Author- William Baumgarth
A prostitute is someone who does sexual favors in exchange for money. Prostitution is one of the oldest professions known to man. It has been practiced for thousands of years, and is mentioned in religious texts such as the bible.
Prostitution is illegal in the overwhelming majority of the United States. It is not within the federal government’s power to regulate prostitution, so the decision is left up to the states. The only state that has regulated and legalized prostitution is Nevada (some rural areas). In the rest of the states, it is illegal and usually a misdemeanor.
The argument for making prostitution illegal is that the prostitutes will end up hurting themselves and others with infectious diseases. People also think that prostitution turns woman, and children into a commercial enterprise and that as a result they are treated like property rather than people. Another group of people think that prostitution should be illegal because it is evil, period.
While I acknowledge the arguments against prostitution, it is important to note that illegal or not, people will still be/use prostitutes. In fact, a survey was conducted in 2008, where twenty percent of American men had admitted to paying for sex.* So rather than pretend prostitution doesn’t happen, we should legalize it.
Legalizing prostitution has many more benefits than cons. If prostitution were legal, there would be safety regulations. Every prostitute would get an STD check once a week, because their competition would be getting an STD check every week. No man/woman would go to a prostitute that isn’t tested, because the prostitutes who do get checked would be a much safer alternative. In Amsterdam, every prostitute gets regularly screened, and as a result the experience is much more comfortable.
Not only would legalizing prostitution keep people safe from STDs, but it would also keep the prostitutes safe from violence. As the law stands right now, prostitution has to be done underground. As a result, prostitutes are put into dangerous situations, often going to stranger’s houses. And a lot of these times, the client wants more than just sex. If prostitution were legal on the other hand, every client would be logged. So that if the client did do something horrendous, people would know who the client was, and punishment could be given. In the system we have now, prostitutes can’t report an assault because then they will have to tell the police they are a prostitute and face possible jail time.
Next, legal prostitution would greatly weaken the power of human traffickers. Human traffickers don’t care if prostitution is illegal, because they are criminals. They like the illegality of prostitution, it makes them a lot of money. If they are willing to take people against their will, they are definitely willing to prostitute the people out. If you are already committing serious crimes, then you won’t have a problem committing other serious crimes such as assault and murder. However, who would want an illegal (possibly kidnapped) prostitute, if prostitution is legal? Legal prostitution would very much undermine their business because it would create competition. Nobody in their right mind would want a illegal prostitute anymore, because the legal version would be readily available, safe, and comfortable.
Lastly, prostitution should be legal because it is the prostitute’s right to do whatever he/she wishes with his/her body. Prostitution, if done right, is two consenting individuals having sex. It is not right that the state can dictate morality. It is not right that the state can put someone into prison when there is no victim. When prostitution is illegal, it leads the prostitute into a criminal life. This criminal life can become dangerous and deadly, because the prostitute has to keep their whereabouts secret and put their trust into a stranger.
Sex is sex, but most importantly sex always costs something. Is it wrong for a woman to be direct, and just say “skip the date, give me money”? Even if you did not pay money for sex, you still dedicated time, energy, and emotion. Time, energy, and emotion are spent at places of occupation. Therefore, you dedicate time, energy, and emotion to both make money, and have sex. Even if you had sex for “free,” you gave up time, energy, and emotion that could’ve been used on making money. To me, prostitution is no different than any physical jobs. So legalize it, not only because it is morally right, but also because it will save lives.
* US Prostitution Stat- http://prostitution.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=004119