Should Prostitution be Legalized?
Prostitution as defined by the 2007 Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary is the act or practice of engaging in promiscuous sexual relations especially for money. That is one definition of it, but here’s another prostitution is the provision of sexual services for negotiated payment between consenting adults. So defined, prostitution is a service industry like any other in which people exchange skills for money or other reward (Prostitutes' Education Network 2009). Should prostitution be legal? In my opinion it should be legalized. No law has ever succeeded in stopping prostitution (Weitzer 1999). By legalizing and regulating prostitution sex workers would have access to safer working conditions that would prevent the likelihood of rape, violence and the exposure to sexually transmitted diseases.
According to the UNAIDS Inter-Agency Task Team in 2005, sex work has a broad definition which is characterized as the exchange of money or goods for sexual services, either regularly or occasionally, involving female, male, and transgender adults, young people, and children where the sex worker may or may not consciously define such activity as income-generating. There is a widespread view that occasional engagement in transactional sex, or sexual barter, constitutes sex work. Sex work may be formal or informal. In some examples, sex work is only a brief informal activity. Women and men who have infrequent commercial sexual transactions or where sex is exchanged for food, shelter or protection would not consider themselves to be formal sex workers as in those cases sexual activity is a tool for survival. Sex work, however, may be conducted in formal and informal quarters such as brothels, nightclubs, and massage parlors, or on the streets. Prostitution control in America involves the commitment of substantial criminal justice resources with little impact on the sex trade or on collateral problems such as victimization of prostitutes and effects on host communities. There are approximately 90,000 annual arrests in the United States for violations of prostitution laws (Bureau of Justice Statistics), in addition to an unknown number of arrests of prostitutes under disorderly conduct or loitering statutes (Weitzer 1999). Criminalizing prostitution victimizes the sex workers and results in millions each year in ineffective regulations. No law has ever succeeded in stopping prostitution (Weitzer 1999).
By not legalizing prostitution sex workers are exposed and unprotected to explicit dangers. Non-consenting adults and all children forced into sexual activity (commercial or otherwise) deserve the full protection of the law, and perpetrators deserve full punishment by the law (Prostitution Act of 1996). Regulation of this industry would serve as an umbrella from abuse and would treat sex workers as people as anyone else working in other industries (Prostitution Act of 1996). Workers in the sex industry deserve the same rights as workers in any other trade, including the right to legal protection from crimes such as sexual harassment, sexual abuse and rape (Prostitution Act of 1996). Human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion. In many cases trafficking is the result of abduction, fraud, deception, by the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability. A trafficker receives payments or a benefit by having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation says the United Nations. These activities are similar to slavery. In the Netherlands the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stated that to end abuses in the sex industry, the Netherlands decided to change the law to reflect everyday reality. It is now legal to employ prostitutes who are over the age of consent, and do the work voluntarily, but stricter measures have been introduced under criminal laws to prevent exploitation....
Cited: Harrington, Carol. "Taking the Crime Out of Sex Work: New Zealand Sex Workers ' Fight for Decriminalisation." New Zealand Sociology 25.2 (2010): 129-35. ProQuest Central. Web. 3 Oct. 2012.
Network, Prostitutes ' Education. "What is prostitution?."The Prostitute Education Network. N.p., 16012009. Web. 3 Oct 2012. .
Weitzer, Ronald. "Prostitution Control in America: Rethinking Public Policy." Crime, Law and Social Change 32.1 (1999): 83-102. ProQuest Central; ProQuest Criminal Justice. Web. 3 Oct. 2012.
Weitzer, Ronald. "Weitzer: Advocacy Research and Public Policy." Sexuality Research & Social Policy 7.1 (2010): 15-29. ProQuest Central. Web. 3 Oct. 2012.
The UNAIDS Inter-Agency Task Team on Gender and HIV/AIDS. “ HIV/AIDS, Gender and Sex Work Resource Pack.”(2005): N.p., Web. 3 Oct 2012.
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