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

Prostitution do more harm than good

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/28/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 575 times Debate No: 79127
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)




I believe that prostitution do more harm than good.

Prostitution definiton is any kind of sex that needs money in return.

My arguments basically lie on these 3 things :

1. Prostitution is bad for the health for every parties involved. The chance to get infected by STDs will be higher upon how often you have sex. Also prostitution is done without fully concent by every parties. The consent is fake. every parties needs to find their partner is secured from STD, but without medical check up being shown to each other, basically there is possiblity that one might get infected because his/her partner(s) (either the cutomer or the prostitute) who lied.

2. Prostitution lack on regulation and control. even in the most regulated place we often find narcotics in there. where we find prostitution, we will almost certainly find narcotics.

3. Degradation on women (for female prostitute) and also on man (for the male prostitute). Prostitutes give image that the customer can do anything to them just because the customer is paying. We sometimes find the violant acts in prostitution due to this reason. Regardless the prostitute has given "some rules" in advance, they still be the victim of sex violance due to this image.

On the good side of prostitution, we find nothing but the pleasure of the society. Which I think can be exchange with other more constructiove entertainment such as music and arts.

So, I believe prostituion do more harm than good


I accept and thank my opponent for this opportunity. I will show that prostitution does not provide more harm than good.

The main problem with Pro's position is that it does not account for subjective value. Pro cannot measure the value that prostitution customers place on the service. The fact that those customers do so voluntarily shows that they place a higher value on the service than they do on the costs. The same rule applies to prostitutes, who's voluntary participation shows they value the monetary benefits more highly than the work performed or other risks.

Given the above arguments, in order for Pro to win this debate, it would need to be shown that prostitutes and their customers exchange goods/services in a way that defies logic. For that reason, it isn't really necessary for me to rebut Pro's points. However, for the sake of completeness:

First Pro contends that prostitution is bad for the health of all parties involved. Pro bases this on the frequency of sexual encounters increasing STD's. There are two problems with this: one, both prostitutes and their customers understand this risk and still voluntarily participate. That issue is already baked into the costs of the voluntary exchange. Two, there are many examples of cases where people pay money to participate in things that are potentially bad for their health: smoking, rock climbing, sky diving, car racing, hockey, eating unhealthy food, etc. Would Pro argue that all these consumers are wrong to pay for these services because they do more harm than good?

Next Pro contends that those participating do not really consent to the exchange. This is simply a bald assertion and clearly false. Pro seems to base this on the assumption that prostitutes or their customers will claim they are STD free but will lie about this. However, this is a simple breach of contract. Would Pro argue that automobile sales provide more harm than good because sometimes a customer receives a lemon?

Pro next contends that lack of regulation is a problem. However, customers of prostitution are free to assess the risks of an encounter based on whether it is or is not regulated. Also, Pro's contention that narcotics are found everywhere there is prostitution is also a bald assertion. Even if Pro can show that this actually occurs, I would say that this is because participants in victimless crimes (prostitution & illegal drugs) tend to congregate demographically. And, this is a debate about prostitution not illegal drugs.

Pro claims that both the prostitute and the client degrades themselves by participating. This is a moral question which must be answered by the participants. Is Pro claiming that the event of prostitution causes moral harm to others NOT participating? If not, then again, since the act of prostitution is voluntary, the participants have weighed these costs.

Pro next claims that prostitutes give the impression that clients are allowed to act violently toward them. This sounds like another bald assertion based on movie prostitutes. However, I will simply point out that the agreement between a prostitute and the client generally does not include a "violence is ok" clause. If the client acts violently toward a prostitute, this is not only a breach of contract, but is also a crime (and not a victimless crime).

In conclusion, to show that prostitution does more harm than good, Pro must show that those voluntarily participating are incapable of subjectively valuing the things they participate in. Or Pro must show that prostitution's benefits are overshadowed by the harm caused to other's NOT participating.
Debate Round No. 1


First of all,

1. Subjective value is not a valid argument for a national debate. The government needs to educate and make sure the civil has an objective constructive value. Of course we already know that the reason people buy something is because there is a higher value than the paid cost. But for some transaction, people do not make a wise choice. This is where we should educate the people to make a decision not only to include pleasure as value, but also a constructive one.

Example :
Eating fast food, smoking cigarettes, narcotics and gambling. I believe that people are not always wise in making decisions, and that is where the government needs to interfere by making some policies such as tax, or even banning all negative commodities for the sake of people. Take example where people gambling in las vegas. The people know very well that the house will always win in the long run, but they still gamble for so many hours and end up the majority of the people go home losing the money.

