Prostitution is defined as an act of offering sexual services to an individual in exchange for cash, possessions, or other services/goods. It is a global practice that brings income of hundreds of billions annually. It is a practice that greatly varies from nation to nation. While some countries consider prostitution a serious crime which is punishable by death, others have embraced it as an integral part of the social order and have thus legalized it. In the United States, prostitution is illegal. However, there are some jurisdictions like Nevada in which the act is legal. While some people believe that legalizing prostitution is beneficial, others have recognized several disadvantages of legalized prostitution.
The Background and Context
Prostitution is one of the oldest professions in the world. However, the legal prohibition of the trade has largely been abortive in the push to do away with it. Over and above, there have been clear religious as well as ethical objections to prostitution, and in deed, to sex outside the confines of matrimony. However, the practice has become associated with a number of contemporary challenges in the world today. As a matter of fact, the dreaded HIV/AIDs condition poses greater risks to the health of prostitutes as well as their clients (Carol 531-534).
Apparently, there are several gangs which infiltrate organized crime to force prostitutes to operate on their behalf. In most cases, they force them to be involved in the drug trafficking. Consequently, as a substitute to ethical concepts, it is just logical for a realist to acknowledge that when the law has so conspicuously failed to prohibit prostitution, it may just be better to eliminate the challenges associated with it, rather than the practice itself (Flowers 39-43).
Challenges around the Prostitution Debate
The debate around the legalization of abortion is largely an intricate issue. This is due to the fact that sex is a not only a sensitive issue, but also private. This is the reason why any debate around the legalization of the solicitation of sex is bound to be a heated one.
In many ways, both sides of the debate are somehow flawed, with both arguments being based on predictions on an existing as well as continuing patriarchal, unequal, and violent societal structure. Apparently, it is a society that does little to tolerate absolute liberty and choice. There are cases galore that involve men who sexually abuse women and children. It is noteworthy that a huge percentage of prostitutes are women (Leigh).
What Could be the Possible Solutions?
Over and above, the argument in favor of the legalization of prostitution is a respect for people’s choices in their private lives. In this regard, if individuals feel like they want to pay for sex, and there are people who are ready to perform it for cash, then it is justifiable that they ought to be empowered to do so. After all, why should the option for people to choose be taken away? In as much as a good part of the society do not find this socially acceptable, it ought not to be the society’s prerogative to make decisions for individuals.
Safety of the People Involved
In many ways, it is vital to legalize prostitution since this will go a long way in ensuring the safety of the parties involved. The regulation of prostitution is vital in ensuring the safety of the people involved since they can easily be monitored. This is due to the fact that sex workers would be screened for STIs and be protected from possible risky clients. Additionally, the same clients would also realize similar benefits. This has actually been attested following the system of legalized prostitution in Nevada (Carol 531).
However, people who are not in support of this idea think that such a move would lead to the more vulnerable of the society getting involved. It also ought to be noted that assumptions that all prostitution is harmful to women and that prostitutes’ concerns are never realistic in their defense of prostitution as a substitute.
Legalizing Abortion Would Help Curb Human Trafficking
In the United States, there is always a relation that exists between prostitution and human trafficking. Apparently, the American society has allowed men and women who choose to involve themselves in this workforce to be susceptible. By and large, prostitution is in reality the most perilous occupation in the United States today because of the fact that a number of police officers are not willing to offer aid to prostitutes who have been beleaguered, sexually abused or down trodden (Flowers 39-43). It is ironical that the society turns its back on people that rely on the same protection just like any other person.
The legitimization of brothels will lead to a diminishing of the number of girls who are still under age to take part in the practice. The number of girls who are not of age of consent and are taking part in the practice will reduce. The legalization of prostitution will be instrumental in restricting the trafficking of human beings who are sold and bought as sex slaves. In most cases, these are largely vulnerable prostitutes. Consequently, legalization of prostitution will result in the provision of government resources to hit out at, unearth, apprehend, and take legal action against the ring leaders of sex trafficking (Carol 531-532).
Reduction of Crime
Something else that ought to be noted is that as a result of the fact that prostitutes can be arrested because of their actions, long-term increase in crime as well as drug abuse has become the norm in the society at large. In most cases, charging a woman with sexual offense is a dishonor that is bound to last for a long time, an event that renders her absolutely unemployable.
This is the stigma that enhances criminal activities due to the fact that the society views criminals as well as their clients as good target for fraud, rape, robbery and other unlawful activities. By and large, criminals have taken note of the fact that individuals like these are not likely to provide information concerning the crimes to the law enforcement officers. This is simply because they would have to acknowledge that they took part in the criminal goings-on in prostitution when the criminal activities were carried out.
Suppose prostitution was illegal, such victims would not be ready to divulge information to the law enforcement officers on any offensive activities that took place while they took part in it. This would considerably augment the likelihood of arresting such criminals and stopping them from making a victim of others. By and large, such a move could deter them from participating in the criminal activities in the first place. This kind of opinion is in tandem with the occurrences of other Western nations where it is legal to get engaged in the sex industry. It is no wonder that they have significantly lower crime rates comparing to the United States (Carol 531-534).
Legalizing Prostitution Is Beneficial to the Prostitutes as well as their Clients
Most of the women who engage in prostitution do so because it is their only way of assuaging chronic monetary issues. However, there are a number of sex workers who are not necessarily poor, but they engage in prostitution just because it is enjoyable to them. In this way, they are able to receive both earnings as well as individual contentment from the activity.
The same for the clientele, there is actually no particular reason for their freedom of purchasing companionship and affection to be curtailed. This is because they want the affection, though they may not get it from other features of their existence. For instance, at some point there was a disabled man who complained that he was lonesome and would therefore visit prostitutes since he was ugly and women would avoid him as a result of his disability. This way, the prostitutes are the sexual outlets for him.
Additionally, other people say that their engagements with sex workers as well as other people involved in the sex industry assist them to surmount severe dislike for physical intimacy. This could arise due to several years of bodily and emotional exploitation at a tender age. Such people complain that were in not for sexual intimacy with sex workers, they would have passed on virgins.
To such people, sexual intimacy with sex workers is a great healing experience. In many ways, with appropriate training, sex workers are able to help many of their clients to triumph over erotic phobia, as well as other sexual dysfunctions (Flowers 39-43). Anyone arguing that prostitutes ought not to assist such people is only ignorant and oblivious of the difficult conditions such people undergo.
All in all, in order to avert the challenges around prostitution, the society ought to make it legal. If legalized, criminals who use prostitutes to further their own agendas will not have the loopholes to continue. Additionally, the fact that prostitution is not legal endangers the lives of the sex workers as well as their clients. In this regard, legalizing prostitution will go a long way in helping to curb the transfer of STIs since the prostitutes will be offered with licenses to operate, a situation which necessitates medical authorization.