The Main Origins and Definitions of the StudyThe following section provides the definition and understanding of the terms used in this study.First, sex Tourism is the action of planning to travel purposely for sexual activity.
Many people who undertake this practice usually exploit countries that do not have major legal restrictions on this venture. As such, Gottdiener (2000) defines sex tourism as “a form of prostitution that is linked and dependent upon the patronage of tourists within a country. Concisely, sex tourism converges and connects tourism with prostitution. Second, Sex Exploitation means taking advantage of an individual’s position, for example, age and the vulnerable social status in return for sexual gratification. Davidson (2005) provides a broad understanding of the term ‘sex exploitation’ as a resultant of prostitution and the prevalence of one of the consequences of human trafficking.
Third, Child Sexual Exploitation: Drawn from the term sexual abuse, where the history of its first use dates back as early as the 1860s. However, the word was not embraced into the mainstream until the late 1980s (Jackson 2000). Sexual exploitation of children is not inseparable from other forms of sexual abuses experienced by children. Finkel and Giardino (2002) refer to child sexual exploitation or child sexual abuse “to a dominant or more powerful person involving a dependent, developmentally immature child or adolescent in sexual activities for that dominant’s person own sexual stimulation or for the gratification of other people.” Fourth, Public Relations has its definition debated for a long time before Rex Harlow took the initiative of combining over 470 definitions of the term initiated as early as the 1900s. However, many people criticized the length of the definition despite it trying to cover everything. Subsequently, a more concise definition agreed by many organization was dubbed as the “The Mexico Definition” from the first meeting held in 1978 by the World Assembly of Public Relations in Mexico.
They defined PR as “the art and science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counseling organizations leaders and implementing planned programs of action which will serve both the organization’s and the public interest.” The current definitions and understanding of term are more improved to incorporate aspects of the management function as elucidated by Heath and Coombs (2006).Research ParadigmEpistemological and Ontological PerspectivesThe nature of knowledge is approached principally from two separate views, namely; positivist and interpretive paradigm. This study will embrace the interpretive paradigm towards answering the study’s research question. Henn, Weinstein, and Foard (2006) quote the definition of paradigm provided by Bryman (1988) “as a cluster of beliefs and dictates which for scientists in a particular discipline influence what should be studied, how research should be done, how results should be interpreted, and so on’. As an important interpretative framework, it is vital to understand the aspects of ontology and epistemology towards understanding reality and what we regard as knowledge respectively. Fundamentally, it is imperative to note the existence of different views of how reality is understood. Accordingly, Baptiste (2001) attributes that these differences are hinged on diverse peoples’ thoughts and perceptions that are widely independent and socially constructed.
In this case, the ontology of this research adopts a feminist approach in trying to understand the subject under research. Therefore, the questions directed towards this understanding will be achieved through case studies where government statistics on sex tourism and child sexual education will be utilized. The review of different types of literature and media context explicitly presumes an epistemological question as to which and whose knowledge should count and how further research will go in investigating sexual exploitation of women for commercial purposes.Political Standpoints and Views of the TopicAround the world, tourism infrastructure and policies are established to foster their respective tourism industries. The development of these structures creates a haven for the flourishing of prostitution. In the case study provided by Ward-Pelar (2010), indicates the existence of organized prostitution that is not legal but continues to flourish.
The manifestation of this gray area of the law is not different from other countries worldwide promoting the tourism sector. Studies conducted have been quick to point the existing relationship between sexual tourism and child exploitation and even child trafficking, for example, as individuals and non-governmental organizations continue to fight against this vice most governments and their officials are perpetuating this crime (Estes, 2001; Farran, Sue and Su’a 2009; Hoose, Clift and Carter 2000; Opperman 1998). Furthermore, findings from studies conducted report that the flourishing of sexual tourism emanates from the belief it stimulates economic development (Truong 1990; El-Gawhary 1995). In addition to development aspect, the other complication is posed by the aspect of international crime where laws enforced to prosecute perpetrators of these crimes against children abroad cannot be located in the countries carrying out the prosecutions (Newman, Holt, Rabun Phillips, Scott 2011).Main Questions and Problems Addressed TodayDespite the infrastructure and policies directed towards tourism and tourist activities, very little has been done by the government of the Dominican Republic given that the state continues to face severe and adverse human rights issues that are not prioritized (Hoose, Clift, and Carter 2000). Nevertheless, efforts are noted as the state convened different organizations in DR with the aim of raising awareness towards combating sexual exploitation of children for commerce by providing services to the survivors and victims as outlined and defined by Hughes (2011).
These organizations made efforts towards providing valuable information in regard to the state nature of CSEC in DR including the provision of locations that were believed to be prone to the exploitation of minors (Clift, 2000).The Structuring of the KnowledgeThe knowledge presented in the different literature for this topic is primarily structured in two main parts. The first part focuses on the review of the literature to collect data from different authors. This explains the nature of the studies that have been undertaken by other authors in respect to the same topic including the definition of the key terms. Subsequently, this is followed by the review of the research method employed in addressing the case studies by the authors, the limitations of the research studies, and summaries on the key aspects arising from the studies undertaken by these authors. The second part examines advertisements and propaganda used by private and public relations in the Dominican Republic in order to best access their part on the problem. 4.
MethodologyThis study will adopt content analysis with an aim to achieve the objectives of this study. According to Krippendorff (2004), “content analysis entails a systematic reading of a body of texts, images, and symbolic matter, not necessary from an author’s or user’s perspective.” Similarly, Neundorf (2017) asserts that content analysis is an approach that is employed to draw valid and replicable inferences by interpreting and coding textual material. In this case, the focus will be placed on identifying particular words, phrases, and themes within the cases as ascertained by Stemler (2015) in preparing relevant content through the use of content analysis.In addition to content analysis, thematic analysis is another approach utilized in qualitative research. Guest and MacQueen (2008) acknowledge the similarities and differences posed by content analysis and thematic analysis in the procedure, efficiency, reliability, and use in qualitative data analysis. Nevertheless, content analysis was chosen over thematic analysis in this case given its conclusive focus on identifying frequencies of concepts and phrases when compared to thematic analysis that solely depends on building themes and subsequently analyzing them (Guest and MacQueen 2008; Krippendorff 2004).
The sample for content analysis will be derived from three main original sources namely; print media, broadcast media, and the internet. These ranges from advertisements identified from newspapers, television programs, and content shared on the internet. Employing relevance sampling, the sample will be drawn from the sources with the use of clear set criteria for specific cases, topics, and timeframe. Accordingly, Krippendorff (2004) identifies the advantage of relevance sampling which “selects relevant data in ways that statistical sampling theory has not yet addressed. Another vital component of the content analysis is the process of recording instructions. As such, recording instructions will emphasize on the selection of coders for this exercise with familiarity and experience in this type of research. In addition to the training that would prepare coders for their task, the recording instructions will also detail relevant definition and backup of codenames employed in the process as recommended by Krippendorff (2004).
As an important aspect of content analysis, the discussion on coding is significant in guiding the creation of categories and establishing units of analysis from the amassed advertisements. The coding of ‘male domination’ and ‘female submission’ will be drawn from the formulated checklist following the recording instructions on the coding process. The researcher will identify and ascertain the number of instances these appear from the selected sources of media.