Friday, January 04, 2008

Reference: Monk molests girl 8, Bangkok Post, January 1, 2008

The news story about a Cambodian monk who molested a Western child (Monk molests girl 8, Bangkok Post, January 1, 2008) serves to illustrate that pedophilia is not a social evil that is imposed on innocent Cambodians by Western debauchery. There are plenty of Cambodian pedophiles. The child prostitution industry in Cambodia is an internal social problem with the supply side controlled entirely by Cambodians including parents who sell their daughters, poverty stricken jobless girls trying to make a living, and the powerful moneyed elite who control the lucrative trade. The demand side is more than 90% Cambodian and the rest consists mostly fellow Asians who share a natural proclivity for misogyny and prostitution as social institutions. There is also a superstitious mystique in Asia with respect to the health and spiritual value of having sex with a virgin and the younger the better, and it is this Asian weirdness that is responsible for the demand side in the market for child prostitution in Cambodia. Poverty provides a ready supply. Wester pedophiles did not invent the Cambodian child sex industry. They choose to go to Cambodia precisely because that industry already exists over there. Yet, international organizations, Cambodian NGOs, and the Western media continue to mis-represent this phenomenon as a social evil imposed on Cambodia by debauched Western pedophiles. The targeting of Western pedophiles particularly in high profile cases offers the illusion that something is being done and it brings in a lot of funding from Western donors to the concerned NGOs in Cambodia. It also provides additional leverage to a corrupt criminal justice system to extort money from rich Westerners. In a comical and ironical twist, parents who sold their daughter to Western pedophiles often demand and receive compensation in this extortive process. However, the targeting of Western pedophiles does nothing to solve the underlying problems of poverty, child prostitution, and the market for virgins in Cambodia. In fact it makes things worse for Cambodian children because the real underlying social problems are not addressed and because children at risk can now be used to entrap farangs for the purpose of extortion on a grand scale.

Cha-am Jamal

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