The Instigator
I-am-a-panda
Pro (for)
Winning
26 Points
The Contender
InsertNameHere
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points

Prostitution should be legalised

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
I-am-a-panda
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/14/2010 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 20,913 times Debate No: 12548
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (51)
Votes (8)

 

I-am-a-panda

Pro

I will be basing this argument from this former debate of mine as an opening argument http://www.debate.org...

=== PRO ARGUMENTS ===

ECONOMIC BENEFITS:

If Prostitution was legalised, the government could regulate it and tax it. It would create more revenue for the government through this. Furthermore, it would add another legal market to the economy and lead for a bigger economy for the nation which legalises it.

The legalisation of Prostitution has benefited many countries which legalised it economically, and is a significant percentage of economic activity.

"The prostitution industry accounts for 5% of the GDP of the Netherlands, between 1 and 3% of Japanese GDP and in 1998, the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that prostitution accounted for between 2 and 14% of the total economic activity in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines" - http://sisyphe.org...

WORKER BENEFITS:

The legalisation of prostitution would lead to better working conditions for prostitutes. The legalisation of prostitution has led to better health conditions in countries which legalise it, such as Senegal:

"In Senegal, HIV prevalence among pregnant women has been below 1% for more than a decade. A strong multisectoral response, an effective STD control programme and early legalization of prostitution have been credited for this low level. Special clinical services, for example, offer regular examination and treatment for registered sex workers. Not only has there been a significant decline in STD rates among sex workers and pregnant women between 1991 and 1996, but genital ulcers are also no longer common and chancroid is reportedly rare." - http://www.liberator.net...

This shows that when the sex industry is legalised and regulated, the workers within it are less prone to STD's than in the illegal sex industry.

SOCIETAL BENEFITS:

There is a general reduction in violence and criminal activities with the legalisation of prostitution, and a lower crime rates in accordance with the level of punishment given to prostitution.

"It is unknown if there is a correlation between laws that prohibit sex and higher crime rates, but the reverse appears to be more enlightening. The countries where prostitution is legal do not suffer from a high number of violent crimes." - http://www.liberator.net...

CONCLUSION:

In conclusion, the legalisation of prostitution leads to a bigger economy, better conditions for workers, and generally a reduced crime rate.

I thank InsertNameHere for this debate and look forward to her response.
InsertNameHere

Con

I thank my opponent for posting this debate. Good luck to both of us!

I'll like to begin by saying that prostitution should not be legalized. Firstly, my opponent gives reasons against this, the first being economic benefits. While it's true that revenue could come from such services is it really that significant of a difference? How would it be any different if any other service was legalized? For example, legalizing marijuana across the United States and taxing it would generate between $10 billion and $14 billion annually alone. http://www.prohibitioncosts.org... Not only is this a significant amount, but it's also now a victimless crime.

Secondly, my opponent moves on to discuss worker and societal benefits of prostitution. Legalizing prostitution could lead to problems in these areas such as STD's, unwanted pregnancies, abusive pimps, etc. Legalizing prostitution would also lead to empowering pimps. They would be able to unrestrictedly engage in sex trade activities with little regulation, many of whom do it against their will. Legalizing prostitution also means legalizing pimps. These same pimps may also be engaged in other activities such as the drug trade which is illegal. A prostitute working for a pimp may also be greatly restricted in where she can go, whom she can see, and even abuse her for disobeying. http://www.prostitutionresearch.com...

Another issue worth noting is the fact that in many cases, prostitution can led to the objectification of women. This is of particular concern to feminists, many of whom oppose prostitution on those grounds. http://www.feministissues.com...

Lastly, there is the issue of STD's. According to some studies the rates of STD's among women in prostitution is much higher, some as high as 85% coming into contact with some form of sexually transmitted disease. http://www.uri.edu... Although a much smaller number of these cases are serious it would no doubt be uncomfortable walking around with these viruses. Another problem would be the risk of spreading them among other clients. Both the client and the prostitute would be at risk rather than just the prostitute.

Now to my opponent... Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
I-am-a-panda

Pro

I thank InsertnameHere for her response and look forward to a good debate.

"While it's true that revenue could come from such services is it really that significant of a difference? How would it be any different if any other service was legalized? For example, legalizing marijuana across the United States and taxing it would generate between $10 billion and $14 billion annually alone. http://www.prohibitioncosts.org...... Not only is this a significant amount, but it's also now a victimless crime."

