The Instigator
Arnar
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Guidestone
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

Prostitution should be legalized

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Guidestone
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/28/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 791 times Debate No: 41371
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

Arnar

Pro

The resolution is that prostitution should be legalized. Con will attempt to argue that it should stay illegal.

Definition of prostitution: The practice of engaging in sexual relations in exchange for money or other objects of monetary value.

Round one is for acceptance only as well as any definitions or clarifications con may wish to present. No new arguments can be presented in the last round.

Good luck con!
Guidestone

Con

I thank my opponent for proposing this debate and I wish him good luck.

I look forward to debating victimless crimes, and harm.
Debate Round No. 1
Arnar

Pro

Hello Guidestone and thanks for accepting the debate. I will be presenting arguments from a prior debate of mine where my opponent forfeited. This is not plagiarism since it‘s all written by me.

For an activity to be criminalized it must at the bare minimum infringe upon other peoples rights, either directly (rape, murder, theft, etc.), or indirectly (pollution damaging peoples health for example). I maintain that prostitution involves neither and should therefor not be considered a crime.

My first argument will be the fundamental one dealing with the legality of prostitution. The other two are supporting arguments demonstrating the positive practical benefits of legalizing prostitution.

1. Prostitution is a victimless crime

Given that the prostitute and the buyer are both consenting participants, there is no victim. If there is no victim, then how can there be a crime? Furthermore, the state has no business controlling what adults choose to do with their own bodies or for what reasons they choose to engage in sexual activities, as long as they are not infringing on other peoples rights.

2. Undermining the black market and increasing workplace safety for prostitutes

Today, black markets, i.e. pimps and other criminals, meet the demand for prostitution and these „employers“ tend not to be overly concerned with the safety of their employes. If prostitution were legalized, then the black market would have to compete with legal brothels, which would presumably be regulated by the government. Prostitutes working at these brothels would enjoy the benefit of a much safer working environment and would therefor have a significant incentive to work there instead. Legalizing prostitution would also allow prostitutes to unionize, ensuring that their rights as working men and women would be respected.

3. Decreasing the taxpayers' load

The state spends significant amounts of money and resources combating prostitution. If prostitution were legalized, then the expenditures of the police and justice systems would decrease and the tax revenue would increase.

I look forward to reading con's rebuttals and counterarguments.
Guidestone

Con

Thanks for your response.

Lets take the issues one at a time


1. Prostitution is a victimless crime

"Prostitution is often described as a "victimless crime", or a "consensual crime", because in theory, no one present at the crime is unwilling. In reality, this is a myth. In reality, prostitution of women is a particularly lethal form of violence against women, and a violation of a woman's most basic human rights...Sadly, the majority of girls enter prostitution before they have reached the age of consent. In other words, their first commercial sexual interactions are rape. Research indicates that most women in prostitution were sexually and physically abused as children." [1] "There's some sentiment out there that prostitution -- except for the potential of sexually transmitted disease and the marital implosion it may cause -- is really one of those victimless pursuits that really doesn't fit the description of a crime. Aside from the societal concerns that sex for money constantly erodes whatever moral values the majority of us still hold dear, the more immediate harm is dealt to these vulnerable young women who are usually duped into a life of dependency and abuse." [2] It would also lead to more anti-social behavior of men who now can just walk into a brothel and pay for sex.

So the list of victims are the institution of Marriage, Morality, any who gets an STD, youth, women.


2. Undermining the black market and increasing workplace safety for prostitutes

The goal with black markets is to eliminate them not turn them into legitimate buisnesses. "No other workplace has to cover the range of health and safety issues that ensue from this sexual and economic exchange. Together with STIs, verbal abuse, battering, sexual harassment and violence, rape and unwanted pregnancies are recognised occupational health and safety risks within the prostitution industry. This does not change because prostitution is legalised." [3] "Ingrid Barclay’s study, which looks at the experience of four women in one of Melbourne’s legal brothels, shows how even when overt coercion is not present, women remain disempowered. The women in her study found that they had to agree to any sexual acts a buyer demanded to obtain a booking. They are then later forced to attempt to renegotiate the way the sexual act will be performed when the booking has commenced and they are alone with the buyer." [3]

Legalization does not make it safer.


