This site is no longer being
maintained at this location.


This section of the site Intersectionality has been moved to

Http://racism.org

 

 

UNITS
Institutional Racism                                              x
01 Race and Racism                                              x
02 Citizenship Rights                                              x
03 Justice                                              x
04 Basic Needs                                              x
05 Intersectionality                                              x
06 Worldwide                                              x

   
   
   
   

 

Helen Fisher

Excerpted from: Helen Fisher, The Sex Slave Trade: Biological Imperatives, Cultural Trends, And The Coming Empowerment of Women , 13 Hastings Women's Law Journal 21-29, 26-28 (Winter 2002) (25 Footnotes)

 

Although men and women are capable of engaging in clandestine mating, this does not mean that the sex slave trade is either "good" or "inevitable." Laymen unfamiliar with the basic tenets of the evolutionary sciences often commit what academics call the "naturalistic fallacy," the tendency to believe that what is "natural" is also "good." However, the naturalistic fallacy is just that: a fallacy. For example, just because most mammals are territorial and warlike, it does not follow that war is "good." Using the same logic: despite the fact that many women are genetically predisposed to risk illegal immigration, despite the fact that sex slave traffickers are predisposed to take advantage of strict immigration policies, and despite the fact that men have a natural taste for sexual variety, it does not follow that society should condone the sex slave trade.

Nor does brain architecture suggest that the sex slave trade is inevitable. On the contrary, this social ill can be cured. I propose several reasons for an optimistic future.

Foremost, humans have evolved a sophisticated brain mechanism to direct, even overcome, basic drives, what I call "mind," what others call the"self," the "ego," or the "psyche." Mind, I hypothesize, resides, in part, in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This region lies directly behind the forehead; it more than tripled in size during the course of human evolution. Neuroscientists call the prefrontal cortex the "central executive" or the "crossroads of the mind" because it is connected to almost every other part of the brain and body and it is devoted to processing information. With this part of the brain, we collect myriad bits of data. We order and weigh them as they accumulate. We put them into patterns. We reason hypothetically. We analyze contingencies. We consider options. We plan for the future. We make decisions. Philosopher John Dewey once said, "mind is a verb." I agree. The mind does something. We think. We act in sui generis ways.

Neuroscientists believe that other regions of the brain are also involved in mind. Among them may be the "Orientation Association Area" which resides in the parietal lobe of the cortex. These and other neural regions enable humans to watch and assess the multimedia "movie in the brain." So with the evolution of the human prefrontal cortex, the Orientation Association Area (and undoubtedly many other linked brain regions) our hominid ancestors acquired a brain mechanism that enabled them to make decisions, even override the potent brain circuits for lust, romantic attraction, and long-term attachment.

In short, biology predisposes women to take risks to gain resources for their future offspring. Biology predisposes some men and women to take advantage of strict immigration laws to prey on vulnerable young women. Biology predisposes men to seek sexual variety, thereby supporting the sex slave trade. But with their uniquely human minds, women can find alternatives to gain economic stability for their families, and men can find alternative means to assuage their libidos. We need to provide both sexes with alternative solutions to satisfy their needs.

One solution is to liberalize immigration rules and enable more young women from poor countries to migrate legally and cheaply.

Another solution is to provide women with greater economic and educational opportunities in their own countries. In fact, this is beginning to happen. Data from a 1995 report by the United Nations on 130 societies indicates that in almost all of these societies, the gap between men and women in terms of health, education, and economic resources is decreasing, albeit slowly.

A third solution is to support organizations that educate prostitutes about their rights.

A fourth solution is to break the sex slave networks by severely punishing traffickers and their customers.

A final solution is to educate the men who frequent sex slaves, perhaps even providing these clients with substitutes by legalizing prostitution.

Most of these solutions are highly controversial; all are exceedingly difficult to achieve. However, one dramatic worldwide trend does augur a decline in the sex slave trade.

Research Professor and Member of the Center for Human Evolutionary Studies, Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University.

 
Submit for Periodic Updates
Update List

CHAPTERS
Age                                                        x
Class                                     x
Gender                                     x
Language and Culture                                     x
Religion                                     x
Sexual Orientation                                     x

 
   
   
   
   
Same level:
Indian Policy and the Imagined Indian Woman ] African American Women ] Gender Entrapment or the Problems of Race Loyalty ] Open Letter on Single Parenting ] Compensating "Comfort Women" of World War II ] Lil' Kim And Foxy Brown- Caricature of Black Womanhood ] A Latina Experience of WCAR ] Trafficking of African Women in Western Europe ] [ Dismantling the Sex Slave Trade ] The Realities of Enslaved Female Africans in America ] Female Genital Mutilation and In re Kasinga ]
Child Level:
Home ] Up ]
Parent Level:
Age and Racism ] Socio-Economic Class and Racism ] Lanuguage, Culture and Racism ] Race and Gender ] Sexual Orientation and Racism ] Religion and Racism ]
Units:
[Race and Racial Groups] [Citizenship Rights]  [Justice and Race] [Patterns of Basic Needs] [Intersectionality Issues] [Human Rights]

 

Always Under Construction!

Always Under Construction!
Copyright @ 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001. Vernellia R. Randall
All Rights Reserved.
Contact: race.mail@notes.udayton.edu

 

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, some material on this website is provided for comment, background information, research and/or educational purposes only, without permission from the copyright owner(s), under the "fair use" provisions of the federal copyright laws. These materials may not be distributed for other purposes without permission of the copyright owner(s).


Last Updated:
Wednesday, April 25, 2012  

You are visitor number
Hit Counter    
Since Sept. 11, 2001

Thanks to Derrick Bell and his pioneer work: 
Race, Racism and American Law
(1993).