--> I completely agree with the legalisation of Marijuana. Furthermore, like Marijuana, prostitution is a victimless crime. A victimless crime is defined, as per Wikipedia, as "an infraction of criminal law without any identifiable evidence of an individual that has suffered damage in the infraction." [http://en.wikipedia.org...]

Through prostitution, no individual suffers damage. The prostitute involved is involved in the act willingly. As is the buyer. If either party was not doing so willingly, it would be rape, which is not prostitution.

Therefore, for my opponent to support he Legalisation of Marijuana, but not support the legalisation of prostitution on the basis of the former being a victimless crime is false.

"Legalizing prostitution could lead to problems in these areas such as STD's, unwanted pregnancies, abusive pimps, etc. "

--> In terms of STD's, at current, STD's are only responsible for between 3 - 5% of all STD's.

"The U.S. Department of Health consistently reports that only 3-5% of the sexually transmitted disease in this country is related to prostitution (compared with 30-35% among teenagers). There is no statistical indication in the U.S. that prostitutes are vectors of HIV. Although a small percentage of prostitutes may be HIV positive, William Darrow, CDC AIDS epidemiology official, cites no proven cases of HIV transmission from prostitutes to clients." [http://www.bayswan.org...]

Of course, should prostitution be legalised and strict regulations be put in place, STD's would drop significantly. A good model for this is Nevada, where women are tested for Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia weekly, and monthly for HIV and syphilis [http://www.leg.state.nv.us...]The benefits of Nevadas system are clear as "roughly half of the street prostitutes in Washington, D.C., and New York City are HIV-positive. In Newark, New Jersey, the estimate is that close to 60% of all prostitutes carry the AIDS virus. Yet, in the relatively "free market" of Nevada, where prostitution is legal, not one (as of 1989) of the state-licensed prostitutes has ever tested positive for AIDS. " [http://www.fff.org...]

As for unwanted pregnancy, this is easily prevented through the use of contraceptive pills, and abortion methods if necessary. Prostitute, and their managers, would be aware that much less business would be forthcoming for prostitutes should they be pregnant.

As for abusive pimps, abusive pimps already exist. Currently, prostitutes have no legal recourse for being abused by pimp, and have no workers right. For example, no trade union exists to allow prostitutes to negotiate better wages or better working conditions. In a free market of prostitute, these would come into existence.

"They would be able to unrestrictedly engage in sex trade activities with little regulation, many of whom do it against their will. Legalizing prostitution also means legalizing pimps. These same pimps may also be engaged in other activities such as the drug trade which is illegal. A prostitute working for a pimp may also be greatly restricted in where she can go, whom she can see, and even abuse her for disobeying."

--> As for little regulations, this has already been addressed. The Nevada model with regular health heck-ups, coupled with actual legal recourse for prostitutes s legal workers would work out better for prostitutes. Indeed, legalisation would allow for government intervention, and allow for the aforementioned legalisation of the industry to happen.

As for women doing it against their will, what you define as against their will is subjective.I may work in an office cubicle and dream of running a Multi-national corporation, but I am in no way doing the job against my will. As I have said before, prostitutes have no legal rights. Legalisation would allow them to leave their jobs without repercussions. This would allow prostitutes who have been trafficked to leave the industry.

As for the legalisation of pimps, these pimps will now have to obey workers right laws. Should they not obey this, then they will be incarcerated. Again, legalisation provides prostitutes with the protection of the law. Saying hey may be involved in the drug trade is irrelevant. If a Wal-Mart store is secretly peddling cocaine, that doesn't mean all Wal-marts, and convenience stores, are peddling cocaine, and thus convenience stores should be illegal. So, Non sequitur.

"Another issue worth noting is the fact that in many cases, prostitution can led to the objectification of women. This is of particular concern to feminists, many of whom oppose prostitution on those grounds."

--> As for the feminist stance on prostitution, feminists are still split over the issue {[http://www.feministissues.com...]. The objectification of women argument fails on the ground that it presumes prostitution is an exclusively female trade. Male prostitutes do exist, and so prostitution leads to the objectification of men. Thus, prostitution objectifies both sexes, and is not an exclusively female issue. Regardless, every trade objectifies women, or men.

A shoe factory worker can be objectified into something that makes a shoe. A secretary can be degraded into something that answers the phone and type memos, among other things. Prostitution isn't a special case of this. Prostitution, regardless of its legality, will objectify women. Legalising it will give legitimacy to prostitutes as real people, who aren't repressed because of their choice of career.