3. Decreasing the taxpayers' load

If you intend to regulate the industry the money goes from police to more government beaurcrats, and with increases in disease, and violence it will cost tax payers more. "when police pay attention to minor offenses — such as prostitution, graffiti, aggressive panhandling — they can reduce fear, strengthen communities, and prevent serious crime." [4]

It will not decrease tax payer load.


Now to my arguements

1. Demeaning to Women

You making womens' bodies just sex objects to buy and sell. Not to mention how positution would enforce female steryotypes and unrealistic standard of beauty."It bothers me that we're making money off the backs of women. Condoning prostitution is the most demeaning and degrading thing that the state can do to women. What we do as a state is essentially put a U.S.-grade stamp on the butt of every prostitute. Instead, we should be turning them around by helping them get back into society." [5]


2. Disease

Legalizing Prositution will only lead to an increase of STDs. "In 1986, the Victorian Labour government [Victoria, Australia] legalized brothels, claiming crime would be eliminated, prostitutes' lives wouldbe made safer, and there would be fewer health risks. None of this happened...Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and AIDS increased." [6] "It has been argued that legalized brothels or other “controlled” prostitution establishments protect women through enforceable condom policies. In one study, 47% of women in U.S. prostitution stated that men expected sex without a condom" [7] "The harm reduction approach is shortsighted, doomed to failure, and ethically lacking. It fails to recognize that many prostitutes are unable to negotiate condom use with their clients but often are forced to provide whatever services the client may want. In addition, it is common knowledge that prostitutes are often paid more if they agree to have sex without a condom. In fact, a study in Calcutta India found that prostitutes who regularly use condoms suffer a 79% reduction in their earnings over prostitutes who do not use condoms.1 A 79% loss of income is a huge motivator to forego the use of condoms!" [8] "Even if a prostitute is being tested every week for HIV, she will test negative for at least the first 4-6 weeks and possibly the first 12 weeks after being infected. If we assume that he or she takes only 4 weeks to become positive, because there is an additional lag time of 1-2 weeks to get the results back, there will be at best a window period of 6 weeks for a prostitute. The average prostitute services between 10-15 clients per day. This means that while the test is becoming positive and the results are becoming known, that prostitute may expose up to 630 clients to HIV. This is under the best of circumstances with testing every week and a four-week window period. It also assumes that the prostitute will quit working as soon as he or she finds out the test is HIV positive, which is highly unlikely. This is not the best approach for actually reducing harm. Instead, in order to slow the global spread of HIV/AIDS we should focus our efforts on abolishing prostitution." [8]





Sources:
[1] http://www.aljazeera.com...
[2] http://www.lowellsun.com...
[3] http://action.web.ca...
[4] http://old.nationalreview.com...
[5] http://tinyurl.com...
[6] http://www.academia.edu...
[7] http://www.embracedignity.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Arnar

Pro

I will first defend my initial points before responding to con's arguments.

1. Prostitution is a victimless crime

What is being defended here is consentual prostitution, not sexual slavery, so con‘s sensationalist copy-pasted argument that many girls entering slavery are raped is irrelevant just like pointing out the fact that many children are forced into making shoes is irrelevant to the question whether shoe-making should be legal. The problem in these scenarios is not the particular profession involved but the fact that they are forced, which is already illegal. The rest of the paragraph is a stream of emotionally charged baseless assertions. How would legalizing prostitution make STD‘s more prevalent? Why would buying the services of prostitutes legally rather than illegally be more likely to „erode whatever moral values the majority holds dear“, or promote anti-social behavior?

These points must be elaborated upon and supported. Copying and pasting other peoples blog posts is not enough.

2. Undermining the black market and increasing workplace safety for prostitutes

As long as there is a demand for the services of prostitutes, prostitution will exist. There is no way to eliminate the black market if the demand exists and prostitution is illegal. The only way that the black market could be elimated would be if the demand ceased, which is not going to happen, or if prostitution were legalized. Even if it were legalized I highly doubt it could be eliminated, but it would clearly be diminished. This would indeed make prostitutes safer since it is safer to work in a brothel that is regulated rather than in a brothel that is not.