There is a big difference in activities such as smoking cigarettes, consuming narcotics and rock climbing, sky diving, car racing, hockey. For one example, constructive value that we still have in rock climbing,sky diving, car racing and hockey such as Not only pleasure. take example of rock climbing although we know that the sport is risky for your safety, Climbing is good for your physical health in developing muscles endurance and mental benefits, and social benefits (because there will usually be a community). For there are so many benefits, I believe such dangerous sports still objectively do more good than harm.

2. About the fake consent being made. The contender can not compare in a failure service delivered in prostitution transaction and automobile sales activity. 1 thing because a failure of service in prostitution activities is irreversible. and sometimes deadly. Not only it could makes harm that impact to both parties (seller and consumer), it could also impact to another persons such as the lover of the consumer who are innocent. The spread of STDs will be much higher where we provide a place that concentrate sexual activities.

The automobile sales has a return policy if the sales do not meet customer satisfaction. I think for more serious risk we need more serious precaution such as medical lab report being shown before the activities being performed is important but it is mostly can't be done.

3. Drugs and prostitution. Drugs and prostitution have been documented to have a direct correlation. In 1978, a study showed that use of drugs by prostitutes appeared to be an "adaptation and commitment to a deviant social role".

Drug use tended to predate prostitution among low level prostitutes with the connection most likely due to economic necessity. Low level prostitutes tended to use depressants, specifically heroin, as the drug of choice. High class prostitution showed that prostitution predates drug use with stimulants being the drug of choice.

A 1994 study among South London prostitutes showed links between sexual behavior, severity of dependence, and use of heroin, alcohol but rarely, cocaine.

Source :

4. Prostitution degrades themselves and contender keep saying that it is okay because each party do it voluntarily. I guess the voluntarily is only the customer sides not on the prostitute sides. The prostitutes are well aware that the activities will danger their health and they are not happy in doing their job. And whenever they can quit they will quit. But they still do it anyway because of being paid. I think this is a form of degrading yourself.

5. Prostitution and violent acts. There has been many studies upon this. There are so much cases found violent acts happened in prostitution. Mainly because of paying makes prostitute being treated like commodities not a person.

Source :

In conclusion, people live way much better without having a shortcut in paying for sex. For my main concern is in health, reduce narcotics, and reduce violant acts.


In round 2, Pro has claimed that "Subjective value is not a valid argument for a national debate" because we must help people make decisions that are "constructive". In economics, there are other theories of value such as the labor theory of value proposed by Karl Marx. It doesn't seem Pro is proposing an economic theory, but is simply saying some people can make wiser choices for others. Pro wants to impose his/her system of value on others.

I reject such a system outright as being unnecessary and tyrannical. By what right does Pro, or anyone, have to make subjective value decisions for others? This is not the kind system that the United States of America was founded on. In the last round Pro attempts to sort through a list of activities, choosing those where one would be allowed to make economic choices on their own: rock climbing, yes. Gambling and prostitution, no. Pro says:

"I believe such dangerous sports still objectively do more good than harm."

The key words in that statement are "I believe". But it isn't Pro who is presented with the choice. How can Pro make the decision?

Pro claims my analogy of a receiving a lemon when purchasing a used car is flawed because:

"a failure of service in prostitution activities is irreversible. and sometimes deadly"

I'm not sure how many used cars Pro has purchased, but there are many dealers that will laugh at you if you try to return a lemon. And it is conceivable that said car could result in injury or even death. But none of this matters, because in both cases, the purchaser of either the car or the prostitute is entitled to the freedom to weigh these risks and make the purchase anyway. And of course the customer of the prostitute has an easy way to guarantee that there will be no transmission of STD - simply wear a condom. This decision can be made by either or both parties.

Next Pro claims there is a correlation between prostitution and drug use based on two studies referenced. Regarding the 1978 study, the full text is not available online, so I have no way refute any of it's details. However, I did find some information from it's abstract:


This study was of both "low level" and "high level" prostitutes, so we'd likely have 30 prostitutes in each group. I find it hard to believe that much useful information can be gained from a 37 year old study of such a small number in just one city. The information here only raises more questions:

1) what control group did they use to compare to, if any, to determine that drug use among prostitutes was higher than "normal"?
2) how did they select the prostitutes? Were they careful to ensure the population chosen reflects all types of prostitutes thru out the U.S.?
3) how do they know that these women wouldn't be more likely to use drugs even if they were not prostituting? It appears this paper only shows correlation, not causation.
4) is it valid to use a high crime and drug use city like New York in order to establish information on prostitution in general?

The second study (3) also has similar issues. In this case, the study was of 51 women in London. So in addition to my points above, I'll call out the following text:

"Almost two-thirds reported that they only worked as a prostitute in order to fund their use of drugs (predominantly heroin), and that they would not continue working as a prostitute if they were not still using drugs." (3)

So it appears that drug use causes prostitution, not the other way around.

