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Old 03-23-2014, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Kent, Ohio
3,427 posts, read 2,331,305 times
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I'm doing research on the nature of sex trafficking from a psychological point of view. I've found plenty of books and articles giving insights into the lives of victims, but so far (not too surprisingly) I've found very little that helps me understand the minds of traffickers. I would appreciate any insights, or suggestions for sources of information on this. Actually, any insights into how a person gets to a point where they brutalize other people in a "business" format would be helpful. What I'm looking for specifically is insight into people (both men and women) who have the hands-on job of brutalizing slaves in order to break them for the purposes making money in prostitution or other forms of work.

I'm familiar with the tricks and mind-breaking techniques (I've read, for example, "The Slave Across the Street" and "Half the Sky"), but I'm having trouble understanding the minds of traffickers and community-sanctioned "rape mentality." It might be relatively simple if we could simply say that they are all straight-out sociopaths (brains incapable of empathy, etc.), but I don't think it is that simple. Especially when there are aspects of cultural/community support. (e.g., in some communities it is tradition, for example, for a man to kidnap a woman who has turned down his proposal for marriage and repeatedly rape and beat her until she agrees to marry him. Or, to throw acid on her face, etc.) What I'm trying to imagine is the "internal monolog" or self-justifications of a person who inflicts this sort of suffering. How do they see themselves? How do they feel about their actions? And what, if anything, might cause them to "see the light" and feel remorse for what they've done?

As far as I know, we cannot cure sociopaths, but as I said, I don't think that most of these people are sociopaths. I suspect they are capable of feeling empathy for some people - perhaps their family, etc. - but this capacity for empathy seems to be turned off in their minds for certain groups of people, such as lower-class girls and women, poor migrant workers, etc.

Related question: Do you know of any fictional or autobiographical stories told from the first-person perspective of a trafficker? I'd be interested to know if any such writing exists.
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:06 PM
 
Location: southern california
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you seem to know way more about this subject than the average poster. by any chance are you involved in the prostitution business.
???
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:28 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
3,631 posts, read 6,451,709 times
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"Selective" empathy is widespread and always has been.

My knee jerk reaction is that trafficking is simply about money and the amount of risk one is willing to take combined with cultural beliefs and personal moral code.


There is a fictional movie named Cargo that basically highlights the fictional dynamics of a transporter and the woman he is delivering. Again its just a movie but you might find it interesting even though it is fiction.
I thought it was overall pretty interesting.
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:42 AM
 
7,493 posts, read 10,539,493 times
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Cargo is an interesting watch. Also on the list are the movies Trade, Human Trafficking, Trade Of Innocents, and Abduction of Eden. Very disturbing. I think these people just think of their victims, maybe even women and children and weak men in general as not really human or not worthy of sympathy and good treatment. In most of these movies, there's a character who does not really like aspects of the sex trade business, but go along with it for fear, money, reputation, etc. In Abduction of Eden, that character who bonds with the girl named Eden is a meth addict also. There are many different social problems involved in human trafficking that keeps it going and keeps it a profitable business.
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:23 AM
 
Location: USA
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They often live in brutal poverty stricken countries where money and survival outweighs morality. The choice is to be a sex trafficker or to starve in the slums.
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Old 03-25-2014, 03:07 PM
 
32,888 posts, read 22,008,888 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaylenwoof View Post
I'm doing research on the nature of sex trafficking from a psychological point of view. I've found plenty of books and articles giving insights into the lives of victims, but so far (not too surprisingly) I've found very little that helps me understand the minds of traffickers. I would appreciate any insights, or suggestions for sources of information on this. Actually, any insights into how a person gets to a point where they brutalize other people in a "business" format would be helpful. What I'm looking for specifically is insight into people (both men and women) who have the hands-on job of brutalizing slaves in order to break them for the purposes making money in prostitution or other forms of work.

I'm familiar with the tricks and mind-breaking techniques (I've read, for example, "The Slave Across the Street" and "Half the Sky"), but I'm having trouble understanding the minds of traffickers and community-sanctioned "rape mentality." It might be relatively simple if we could simply say that they are all straight-out sociopaths (brains incapable of empathy, etc.), but I don't think it is that simple. Especially when there are aspects of cultural/community support. (e.g., in some communities it is tradition, for example, for a man to kidnap a woman who has turned down his proposal for marriage and repeatedly rape and beat her until she agrees to marry him. Or, to throw acid on her face, etc.) What I'm trying to imagine is the "internal monolog" or self-justifications of a person who inflicts this sort of suffering. How do they see themselves? How do they feel about their actions? And what, if anything, might cause them to "see the light" and feel remorse for what they've done?

As far as I know, we cannot cure sociopaths, but as I said, I don't think that most of these people are sociopaths. I suspect they are capable of feeling empathy for some people - perhaps their family, etc. - but this capacity for empathy seems to be turned off in their minds for certain groups of people, such as lower-class girls and women, poor migrant workers, etc.

Related question: Do you know of any fictional or autobiographical stories told from the first-person perspective of a trafficker? I'd be interested to know if any such writing exists.
I don't think the psychology of sex trafficers is any different than that of other organized crime syndicates. Whether you look at organized crime here or abroad, in general a sociopathic mindset prevails. Money and power are God, and there's a boatload of money in sex trafficking, probably billions if you added it up around the world. Organized crime figures love their families too, but are able to separate "business" from personal feelings. That's how they can put hits out on people, force business owners to give them "protection" money until they go broke, etc, etc etc. Human life does not hold the same value as money and power. Watch all 5 seasons of "Breaking Bad" for the best view of a man's journey into criminal sociopathy.

