Written by Thaddeus Blanchette
Time Magazine has now thrown its hat into the ring regarding the sex tourism panic in Brazil. Here’s my response. I’m an anthropologist who has been studying prostitution, sexual tourism and trafficking in Brazil for some ten years now. Let me address some of the misconceptions this article raises.
1) Brazil has a very large problem with the sexual exploitation of children. Like most countries, however, the vast majority of this problem is not concentrated in brothels or in the tourism sector, but out in the neighborhoods and in the Brazilian family itself.
As an example, the city of Fortaleza, one of the host cities of the World Cup, currently has open twenty cases of underaged prostitution (six of which involve foreigners) and TWO THOUSAND cases of sexual exploitation of children that have nothing to do with prostitution or tourism.
This is an issue which our family-values oriented congressmen and -women, like Ms. Liliam Sá, cited in the article, simply do not want to deal with. It is much more politically expedient to bang the sexual tourism panic drum than to say anything against the sacred Brazilian family, which generates the vast majority of cases of sexual abuse and exploitation in our country.