of brothel residents in Manizales, and by means of participant observations in the brothels of several Colombian cities, indicate that economic factors play an important role in its etiology and maintenance. Incomplete “commercialization” of this prostitution system is described along with the negligible role played by pimps and the freedom Colombian prostitutes have to dispose of their earnings. Misconceptions about prostitutes pointed out by other authors (Pomeroy, 1965; Gebhard, 1969), such as marked infertility, irreligiousness, and homosexuality, are also contested by this study. Pomeroy's and Gebhard's findings of the prostitute's lack of regret about her trade are not confirmed. It is the authors' contention that prostitution shows ample sociocultural variations and that theoretical generalizations regarding it do not apply to different cultural milieus.
Key wordsprostitution brothel pimp Colombia sex
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