Pro next continues to believe that degradation is a harm but concedes that it's not the case for the client. Pro admits that prostitutes are "well aware that the activities will danger their health" and "But they still do it anyway because of being paid". This is an admission that prostitutes make a rational economic decision. Either they disagree that the job is degrading or they've weighed that cost and chosen to do it anyway. Either way, both the prostitute and the client come out ahead as is the case with all voluntary trade. The key words in Pro's text is "I think". Pro wants to decide for the prostitute.

Pro next contends that prostitution increases violence citing a 2004 study by Melissa Farley, PhD. (4). One thing jumped out at me in the abstract was the claim that prostitution was "paid rape". This figure of speech is a dead give away of bias. Melissa is executive director of Prostitution Research and Education (5), whose mission is:

"to abolish the institution of prostitution" (6)

Lets look at the "voilence" of prostitution from another angle. Studies show that prostitution reduces rape, which is clearly a significant harm to it's victims:

"In the multiple regression model the rape rate was shown to be correlated with the homicide rate and anti-correlated with the availability of prostitution. Both relationships were at above the 95% confidence level. It is estimated that if prostitution were legalized in the United States, the rape rate would decrease by roughly 25% for a decrease of approximately 25,000 rapes per year." (8)

This was a macro-study that looked at data in 22 countries so it does not suffer from the issue of looking at a small population of prostitutes. The author is an Associate Professor of Finance at Northeastern State University, not an anti-prostitution activist.

Why is prostitution, in and of itself, violence provoking? Pro seems to think it's because it's because women become "commodities". I'd ask how this is different than models who sell their bodies images? I don't think there's much violence between models and the crew working around them. It seems clear to me that there is something else going on here (see below). Remember that Pro must show causation in order to fulfill the harm claimed in the resolution.

I would suggest that in many cases it is not prostitution that causes violence, but rather the criminalization of it. A client engaging a prostitutes service is not an act of violence, but a police officer who arrests a prostitute (who has harmed no one) surely is an act of violence. In fact, I would argue that violence against prostitutes, not just from uniformed officers, but from all perpetrators is the fault of the inflictor, not the victim. It may very well be that, in some cases, prostitutes attract clients with violent tendencies, but how is that the fault of prostitution? In fact, prisons and shady drinking establishments seem to have this same problem. This does not prove that these establishments cause harm.

At this time, I would like to introduce some anecdotal information from a call girl. Rather than go on an on without their voice, I think it is important to hear from them:

" But the truth these would-be social engineers don’t want you to know is that the majority of violence against whores is inflicted by the police, either with the blessings of the state (in the name of “fighting prostitution” or “rescuing victims”) or in the shadow created by the state’s definition of harlots as creatures outside the bounds of humane treatment. The state, Western religions, and carceral “feminists” teach that a woman who has sex for practical reasons rather than emotional ones is robbed of her “purity”, and that an “impure” woman would be better off dead." (7)

So where is the origin of violence? In the hooker or in the puritanism of those they come into contact with?


Debate Round No. 2


Thank you for still postings your arguments.

There are some points of your rebuttal which I understand (please clarify this if it's mistaken) :

1. I am being tyrannical
Having a national value does not necessary have to be tyrannical as long as you're not imposing it in tyrannical way. This debate is one of example where we can discuss what are things which should be considered as good for most people and bad for the others. So in making choices in life, people do well aware that they're action will result more negatively or possitively although at the end they still do it anyway. Please do note that this is not a debate to ban prostitiution market. But this debates is want to discuss whether prostitution is good or bad regardless it is legal or not.

There are a lot of thing which people are considering do more harm than good but they still do it anyway. For examples are smoking, drinking too much alcohol, narcotics, too much gambling, etc.. People have to well aware that those actions bring more harm than good, when doing their actions. I don't mind people are smoking, As long as they know the consequences and we could make some policy especially if the non smokers is also on the risk of the smokers' actions. And these policies can be taken in a democratic way. Applied the same to prostitiutions.

2. Subjective value argument.
The motion which I create is I think fair enough. "Prostitution do more harm than good". This debate is not simply only discuss whether the prostitution is good or bad. I do believe that prostitution have both sides (good and bad), But what we should be discussing is, is itrue that the good overcome all the negatives sides of prostitutions (or not)? up untill the third round the contender fail to show the goodness of prostitutions other than arguing it subject to personal values. for that matters, of course I do know it is a personal value. But is it good? is it harmful? to society and also to the prostitutes and the consumer themselves? because personal value does not always manifest into goodness, I think this logic is flaw to negate the motion. It is according to me is a red herring argument. Please do clarify this on the last round if I am mistaken.

3. STD
Surely I know that using a condom is another way to reduce the risk. But that doesnt mean the risk is gone and is still multiplying on how often you have sex with a different people. Moreover, There are a lot of kind of STDs other than HIV which can not be prevent just by using condom. Prostitution make it worse because the frequency of having sex is so up higher than most people. Even compare to the one who has a promiscuous life but not having sex to earn money for life. without medical check up being shown at the first place (which I think is impossible in doing so) I believe prostitution makes the risk higher.

