Essay, 2 pages (500 words)


PROSTITUTION Arguments for Decriminalizing Prostitution According to George Carlin ‘ Selling is legal, and sex is legal, so why isn’t selling sex legal?’ Decriminalizing prostitution would protect the fundamental rights of individual liberty and privacy. As is the case with issues such as birth control, abortion and euthanasia, prostitution involves a person’s right to control their own body and choose the best way to lead their life. Many people are working in this industry because they have no other way to alleviate their financial problems except through prostitution. The criminalizing of prostitution would create ideal conditions for rampant exploitation and abuse of the sex workers. To control trafficking of women, coercion and exploitation prostitution should be decriminalized and the social rights of prostitutes be recognized (Wijer 1998). If prostitution was decriminalized then there would be less chances of abuse and sex related crimes. For example if prostitution is made legal then the victims of sexual crimes would be less hesitant in reporting the criminal activity to the police. This would improve the chances of catching the real perpetrators and prevent them from further victimization. Nevada is a perfect example of low crime rates. Prostitution has been legalized there and this has led to a lower crime rate. In November 2004 a ballot proposal to criminalize prostitution in Churchill County, Nevada, was by a 2 to 1 margin.
Arguments against Decriminalizing Prostitution
Decriminalization would mean that all laws related to prostitution be removed. In other words, buying a woman would be socially and legally equivalent to buying cigarettes. Rape and prostitution are almost the same with the only difference between to the two being that in prostitution the prostitute gets paid to be raped. Decriminalizing is not the way to make prostitution a ‘ little bit better’ any more than it is possible to make slavery a ‘ little bit better’. It is a cruel lie to suggest that decriminalization will protect anyone in prostitution. It is not possible to protect someone whose source of income exposes them to be raped at least once a week (Farley 2004). Prostitution is a profoundly harmful institution where the prostitutes (mostly women and young girls) are hurt the most. They are hurt not only physically but also psychologically. Most of the prostitutes in this industry are there as a last resort. They do not choose to be ‘ paid raped’ like they would choose to be a doctor. Although prostitution has been decriminalized in New Zealand it has brought about an increase in illegal, hidden and street prostitution. Prostitution should not be decriminalized because it is immoral and spreads sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as HIV/AIDS. Studies show that even if the prostitute is tested every week for HIV they would still test negative to 4-5 weeks and sometimes up to 10 weeks after being infected. During this time the prostitute may expose as many as 600 of her clients to HIV/AIDS. Hence prostitution is an evil institution. No matter how old this profession is it is still immoral and wrong.
Farley, Melissa. (2004). Prostitution Is Sexual Violence. Psychiatric Times.
Wijers, Marjan. (1998). Women, Labor, and Migration: The Position of Trafficked Women and Strategies for Support. Global Sex Workers:  Rights, Resistance and Redefinition. New York: Routledge.

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EduPony. (2022) 'Prostitution'. 4 September.


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