RECOMMENDATION 4

Part: 
Three
Chapter: 
2

Congress should amend the Mann Act to make its provisions gender neutral

The Mann Act[119] makes it a federal offense to transport "any woman or girl" in interstate or foreign commerce for the purpose of "prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose, or with intent and purpose to induce, entice, or compel such woman or girl to become a prostitute, or to give herself up to immoral practice, debauchery or to engage in any other immoral practice."[120] Men and boys who are used in prostitution and in the production of obscene materials are often transported in commerce for the very purposes proscribed in the present statute.[121] Those who exploit men and boys for illegal and immoral purposes should be subject to the same punishment as those who exploit females.

The proposed amendment would simply afford protection to a class of persons who are without adequate legal redress. While women and girls may continue to comprise the majority of such cases of exploitation these statistics should provide no excuse to exclude men and boys from equal protection purely on the basis of the smaller number of reported cases.[122]

Further, the Act should be amended to prohibit illegal acts rather than the current prohibition against immoral acts. This amendment would address and alleviate the concerns of those who suggest an overzealous prosecutor may use the Act to harass individuals engaged in lawful consensual sexual activity. This amendment would not expand the scope of enforcement or prosecution and it should set clear guidelines for the types of activities that are proscribed.

Notes

  1. 18 U.S.C. S2421 (1985).
  2. Id.
  3. See, Comm. v. Richard Kind, C-19168; Comm. v. Theodore Dufresne, C-19608; and Comm. v. Alfredo Martin, C-19568 Circuit Court of Arlington County, Virginia.
  4. ". . . statistically there appears to be no particular preference on the part of the child molesters for victim. It's about 50 percent of the time boys and 50 percent of the time they are girls. So clearly boys ought to be included under the Mann Act." Washington, D.C., Hearing, Vol. I, Senator Mitch McConnell, p. 56.