Virginity Auctions: A fetish, desperate resort or the new human trafficking?

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By Gilda Galang | January 22, 2013 9:29 AM EST

A 38-day auction and a feature-length movie later, the virginity of a 20-year-old Brazilian student and a 23-year-old Russian were auctioned off to the highest bidder.

Businessweek reports that the two most-known cases of auctioning via online in 2012 were aided by a documentary made by director Justin Sisely.

This happened last October, when news of how Catarina Migliorini's and Alexander Stepanov's virginity were reported to have earned $780,000 and $3,000 respectively online.

Migliorini's virginity was claimed by a Japanese man named Natsu, according to Daily News.

This year, a repeat of the incident is in the works, now with a Brazilian high school student, Rebecca Bernardo. Using media channel YouTube, the Sapeacu native posted a video of herself announcing about the auction for her virginity.

"I made up my mind right after my 18th birthday," Bernardo told CNN in an interview. "That's when my mother suffered a stroke."

When she heard about the Australian website that promoted the auction of virgins, particularly about fellow Brazilian Migliorini's $780,000 bid price, Bernardo saw this as a way out of her desperate situation to help her sick mother.

However, the virginity auction is not a new practice. The Frisky has compiled a list of eight women who have resorted to the virginity auction, which dated as far back as 2008, so they can pay off for their college education.

Some cases of the auction really pushed through, such as Alina Percea, an 18-year-old Romanian who auctioned hers off to a 45-year-old Italian at $14,000 (and enjoyed it) and with Rosie Reid, an 18-year-old lesbian who sold hers to a divorced father for $13,300 (and later regretted and learned the hard way that virginity is something you cannot ever return).

And there are also those like Natalie Dylan, who despite a $1.5 million offer, declined and decided that she will wait for the right bid. "I understand some people may condemn me," Dylan said to New York Daily News. "But I think this is empowering. I'm using what I have to better myself."

While it's easy to condemn the act as prostitution, the auction has already been well-thought off. According to The Examiner, arrangements have been made for Migliorini and her bidder Natsu to do the act while onboard a flight from Australia and the United States to avoid prosecution by prostitution laws.

So the question remains: will this practice be charged as human trafficking or is it simply a case of desperate students who want to use what they have to improve their livelihood?

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