The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
13 Points

Prostitution Should Be Legal

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/23/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,654 times Debate No: 31615
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)




Resolution: I am arguing that prostitution be made legal in the United States. Con must argue that prostitution laws should either stay the same or become more strict. The burden of proof will be shared equally.

Definition to avoid semantics: The practice of engaging in sexual activity with a customer for payment. Note that prostitutes may be male, female, or both; and their customers may be heterosexual, homosexual, or other.

An introduction to my arguments: After round 1, I will elaborate on my following arguments:

1) People should be able to do what they want with their own bodies.
2) By making prostitution illegal, a dangerous black market is created (which is what is happening now).
3) Prostitution is victimless and is therefore not a crime.
4) Personal and economic decisions of the people are none of the government's business, therefore making prostitution illegal is an intrusion.
5) By legalizing prostitution, prostitutes will become safer and the business will be more efficient, adding another sector to the market.

Rules: Pretty generic. Maintain a respectful attitude.
Round 1 is for acceptance and any clarifications, perhaps a few opening arguments. It doesn't matter.
Rounds 2 and 3 will be for statement of positions and rebuttal.
Round 4 will be for closing arguments only.

Thanks and good luck!


I accept. My opponents arguments are formulated in a way where my rebuttals should be sufficient to support my case.

I will argue the laws should take the Nordic approach -- specifically the Sweden model which has had significant sucess. It is the client, not the prostitute, who becomes the criminal under law.

This model should be accepted because punishing the prostitute-type-reforms seem to be fairly unsucessful, and actually worsen current issues with prostitution. But since the Swedish model, in my opinion, seems to work, I will take their general mdel as my stance.

Let's proceed.
Debate Round No. 1


Brilliant. Thank you, and I apologize for my tardiness.

Nordic Approach
I am still slightly unclear on this proposal (I will allow my opponent to elaborate and make his case), but the basis of this law to me does not make a whole lot of sense. If two adults consent to a sexual activity, what difference does it make that a transaction of money has taken place? In essence, we would be allowing people to be whores and such all they want by offering and giving out their sexual services for free, but we would be denying them a source of income if that is what they choose to do as a living. I disagree. Why make it illegal to pay for something that is perfectly legal to give out for free?

People should be legally able to do what they want with their own bodies
My argument here is simple: I believe that the government should have no interference in the personal lives of a citizen. Such matters are, by definition, personal. If a person chooses to prostitute their body, the government has no right to get into that business. That person made a lifestyle choice and a career move, and they made that decision consciously and independently. To block this choice is nonsensical.

Making prostitution illegal creates a dangerous black market
Obviously, making prostitution illegal hasn't made prostitution go away. Even in places where prostitution is a crime punishable by death, it still exists. It will never stop existing. It's the same way with a lot of things that are illegal. The real effect that not legalizing prostitution has is that it hurts the prostitutes. These people are subject to abuse, rape, or even murder, all because they can't go to the police due to fear of arrest. Prostitutes are in danger, and legalizing and regulating their work would go a long way to protecting them.

Prostitution is victimless and is therefore not a crime

There are few valid reasons for why prostitution should be illegal beyond a basal religious worldview. Of course, religion shouldn't be taken into account because of the First Amendment to the constitution, which, for all intents and purposes, prohibits us from legislating based on religion. So, beyond that, who is being hurt by prostitution? If a person makes the private choice to pay for a sexual service, there is no harm being done and the government should get out of the way. As I've stated earlier, the only one who could potentially be harmed is the prostitute.

Legalized prostitution will be safer and a more efficient private sector

For all of the reasons I have mentioned above, it is my belief that a legal, regulated prostitution system would not only be safer, but it would also add another sector to our economy. Capitalists who oppose legalized prostitution (and other things for that matter) sounds like an oxymoron to me. Rejecting people from doing what they want without hurting anyone and making money off of it sounds like a capitalist nightmare to me.


To sum it all up, the government can protect prostitutes, add a whole new sector to the economy, and stop taking liberty away by making prostitution illegal. Prostitutes and customers have the individual right to make personal and economic decisions of their own without interference from the government, and the only person prostitution could ever potentially harm is the prostitute herself, and that is only when it is illegal and unregulated as it is now in the US.

Of course, I would like to allow Con to make his case for the Nordic approach and, if he feels it necessary, to form rebuttals on my arguments.


1. The Nordic Approach

The Swedish Law punishes those who buy the sex, and not those who were bought. I thought that was pretty straightforward. The Nordic approach has been found to be highly successful, reducing prostitution usage, violence, and trafficking. Other pro-prostitution laws have had the opposite effect, increasing violence (or having no effect) but often increasing trafficking [1].

2. Consensual sex

Often, something being consensual is an illusion. Research studying 9 countries (some of which where prostitution was legal) 89% of prostitutes say they have been forced to be a prostitute, whether it be through coercion or trickery. Further, the amount of trafficking for prostitutes in New Zealand have increased since prostitution decriminalization, presumably increasing the amount of forced prostitutes [1]. The amount of “consensual” sex in the prostitution business is fairly low. However, what about that 11%? Merely because something is consensual does not make it correct. A gladiator fight, for example, is consensual, but that does not mean the state should let people do what they want with their bodies.

