I would venture to say that the majority, of the prostitutes in Southeast Asia including Thailand or the Philippines are young women who have voluntarily engaged in prostitution to support their lifestyle or to put themselves through school, or simply to pursue their dreams. Driven by consumerism and materialism, it's not about putting food in their stomachs, it's more about getting that new designer handbag and a new cellphone. In a nutshell, these girl's poverty is not about what they do not have but about who they are.
Steve Suphan takes on the mainstream Western media's bias towards Thailand and presents an interesting question regarding poverty.
"...highly qualified and knowledgeable Western reporters were quick to point out that such immoral business exists in Thailand because of rampant poverty. Now, I am not going to say that such inhumane activity does not exist in Thailand, but it is certainly nothing like what the Western media portrays. As for that poverty lark, well how do you define poverty? If you define it as lack of food, shelter, clean water and clothing, then there is very little poverty in Thailand. If you define poverty as lack of an MP3, new Honda Dream and a flat-screen TV set, yes then there is a lot of poverty in Thailand. But then again, if you define it so, then the West is also full of poverty. By the way, if you had no choice, what kind of poverty would you settle for, a gun-toting Los Angeles slum or a buffalo-ridden remote Isarn village?..."