"Lastly, there is the issue of STD's. According to some studies the rates of STD's among women in prostitution is much higher, some as high as 85% coming into contact with some form of sexually transmitted disease. http://www.uri.edu...... Although a much smaller number of these cases are serious it would no doubt be uncomfortable walking around with these viruses. Another problem would be the risk of spreading them among other clients. Both the client and the prostitute would be at risk rather than just the prostitute."

--> I have addressed this above, but to re-iterate, since 1989 no occurrences of HIV have been recorded in the Nevada sex trade. As for my opponents, it only discusses the instances of STD's in the current, non-legalised sex trade, which has no legal instances for women to get medical check-ups. Referring back to Senegal in Round 1, STD's have declined significantly since prostitutions legalisation, even in a country with a low HDI of 0.464 and per Capita GDP of $1,743 [http://en.wikipedia.org...].

I await my opponent's response.
InsertNameHere

Con

Thank you Panda for your response. I will also like to apologize for my delayed response. Now to rebuttals...

My opponent started this round by stating that prostitution is victimless. This, however, is untrue. There are always two parties involved, the prostitute and the client. The client has no way of knowing who the prostitute had slept with previously so the client also shares a risk of contracting various STD's just as the prostitute does.

Secondly, my opponent goes on to mention the STD rates among prostitutes. While the rates are low, there are still possibilities of the viruses spreading. In many Asian countries for example, the STD rates among prostitutes is quite high. For example, in Vietnam it is estimated that 49% of sex workers who inject drugs are also HIV positive(8% for those who do not inject drugs). There are similar trends in India with 8% of sex workers being infected with HIV, which is estimated to be a rate nine times higher than those among Indian adults. http://www.avert.org...

Thirdly, my opponent goes on to talk about abusive pimps. Even if the sex industry is legalized there would be little stopping these pimps from abusing prostitutes. If a person wants to engage in criminal activity then they will. It's like how criminals choose to get guns despite the fact they're illegal. If prostitution became legal there would also have to be stricter laws implemented in order to protect the people involved. This would include implementing stricter laws against rape as a prostitute should have a right to choose who to have intercourse with.

Lastly, while there are men who work as prostitutes it is almost exclusively a female trade with only about 20% being males. http://www.bayswan.org... This can pose a problem as females are usually more vulnerable to violence and abuse. These female prostitutes could be misused.

I'll now pass this on to my opponent once again. Good luck. :)
Debate Round No. 2
I-am-a-panda

Pro

I woudl like to thank my opponent for this debate.

"This, however, is untrue. There are always two parties involved, the prostitute and the client. The client has no way of knowing who the prostitute had slept with previously so the client also shares a risk of contracting various STD's just as the prostitute does."

--> Every transaction carries a risk. For prostitution, there are ways of preventing STD's spreading, mainly through the use of condoms. Clients are fully aware of the chance of getting STD's through sex, as a builder, for example, is fully aware he may be injured on a building site, even if he has all the correct safety equipment. There is no intent on behalf of the prostitute to give their client an STD.

"For example, in Vietnam it is estimated that 49% of sex workers who inject drugs are also HIV positive(8% for those who do not inject drugs). There are similar trends in India with 8% of sex workers being infected with HIV, which is estimated to be a rate nine times higher than those among Indian adults."

--> It is clear to note that there is connotation between drug use and HIV rates prostitutes who do not use drugs have a HIV rate of 8%. It is therefore clear measures for prostitutes to not use drugs which utilise needles should be put in place. Indeed, in a prostitution market, HIV and AIDS rates will want to be kept as low as possible for increased client satisfaction.

Despite this still high rate, it is important to note that prostitutes would, in my previously discussed Nevada model, be checked regularly for HIV and AIDS, and if detected to be positive, be barred from legally practising prostitution. It is important to further note that while we are not discussing any country specifically, examples of developing (Senegal) and developed (Nevada) areas have low to non-existence HIV and STD's rates. Evidence of effective HIV lowering methods have occured in Thailand through "100% Condom programmes", foudn in my opponents link "In the early 1990s, they implemented the now famous ‘100% condom programme', enforcing mandatory condom use in brothels throughout Thailand, which helped to significantly reduce the spread of HIV." [http://www.avert.org...]

Wile Indians sex workers have a HIV\AIDS rate roughly 9 times higher than the average Indian adult, it doesn't refer to drug use, and does not make a distiction between drug using and non-drug using prostitutes. It is conceivable that there would be a gulf between the two, as in Vietnam.

