Human rights, the church, the law that should be unbiased, and the society have been held for a long time in the debate on prostitution. Prostitution, just like the ban on smoking and underage drinking, are divisive topics that are controversial with opposing and proposing sides. In the light of that context, which ideologies should an individual follow? Who is right in regard to the fate of prostitution? Legally, human rights, freedom and liberty of an individual ought to be respected. But to what extent? The divisiveness of the issue is what triggers the topic to be interesting and controversial. It affects people from different places and people of different religious and political affiliations. My position is that prostitution is immoral, illegal and should be banned. This being the case, this paper will explore the proposing and counter proposing arguments about prostitution, and conclude by summarizing the central position that prostitution is wrong.
Greece has legalized prostitution and many European countries have decriminalized the practice (Kilvington 78-93). Nevada brothel, a well-known brothel is legalized and therefore makes it easier for the government to monitor the activities easily than the illegal trades. Such legalized brothels are to a great extent safe and well regulated and therefore, the government under the relevant authorities routinely inspects such places checking and testing the workers for sexually transmitted diseases to ensure a safe working place. Nevada, Netherlands, Switzerland, Greece, and other supporters of prostitution have laid up various arguments in support.
Proponents of prostitution argue that if the practice were legalized, it would to a large extent reduce violence against women (Blinders 934-942). Many of the sex workers who operate in brothels where the act is considered as illegal are more likely to be raped, assaulted or even murdered. A study done in San Francisco indicated that 82% of the prostitutes had been assaulted while 68% were assaulted in the course of their business (Watts Para 19-23). The victims of such violence in many cases failed to report the culprit for fear of victimization, and the knowledge of the fact that they are involved in illegal business (Watts Para 19-23). Could the business be legalized, the owners of the brothels would have the task of maintaining their name, thus protecting their business and clients. In this, they would involve the community and the police in case any hitch arose. This would credit brothels to be the safest places of prostitution to take place.
Apart from being a safe place, critics argue that legalization would amount to better and healthier workers. It would also lead to the creation of a safe working environment. If the states were involved in protecting the prostitutes, they would go along in ensuring that their health was safe. In this, it would be mandatory for every worker to undergo periodic testing for sexual transmitted diseases (Top of Form
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159-163). Nevada, for example, requires that all sex be done under the protection of condoms (Rosentha 447). This being the rule, it is mandatory for the client to use the protection, thus reducing the prevalence rate of STDs. Criminalizing the act would only lead prostitutes working underground and because of the nature of the illegality, they may not protect themselves or undergo testing, thus putting themselves and others at risk. Criminalizing also may fuel stigma and discrimination, and this may prompt the prostitute not reporting violent clients or access to health services and other harm reducing services (Scibelli 117).
It should be noted that legalized businesses are supposed to pay taxes. This is beneficial to the state as well as to the citizens. In the brothels, critics argue that employment opportunities are created for thousands of people who work as security men, drivers, and, telephone operators, other workers (Van der Meulen 2-6). In the current economic crises, the people need employment and the government needs revenue to run the state affair. The prostitution industry can contribute towards that cause. It is therefore argued that the government should take the money and leave the trade to consenting adults.
With the economic crises looming, and the state of security becoming fragile, states and governments should focus more on the social needs like how to combat internet security, terrorism instead of prostitution, which is a harmless crime. An article in the wall street journal indicated that the police had to wiretap 5000 phone conversations and intercepted over 6000 emails to investigate former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer (Spitzer 1-25). Such costs could have been utilized to track terrorists and other criminals.
Prostitution is a harmless crime, may be better than those who make fizzy drinks and alcohol. If it was legalized, the prostitutes could get labor rights. This includes minimum wage, safe working environment as well as freedom from discrimination. Since the players view the business as an ordinary business, legalizing it could make it be run more professionally, thus eliminating the illegal concept as a result of trade/business barriers. Overall, whether laws are enforced of not, prostitution, just like any other “crime”, is not bound to end. There will always be willing buyers, willing sellers, whether in brothels or in other places. To avoid such drama, why not legalize the act and specify specific locations for the business? Alcohol, gambling, and tobacco are legalized and regulated, though they are very controversial. Why not also legalize prostitution? If legally, there is no problem having sex with strangers after the man buys the woman dinner, drinks, jewels and the like, why does it become a problem when it comes to prostitution? If the government partly accepts prostitution as legal why not also legalize brothels as in the case of the UK, where prostitution is legal but keeping a brothel is illegal (Whyte Para)
The religious organizations, part of the society, some states, and other bodies have come out strongly arguing that prostitution should not be legalized. In most cases, they apply moral, religious, and ethical approaches to discredit the act. Legalizing prostitution would in most cases lead to increased global human trafficking, violent crime as well as rape and homicides. It may also empower criminals to operate in the underworld, promoting the repression of women.
