Taipei News Report

Thursday, November 29th, 2001

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Poll finds 78% of Taiwanese want a prostitution district

An overwhelming 78.16 percent of respondents to a survey believe that the government should set up a prostitution district in Taiwan.

The results of the poll, which was conducted by the Open weekly magazine, were released yesterday and followed a recent crackdown on the Taipei City sex trade.

The survey was conducted by telephone from Nov. 18-21. A total of 1,048 samples were collected with a margin of error of 3.03 percent.

Legislative candidate Chiu Chang (邱彰), Taipei City Councilwoman Lin Yi-hua (林奕華) and various scholars were on hand at a news conference held by the magazine at the Legislative Yuan.

Chiu and Lin urged the government to heed the public’s views on setting up a brothel district.

They also urged the government to compile reports on the impact legalized brothels would have on a city like Taipei.

The survey found that 26.81 percent of the respondents believe that the establishment of such a zone would help to “root out sex problems.”

The poll results also show that the public believe that the prostitution problem is most serious in Taipei City (29.63 percent of respondents), followed by Taichung City (29.34 percent), Taipei County (3.45 percent), and Kaohsiung City (3.07 percent).

Lin explained that, because of many recent media reports on the rigorous crackdown on the sex trade in Taipei City, people may have an “exaggerated” perception of the sex trade in the city.

Associate Professor Shih Chi-sheng (石計生) of Soochow University (東吳大學) said that people in metropolitan areas usually have more tolerance toward the sex trade and added that he is not surprised that Taipei City, Taichung City and Taipei County rank the top three in terms of the perceived problem.

Shih criticized Taipei Major Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) recent campaign against the sex trade as being no more than a political ploy and not a sincere attempt to deal with the thorny question. He added that a more “humane, institutionalized” approach would be more effective than a “rigorous crackdown.”

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