A 20-year-old woman from Southern Brazil has sparked a wave of criticism by auctioning off her "first sexual experience" to the highest bidder as part of a documentary. The stunt has generated outrage in Brazil, however, bids have already reached $1 million.
The young woman, Catarina, stopped her Physical Education studies to participate in a documentary project called "Virgins Wanted" by an Australian director, Justin Sisely, who has also selected a male participant called Alex, who is 21-years-old.
"I saw this as a business. I have the opportunity to travel, to be part of a movie and get a bonus with it," said Catarina, who will receive $ 20,000, along with 90 percent of the final auction sale price.
Director Sisely first revealed plans for the controversial documentary in 2009, however, he later planned to take the auction overseas to avoid potential prostitution charges in Australia.
Currently, he is not only facing legal problems related to prostitution laws, but also being widely condemned and has received death threats in Australia.
"There's been a lot of negativity, a lot of different sorts of opinions - Is this prostitution? Am I exploiting people?" he said, according to Adelaide. "In the film, I'm trying to show a different side of what normally constitutes prostitution; (these people) are not constantly making money from selling their body."
Pastor Jaime Kemp, who has a Doctorate in Family Ministry has told The Christian Post that when he heard about the news it greatly saddened him, and he described it as "abuse."
"It is the use and abuse of the girl," he said to CP. "We are using and abusing a person or a group of people. It is sad!"
According to Kemp, the project is about money, which has been placed above morality in this case, but he says it will succeed simply because people are curious about the extraordinary event.
Catarina, who says she is fully supported by her family, justifies her decision to take part and sell herself, saying: "Many people meet unknown people in bars, have sex on the same night and forget about them the next day; others lose their virginity with boyfriends but then after that things change."
"For me, the most important is to not to harm anyone," she said.
For Kemp nothing justifies it: "Virginity is precious. Nothing justifies immorality. She will have many difficulties in her marriage. Her husband will know about this. Nothing justifies it, it is against the Word of God."
Pastor Kemp, originally from California, conducts an outreach to young adults across Brazil, holding lectures offering advice on sexual issues based on Biblical principles. He says he often uses the book of Song of Songs, and in particular chapter 4, to show the "preciousness of sexual life within a couple."
Kemp also believes Brazilian churches are behind in the issue, and he admits that he prays for young people to remain virgins until they are married.
"The [Christian] churches here are waking up [regarding the approach by church pastors and leaders] now. Today there is more freedom and honesty to openly discuss sex with young people."
Kemp has written a book about 20 consequences of premarital sex, which attempts to open the eyes of youth to the issues of sex, and to realize that there are serious consequences to their actions when it comes to sex.
For the Australian Family Association SA, the idea of the Virgins Wanted movie is "pretty sleazy."
"It is a sad indictment on society that sex is becoming so commercialized," said its spokesman Jerome Appleby.