Legalization of prostitution is likely to lead to increased human trafficking (Dempsey Para). The brothel owners would most likely find people who can offer the services. This could be through illegal means, including trafficking and use of force. This being the case, if the trade was allowed to operate freely, many illegal immigrants as well as under aged persons would likely engages in the business. This is likely to deplore of the society’s morals and standards. Legalizing the industry means that massage parlous, brothels, sex club and other organizations can offer the services. This is likely to tarnish the name of the state as well as increased social ills.
By legalizing prostitution, it is believed that the spread of diseases would be evident. Since testing takes several weeks to get the results, a prostitute may spread the disease to many unknowing clients. At the same time, prostitution leads to demeaning of women’s status in society. It also prompts violence and rape cases to be prevalent among innocent women as well as the prostitutes. By allowing men to pay for prostitution services, women are turned into objects of misuse by men. This is demeaning as well as discriminatory. Collecting taxes from brothels and using the money to finance school projects may act as a leeway for the students to engage in the vicious thinking that it is a moral business.
The majority holders in the prostitution business are women and ladies. It should be noted that in many of the occasions, it is dehumanizing and Aggrrh! Awful. Imagine sex through the mouth, rectum, and the vagina? Is this not the same as pronouncing the feminism brand dead? Whether controlled or not, men end up misusing the prostitutes since they claim to have “paid for the services”. This is a dehumanizing as well as gender biased. The aspect of women being taken as commodities is utter flatter to their status, demeaning their morals, respect from others as well as putting the society behind. It should therefore be rendered illegal and culprits subjected to full force of the law so that sanity can resume in society.
Some critics have argued that could prostitution be allowed, it could lead to men opting to stay single forever and since they would get the required satisfaction from prostitution. At the same time, it is held that allowing prostitution is likely to prompt many of the men to cheat on their wives and girlfriends if they became engaged. This being the case, the practice should not be allowed, so that the values of the families can be upheld.
A general observation is that could smoking be banned, or even if rules were introduced to curb illegal trade is introduced, players tend to be discouraged and new recruits are likely to shun away from the trade. This is the same with prostitution in that could it be enforced as being illegal, many of the women would opt not to engage in the business and would rather look for other options to sustain themselves economically. It is important to understand who the players in the industry are. Once and again, it has been said that prostitution is likely to lead to human trafficking. In this, foreigners are entrapped and are forced to work in the brothels as prostitutes. The surprising facts about prostitution is that majority of the players are underage girls. The shame of it is that those who introduce them may not be players in the industry but may only be gratified individuals who exploit unknowing and undeserving girls. If it were illegal, human trafficking and especially underage involveme4nt in sex trade would minimize.
Prostitution should be banned because of its nature, and facts that opponents or supporters of prostitution brings forward seem genuine to a great extent. This brings in the idea that I criticize prostitution because of my radical and hard stand on prostitutes. I believe and think that it is a matter of personal choice and morality that should govern the correct position of prostitution. The trade has employed people in their thousands, the industry has generated billions of dollars, and even some governments have reaped taxes from the industry. As the industry partakers indicate, genuine visions and ambitions are needed when arguing on which stand to support. Whether we refuse to acknowledge prostitution or not, it is here to stay, whether legally or illegally. This is because, the partakers do not need anybody to support, or protect them. Legalizing prostitution has been credited with the creation of employment to many youths while at the same time, reduces the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Money used by state government to curb prostitution could also be used to service other projects as well as reduction of violence against women. On the other hand, prostitution should not be legalized since it deplores and demeans societal morals. It may increase the risk of disease infection if prostitutes knew of their condition and this would be disastrous. Prostitution largely has been as a result of poverty, lack of proper rules, morals and ethics in the society. While it may not be possible to completely end the activity, the state governments have the tasks of educating young people on the problems associated with prostitution. Measure to curb immigration woes and sex trafficking should be uplifted so as to minimize the trade. Creating employment opportunities can also help largely in reducing the prostitution activities since women will have alternatives to prostitution.
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