Real Stories: Cambodia – The Virginity Trade
Splash Area: Night of the Freaks
Many Asian men believe that having sex with a virgin will bring them health and luck. From a more practical point of view, they will not contract HIV from a virgin. The men know that virginity can be faked; there is therefore a huge demand for younger and younger girls, so that clients can be certain of their virginity. A 13 year old girl from the Cambodian countryside can be sold for as much as $1,200. Once her virginity has been taken, she is sold on to brothels, in different parts of Cambodia or over the border in Thailand. Once in the brothel, she is at high risk of disease, and if she manages to escape, faces imprisonment in Thailand, or scorn and rejection back home.
Through intimate and revealing interviews, men explain why sex with virgins is so important to them. We hear the stories of those whose lives have been ruined by the virginity trade, and speak to politicians, the police and representatives from NGOs. Can anything be done to end the plight of these girls?
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