3. Black Markets

Everyone agrees you can’t end prostitution; however my opponent assumes legalization will reduce the amount of black markets (and violence) if prostitution was legalized. However, this is simply not the case. The Swedish experience clearly shows reduced violence, coercion, and increases safety by increasing the controls on prostitution [2].

Further, we need to decipher what is intrinsic to all prostitution, and what is not. For example, Farley and Kelly write that violence is, “intrinsic to prostitution.”[3] As violence is intrinsic to prostitution, even when legal, the question is how to best curb some of this violence. Legalization in New Zealand has increased abuse in brothels. What is also interesting is that in Auckland there was a 200-400% increase in street prostitutes (in other words, illegal prostitutes [1]). Although it seems intuitive that legalization would decrease violence and illegal trafficking and black markets, it is shown that the opposite occurs every time. Even in counties in Nevada where prostitution is legal, traffickers often ask to buy the brothels (and it is often answered with a “sure”[1]). My opponent and I agree that helping these women is paramount, but the literature indicates legalization is the worst thing to do when attempting to curb black markets, or increase safety.

4. The victimless crime

The largest victim in this case is the prostitute, as noted often coerced into the business. Legalization increases the amount of street prostitutes. Now, illegal prostitutes are raped about 55 times a year and legal prostitutes 33 times a year. I would say that’s about the same, as one rape is unacceptable. Now to further explain the data: it seems, number wise, legalization would then reduce the rapes! No, as legalization increases the 55 times a year side, and not to mention the trafficking increases. The fact legalization leads to prostitutes being victims, and increased violence, the biggest victims are those coerced into the business [4]. I can name a few victims, actually. (1) the prostitute, (2) those affected by increased trafficking, and (3) those affected by the increase in street prostitutes after legalization.

5. Safer and efficient

It is fairly obvious the harms of prostitution are intrinsic, and are often worsened by legalization. I have demonstrated a strong anti-prostitution law (Sweden, 1997) is the most effective in increasing public awareness and safety about prostitution. Efficient is irrelevant, as any sane person does not want a harmful practice to be efficient. Increasing the money in the business merely increases the harms to society.

1. Melissa Farley. “Theory versus reality: Commentary on four articles about trafficking for prostitution.” Women’s Studies International Forum, (2009).

2. Max Waltman. “Prohibiting Sex Purchasing and Ending Trafficking: The Swedish Prostitution Law.” Michigan Journal of International Law, Volume 33 issue 133, (2011).

3. Melissa Farley, Vanessa Kelley. “Prostitution: a critical review of the medical and social science literature.” Women and Criminal Justice, (2000).


Debate Round No. 2


MTK1978 forfeited this round.


"In the year since lifting the ban on brothels in the Netherlands, eight Dutch victim support organizations reported an increase in the number of victims of trafficking, and twelve victim support organization reported that the number of victims from other countries has not diminished (Bureau NRM, 2002, p. 75). Forty-three of the 348 municipalities (12%) in the Netherlands choose to follow a no-brothel policy, but the Minister of Justice has indicated that the complete banning of prostitution within any municipality could conflict with the federally guaranteed "right to free choice of work" (Bureau NRM, 2002, p.19). ... Contrary to claims that legalization and decriminalization would control the expansion of the sex industry, prostitution now accounts for 5% of the Netherlands economy (Daley, 2001, p. 4). Over the last decade, as pimping was legalized, and brothels decriminalized in the year 2000, the sex industry increased by 25% in the Netherlands (Daley, 2001, p.4). At any hour of the day, women of all ages and races, dressed in hardly anything, are put on display in the notorious windows of Dutch brothels and sex clubs and offered for sale. Most of them are women from other countries who were probably trafficked into the Netherlands (Daley, 2001, p. 4). ... Results of the Swedish legislation thus far have been promising. The prohibition against men buying prostituted women has received strong social support. Several polls, conducted in 2000 and 2001, show that approximately 80% of the Swedish population support the law. Of those who want to repeal the law, the majority are men, with only 7% of women in support of repeal (Jacobson, 2002, p.24). Most importantly, women who are attempting to leave prostitution support the law (Ekberg, 2001). Swedish NGOs that work with women in prostitution also support the law and maintain that since passage of the law, increased numbers of women contact them for assistance. The very existence of the law, and the fact that people know it will be enforced, they say, serve as an aid to young women who are vulnerable to pimps and procurers (Ekberg, 2001)."

"Legal sex businesses provide locations where sexual harass- ment, sexual exploitation, and violence against women are perpe- trated with impunity. State-sponsored prostitution endangers all women and children in that acts of sexual predation are normal- ized"acts ranging from the seemingly banal (breast massage) to the lethal (snuff prostitution that includes filming of actual mur- ders of real women and children). A report on the sexual exploita- tion of children noted that the presence of a thriving adult sex industry in a community had the effect of increasing child prosti- tution in that same community (Estes & Weiner, 2001). Nevada, the one U.S. state where prostitution is legal in 13 counties, had significantly higher rates of sex crimes than the rest of the United States in the 1990s (Albert, 2001)."