4. Narcotics and prostitution.
For this I admit that we should see the prostitution case by case. And I also admit there is no causation in general can be applied to guarantee all prostitutions using drugs. But the correlation is so high. And in some cases, the pimp will use drugs to make sure the prostitutes keep doing the business. But nevertheless I think you are right. This is a very weak arguments which I don't wish to defend.

5. Violance and prostitiution.
Even if the prostitutes not being beaten by the customer, the act of prostitution is I think a same kind act of rape. It doesn't matter whether you use it by force or with money, the point is the prostitutes are not willing to do it. But, the risk of violence is still there. The ideal life would be the prostitute have the right choose whether they want to perform the job or not as long as they know they won't get any money if they don't do it. But in practical life, such that options is not there. Especially when the prostitiution itself is not legal, how can the prostititute report this to the police without having to have punishment o they prostititution act? In a place where it is legal, the prostititutes is still having the risk of being violated physically because they sell themself as a commodities. Yes I know they can report this to the police afterwards, but still they have been violated. It is not the fault of the prostitutes and I'm not blaming the victim. But the risk of it to happen is there.

so in conclusion, after do calculation I still believe prostititution brings more harm than good. Unless you can show goodness of prostitutions which can be overcome the harm. My arguments lie on the risk. Not necessary it has to happen but rather please explain, what are the goodness that can compesate all the risk other than it is just a personal values that one should defend.


First, I am grateful for Pro completing the debate. Two in a row without forfeit! If this gets votes, I'll have to have a DDO party or something.

My primary contention in this debate has been whether it's reasonable for person X to make value judgements for person Y. It would seem that the standard to be applied in judging whether this acceptable should be quite high. We would not want to grant such a privilege lightly if we value individual freedom and autonomy. There is an unwritten rule of trust we all place in each other. Think about your average day where you see this play out: you drive down a road 60 mph with cars coming at you few feet over at the same speed. If a car were to swerve over, passengers in both cars would likely die. Yet millions of us carry on doing this, despite the fact that more than 30,000 die on the roads each year on the United States. So, it would appear that, as a society, we place a high value on freedom and this value should be considered in these arguments.

So, what reasons does Pro give for breaking this rule of trust, specifically regarding prostitution? It would appear there are two things: one, consumers don't know the consequences of their actions and two, these actions could harm others unless policies are in place to prevent such harm. Pro appears to have dropped arguments centered around drug use and violence. Therefore, if I can address the remaining two concerns, it would seem a vote for Con is warranted.

Do customers of prostitutes know the consequences of their actions? It doesn't seem Pro has given any evidence that they don't. When someone makes a purchase, they will try to understand what they are getting. People generally don't just throw money away. Clients of prostitutes know the risk they are taking just as a smoker knows of lung cancer. They are willing to take this risk, just as I take a risk every day driving to work, or a deep-sea oil rig worker takes risks in his profession. Why is soliciting prostitution any different? Pro has not said. Perhaps Pro feels a moral damage to society as a whole, but this position assumes uniform morals across society. Pro has given no reason why we should accept that, and has not argued on a moral basis.

So what of the harm to others? The only argument left is that prostitution may increase the spread of STD's. Regarding this issue, I have to say, I had trouble understanding Pro's arguments in the last round. Also, Pro's information on STD's is not backed with any sourced information. The issue of STD's is what economists would call a negative externality - that is, the activity of one entity having negative external affect on others. Another example of this would be pollution. However, would Pro claim that automobiles, factories and (the worlds worst polluter) the military, provide more harm than good due to this one factor?

Lastly, not as a form of argument, but just for the sake of posterity: it is my opinion that opponents of prostitution's real basis of objection is morality. I have shown the weakness of the claimed objections, and several analogies where moral issues are not at play and there is no similar objection. The only factor left is morality. So proponents of prostitution ultimately claim the right to impose their system of morality on others.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Balacafa 1 year ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: This was an interesting debate to read. Whilst Pro did use sources and incorporated them into their argument, they did use unreliable sources such as Wikipedia. Con, however, made sources easy to locate by numbering them and they successfully incorporated them into their argument so sources go to con. Whilst Pro provided strong arguments each of these were successfully refuted by Con. Con managed to prove how there were other factors that outweighed prostitution's negatives. Pro failed to capitalize certain parts of their argument and there were multiple spelling errors, for example: "so in conclusion, after do calculation I still believe prostitution brings more harm than good." in this sentence Pro failed to capitalize 'so' and said: 'do' instead of 'doing'. All in all, a very interesting debate but there was only ever one clear winner and that was Con.