"Even if the sex industry is legalized there would be little stopping these pimps from abusing prostitutes. If a person wants to engage in criminal activity then they will. It's like how criminals choose to get guns despite the fact they're illegal. If prostitution became legal there would also have to be stricter laws implemented in order to protect the people involved. This would include implementing stricter laws against rape as a prostitute should have a right to choose who to have intercourse with."

--> Let us then, under a similar train of logic, ban any form of economic activity which involves managers and workers, because if managers against to abuse workers, hell, they will. Of course the issue with this is that labour lws exist to prevent workers being abused. It would be easy transfer these laws to prostitutes, and prosecute any 'pimps' for mistreatment of prostitutes. This woul quickly deter 'pimps' from abusing their workers.

Although criminals get a variety of illegal things, the difference is that in illegal transaction, both parties benefit. If a prostitution is being absued by a pimp, there is a suffering party, that can go to the police, get real legal recourse without fear of prosecution, and have their abuser punished.

As for the stricter rape laws, like all workers, prostitutes will have to sign a contract detailing their working hours and form of work, which they, and their employer have to abide by. No special laws are required. While prostitutes are certainly in a unique trade, they have to abide by a contract. Factory workers can't claim they are being held captive if they have to do something that's in the contract, but they don't want to do.

"Lastly, while there are men who work as prostitutes it is almost exclusively a female trade with only about 20% being males. http://www.bayswan.org...... This can pose a problem as females are usually more vulnerable to violence and abuse. These female prostitutes could be misused."

--> That lists the proportion of prostitutes arrested, not the actual ratio of male to female prostitutes. However, taking those numbers as approximate, it does show prostitution contains roughly 1 male prostitute for every 4 female ones. While this does mean women dominate the trade, it also means all safeguards do not have to be made with females in mind. Also keep in mind female 'pimps' exist as well. As I have mentioned before, workers rights exist that would easily facilitate prostitutes.

I again thank my opponent for this engaging debate.
InsertNameHere

Con

InsertNameHere forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
51 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by meghappy 4 years ago
meghappy
for your debate on legalization of prostitution, i was wondering if you could explain to me what kind of legal market would be generated from the legalization of prostitiution? im doing a research paper and i love this aspect. thank you for your time - meagan
Posted by Anarcho 6 years ago
Anarcho
Why are pimps even needed anyways?
Posted by I-am-a-panda 6 years ago
I-am-a-panda
Got proof?
Posted by dashdustrider 6 years ago
dashdustrider
This is true, but the sex slave would be a by-product of legalizing prostitution
Posted by I-am-a-panda 6 years ago
I-am-a-panda
This bro*
Posted by I-am-a-panda 6 years ago
I-am-a-panda
"Young children are forced to work and/or prostitute themselves to provide for the family. Other reasons behind the increase in CSEC in the region are urbanisation, high illiteracy rates, early and forced marriage, unemployment, low status of women in the society, consumerism, civil conflict and tourism.". - Legalised prostitution ain't the cause of thisbro.
Posted by dashdustrider 6 years ago
dashdustrider
ECPAT: CSEC in West Africa
www.ecpat.net/eng/Ecpat_inter/IRC/articles.asp?articleID=5&NewsID=5
At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]
CONTRIBUTING FACTORS - Child prostitution is inextricably linked to socio-economic difficulties and child labour where young children are forced to work and/or prostitute themselves to provide for the family. Other reasons behind the increase in CSEC in the region are urbanisation, high illiteracy rates, early and forced marriage, unemployment, low status of women in the society, consumerism, civil conflict and tourism.
SEX TOURISM - Senegal is a major tourist destination with seven to eight months of peak tourist season. According to UNICEF Senegal, sex tourism has emerged as a new phenomenon. Boy prostitution is said to be on the increase, and children of both sexes harass tourists in the bid to lure clients.
Posted by I-am-a-panda 6 years ago
I-am-a-panda
"It will be impossible to regulate the prostitution industry." - Senegal and Nevada. Now GTFO
Posted by InsertNameHere 6 years ago
InsertNameHere
Damn, I did miss the deadline... :(
Posted by dashdustrider 6 years ago
dashdustrider
The only way that the sex slave could be kept out of the business is if the government became less corrupt, and if the people running the business couldn't be threatened by the kidnappers in the sex slave industry.
It will be impossible to regulate the prostitution industry. Mexico tried to regulate the drug industry. Every government wants to regulate crime. But things still happen.
Unless it can be guaranteed that the kidnappers will not send their victims into the industry, it is impossible, morally and legally to allow the industry to start.
If the current illegal industry can't be stopped, how can we regulate it if it was legal
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