Vote CON
Debate Round No. 3


MTK1978 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by GWL-CPA 3 years ago
Part III

MYTH: Prostitution is ugly, but we have to do something to make it a little better. Legalization is better than nothing at all.

FACT: Prostitution can"t be made "a little better" anymore than domestic violence can be made "a little better." Women in prostitution tell us clearly: they want the same options in life that others have: a decent job, safe housing, medical care and psychological counseling. They deserve that, not just an HIV test to make sure that they are "clean meat" for johns or a union to ensure that they get an extra
dollar or two for being paid to be sexually harassed, sexually exploited and often raped.

MYTH: Legal prostitution is a progressive solution to an age-old problem.

FACT: A progressive law promotes women"s equality, not women"s prostitution. The Netherlands and Germany are considering repealing legal prostitution because of the crime, trafficking, and sexual violence in both legal and illegal prostitution. A 1999 Swedish law describes prostitution as a human rights violation against women. Understanding the massive social and legal power difference in the prostitution transaction, Sweden arrests johns but not the women in prostitution. Trafficking and prostitution have plummeted in Sweden since the law was introduced. If you don"t want to get paid for having sex
with 5-10 smelly strangers a day that pimps send your way, why do you think anyone else does? Women in prostitution do not want to be in the brothels: 81% of the women in the Nevada legal brothels urgently want to escape prostitution.

John Stossel of FOX NEWS is another MORON who think Prostitution should be made legal everywhere along will all drugs. Stossel is rich spoiled born with that silver spoon in mouth punk who doesn't know his arse from a hole in the ground.
Posted by GWL-CPA 3 years ago
Part II.

MYTH: When prostitution is legal it eliminates pimps by providing prostitutes with an occupational alternative.

FACT: Prostitution is about not having a range of educational and job options to choose from. Most women in prostitution end up there only because other options are not available. They do not have stable housing, they urgently need money to support children or pay for school, and they often have limited or no education. Prostitution is not labor, it is paid sexual exploitation. It is often paid rape. It is
intrinsically harmful and traumatic.

MYTH: If prostitution is legalized it would promote the mental health of prostitutes because they feel ashamed and stigmatized by illegal prostitution.
FACT: It"s not the legal status of prostitution that causes the harm, it"s the prostitution itself. The longer
she is in prostitution " legal or illegal - the more she is psychologically harmed. The shame and the isolation persist even if prostitution is decriminalized or legalized. Even though they"d be earning retirement benefits if they registered, women in Dutch prostitution don"t register as legal prostitutes because they are ashamed to be known as prostitutes. Regardless of its legal status, women would
prefer to get out of prostitution and usually feel ashamed of it. Does any woman in prostitution deserve to be treated disrespectfully or stigmatized? Of course not. But prostitution inevitably means that you"re treated like an object to be masturbated into.

MYTH: Decriminalizing prostitution would save a lot of money because police wouldn"t have to arrest prostitutes or johns or pimps.

FACT: Decriminalization of prostitution has resulted in expensive legal challenges because no one wants
prostitution zoned into their neighborhood or near their kids" schools. Mustang Brothel was shut down because of tax evasion. Pimps are simply not going to hand over the massive profits that they make from the business of sexual exploitation.
Posted by GWL-CPA 3 years ago
Part I.

Legalizing prostitution does not cut down on illegal prostitution, reduce crime, or reduce the rate of STDs. And, it degrades women, and increase organized crime and child prostitution, and the child sex slave trade.

All societies should banned it and increase the number of police to where most all prostitutes will get arrested nightly, and given long sentences, and their pimps life in jail.

Myths and Facts about Nevada Legal Prostitution

MYTH: Legalization of prostitution will stop illegal prostitution
Fact: FACT: Legalization of prostitution in Nevada, Germany, Australia and the Netherlands has resulted in an increase in illegal, hidden, and street prostitution. Decriminalization and legalization promote sex trafficking. Germany and the Netherlands are currently reconsidering whether to get rid of legal prostitution because of these social problems.

MYTH: Legal prostitution protects prostitutes from rape and physical assaults.
Fact: FACT: Women can report rapes and assaults to the police under current laws. The problem is that contempt toward prostitutes stays the same whether prostitution is legal or illegal. Women are frequently raped in escort and brothel prostitution, according to a number of studies. Almost
everyone in prostitution was raped as a child before she got into it. Incest and rape are boot camp for prostitution.

MYTH: When prostitution is legal, licensed brothel owners do not hire illegal, underage or trafficked women.
FACT: Legalization increases child prostitution. This has been well documented in the Netherlands since brothel prostitution was legalized. Pimps want to make money. They don"t care if someone is illegal, age 16, or whether she was trafficked. Pimps, organized criminals, and especially johns flock to wherever a thriving prostitution industry exists such as Las Vegas.
Posted by MTK1978 3 years ago
I agree!
Posted by 16kadams 3 years ago
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Vote Placed by DoctorDeku 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: This is why we can't have nice things.
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Reasons for voting decision: FF.