Also, they would have no need to do this if it weren't for the people who pay for the "use" of the slaves, so they don't seem to care about humanity as much as their own desires, either.
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Kent, Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocnjgirl View Post
I don't think the psychology of sex traffickers is any different than that of other organized crime syndicates.

I think you are basically right - at least in many cases - but this just means that I would lump these folks into the types I'm trying to comprehend. I think there are some distinctions, however. For example, I can somewhat understand brutality in situations where one perceives "enemy" (e.g. direct killing or torture in war, gang wars, etc), or a greater good (religious fanaticism), or crimes of vengeance, etc. It seems to me there is some difference between these types of things, and the direct brutalization of, say, a 12 year old girl so that you can use her to make money, or so that you can make her agree to marry you. Except for full-blown sociopaths whose brains are simply incapable of empathy, I have the impression (perhaps I'm wrong) that most people somehow find some way to see themselves as not being totally evil. Basically some sort of self-justification, however warped it might be. As I mentioned, I'm trying to imagine what sort of internal mind-chatter these people have that helps them feel justified in what they are doing. Or perhaps they don't feel justified?

(And, just to be clear: "somewhat understand" does not = "accept" or "condone" or "fully understand.")

I will try to take a look at the movies mentioned by some people above.
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Old 03-25-2014, 05:24 PM
 
32,888 posts, read 22,008,888 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaylenwoof View Post
I think you are basically right - at least in many cases - but this just means that I would lump these folks into the types I'm trying to comprehend. I think there are some distinctions, however. For example, I can somewhat understand brutality in situations where one perceives "enemy" (e.g. direct killing or torture in war, gang wars, etc), or a greater good (religious fanaticism), or crimes of vengeance, etc. It seems to me there is some difference between these types of things, and the direct brutalization of, say, a 12 year old girl so that you can use her to make money, or so that you can make her agree to marry you. Except for full-blown sociopaths whose brains are simply incapable of empathy, I have the impression (perhaps I'm wrong) that most people somehow find some way to see themselves as not being totally evil. Basically some sort of self-justification, however warped it might be. As I mentioned, I'm trying to imagine what sort of internal mind-chatter these people have that helps them feel justified in what they are doing. Or perhaps they don't feel justified?

(And, just to be clear: "somewhat understand" does not = "accept" or "condone" or "fully understand.")

I will try to take a look at the movies mentioned by some people above.
IMO even though to us they would seem very different, these people in all forms of crime have the same primary motivating factor; money and power. If there wasn't big money in it, it wouldn't exist, period. I'm not talking about street gangs, I'm taking about syndicates like the Russian mob, they are very much involved in the flesh/slave trade, even here in this country. Like the other large crime syndicates they see all people as either worth something to them, or not, in all their "enterprises". Look at the brutalities of the Mexican drug cartels, they kill children outright, again for money and power. None of it is based on normal human feelings, IMO.
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Kent, Ohio
3,427 posts, read 2,331,305 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocnjgirl View Post
IMO even though to us they would seem very different, these people in all forms of crime have the same primary motivating factor; money and power. If there wasn't big money in it, it wouldn't exist, period.
Money is obviously important in trafficking, but I think the core of the problem (at least in many cases) goes deeper than greed. Even in situations where there is relatively little money or power to be gained, brutal abuse can be rampant. Although, I suppose that even control over just one person can be a drive for some people, so you could say that "power" in some sense is the motivator, even if it doesn't amount to much in any objective sense.

I'm starting to think of this stuff in terms of a "targeted" combination of extreme narcissism and sociopathic tendencies. By "targeted" I mean that these factors are not necessarily at work in their lives at all levels, but rather, the come into play in the presence of specific types of people (e.g., a certain race, or lower economic class, or women, or come combination, etc.). For example, I eat meat, so someone could say I am a narcissist and sociopath relative to farm animals. (Technically, that not quite true because I do feel bad enough to buy only free range meat, and I would have trouble if I had to do the hands-on killing, but the basic idea is that I clearly don't value "lower" animal life in quite the same way I value human life.) So now I have to imagine some sort of brain disorder that causes a person to categorize certain types of people as, literally, "less than human" or "not really people" etc. so that they could "herd", "brand" and sometimes slaughter people with no more concern than the average farmer has for cattle. The conversations of traffickers, abusers, etc., (both internal mind-chatter as well as public discourse) could be similar, in some sense, to a bunch of cowboys herding cattle. But possibly with an added level of brutality? I suspect that many traffickers get a frightful sort of satisfaction (maybe "power rush" and/or sexual excitement?) from raping and brutalizing people in the process of breaking them.

In other words, I can roughly understand narcissism and sociopathic behavior in terms of brain disorders, so if I apply these concepts as being targeted toward certain types of people (historically very commonly toward women, lower classes, and darker-skinned people), then I can almost start to understand the "inner life" of abusers. Their brains literally might not categorize certain types of people as worthy of any humane consideration (sort of the way I might categorize a mosquito). So the question then would be: What are the most effective ways to change this way of thinking?
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:53 PM
 
195 posts, read 248,244 times
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Why would you want to understand such a mind? Put a bullet thru it, like you would any other mad dog.
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