English 9E: Research Paper
20 April 2012
Why Prostitution Should Remain Illegal in the United States
Prostitution is said to be “the world’s oldest profession” (Ramchandran par. 1). The Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines prostitution as “the act or practice of engaging in promiscuous sexual relations especially for money” (“Prostitution” par. 1). Many people argue that prostitution should be legalized, but it hurts people more than it helps. Legalization of prostitution condones sexual behavior for profit. Not to mention, the increased risk of illness or infection via sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs), or death. It also does not “enhance women’s choices” (Raymond par. 45). This means that whether legalized or not, prostitutes are going to continue their activities for the simple fact that they feel they have no other choice. Lastly, prostitution and the sex industry promote sex trafficking, more specifically human trafficking. For these aforementioned reasons prostitution should remain illegal. Many social ills related to this illegal profession involve activities that lead to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and infections (Rich par. 6). Some of these are fatal including syphilis, gonorrhea, and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) (Harry par. 7). Inevitably, more agents (sellers and buyers) would enter the market, and many would neglect to use protection therefore increasing the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (Harry par. 7). The fact that prostitutes consummate with numerous partners does not help prevent these sexually transmitted diseases (Rich par. 6). Even condoms do not provide one hundred percent protection (Rich par. 6). The more sexual partners an individual possess, the higher the probability becomes that he or she may contract a sexually transmitted disease, possibly transmitting it to future partners (Rich par. 6). Although advocates of legalizing and regulating prostitution argue that such reforms would reduce the incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), sex is an inherently risky undertaking and indiscriminant sex considerably more so (Rich par. 7). Considering the fact that no prevention method provides absolute protection, criminalization is one of the only proven ways to reduce the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (Rich par. 7). Anything less than complete legal censure is unacceptable in the face of such an appalling practice (Rich par. 7). “Although the Health Ministry statistics show that only about 10 per cent of AIDS infections are spread by prostitutes, the Malaysian AIDS Council is concerned about the epidemic of such sexually transmitted diseases. As of June 2003, a total of 54,914 HIV/AIDS cases were reported. We do not know the extent of the unreported cases” (Ramchandran par. 9). “This would be worse in developing countries where poverty, illiteracy and ignorance lead citizens into all sorts of unwholesome and precarious acts. By the way, it’s worth pointing out that the spread of these sexually transmitted diseases wouldn’t occur only among prostitutes and their clients, but also among the society as a whole” (Harry par. 7). “Legalization advocates who claim that legalization would reduce disease transmission by requiring that prostitutes be routinely tested for STDs fails to account for the fact that unless all their clients are tested as well before participating in any sexual activity, the profession is still vulnerable for facilitating the unchecked transmission of these diseases” (Rich par. 8). Even though contracting a sexually transmitted disease is a common concern once a prostitute has entered this market, the most frequently asked question is why they decided to choose this particular profession.
Most women that enter prostitution do so for reasons based on survival. Dire circumstances contribute to one’s rational when deciding to engage in sexual solicitation. “Most women who...
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