The book that con is quoting argues that four prostitutes in Melbourne worked at a legal brothel in less than ideal situations[1]. This is clearly a practical problem, not a fundamental one relating to the legality of prostitution. It is not being argued that by legalizing prostitution necessarily makes prostitutes perfectly safe. The point is that by regulating prostitution, the working conditions in the new regulated brothels with regular health checks would become preferrable to those that illegal prostitutes are used to now. Another major benefit that con has not responded to is the fact that prostitutes would be able to unionize, and would thus be able to improve their working conditions through the same means that other workers do.

3. Decreasing the taxpayers' load

Con argues here that violance would increase, but why would this be the case? This need elaboration. Con also arguesthat diseases would increase. This will be dealt with in con's second argument. The quote offered here is completely irrelevant to whether taxpayers would have to pay more or less or to whether prostitution should be legalized.

Now on to con's arguments.

1. Demeaning to women

How would making prostitution legal „make women‘s bodies just sex objects to buy and sell“? To me, it seems that allowing women freedom over their own sex life isn‘t demeaning in the least. Treating them like children or idiots who are not capable of making their own decisions with regards to their own sex life seems alot more demeaning. I also fail to see how legalizing prostitution would enforce stereotypes and unrealistic standards of beuty. Most regular prostitutes do not look like celebrities or super models. Moreover, would this really be grounds for making something illegal?

I cannot seem to find the quote that is cited through the link provided, but it seems that it is nothing more than someones irrelevant emotionally charged unsupported opinion.

2. Disease

For con's first quote, he conveniently does not include all of the information in his source which happens to state the reason why STD transmission increased, which is explained in the very next sentence:

„...Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and AIDS increased. This was due to the fact that medical authorities examined only one of the partners in the sex act, which was self-defeating. Also, favourable medical results provided a false sense of security to clients, prostitutes and controllers. Medical examinations also provoked hostility and decreased cooperation from prostitutes who moved around too often to be monitored. If one did become infected with a sexually transmitted disease, another prostitute would replace her for the medical check up, using the infected woman's medical card." [2]

The problem was clearly not due to legalization, but due to the improper implementation of these health checks.

I am not going to go through every single quote. Cons argument here essentially is that prostitutes have an incentive not to use condoms and are not likely to get tested for STD's or to respond properly. How this is an argument against legalizing prostitution, rather than for it, is not obvious since legal prostitutes would be required to do these things if prostitution were legalized. They would be required to use condoms and to get checked for STD's in order to work.

I would like to point out that directly copy-pasting is plagiarism and not a proper substitute for an original response.


Sources:

[1] http://action.web.ca...
[2]http://prostitution.procon.org...
Guidestone

Con

Firstly, my opponent clearly does not know what plagiarism is, so I will help him.
Plagiarism: the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own. [1]
I didn't pass them off as my own, I sourced them. Your misunderstanding of the word led to you spreading lies.

1. Prostitution is a victimless crime

I never mentioned sex slavery. In fact the word slave or slavery only appears in your last argument. This is what you call a Strawman logical fallacy. "You misrepresented someone's argument to make it easier to attack." [3] However, that argument did describe how prostitutes are often mistreated. It was a quoted argument, but I don't see how that makes it any less valid.
"How would legalizing prostitution make STD‘s more prevalent?" See Disease
"Why would buying the services of prostitutes legally rather than illegally be more likely to „erode whatever moral values the majority holds dear“" Not the argument I made, another strawman.
"Promote anti-social behavior?" Because what once required talking, honesty, and love has been reduced to a mere monetary transaction.
Then this argument wasn't a baseless emotion charged argument like he claims.


2. Undermining the black market and increasing workplace safety for prostitutes

If you want to talk about baseless claims just look at the first paragraph of this argument that has an astounding zero sources. I would like the source that says "The only way that the black market could be eliminated would be if the demand ceased, which is not going to happen, or if prostitution were legalized." However, this still makes the black market into a legitimate market. You propose legal brothels that are heavily regulated. Heavy regulation increases cost to pay for those regulations, lowers demand because now less can afford it, and increases black market activity because it would be cheaper, and easier to access.

"The point is that by regulating prostitution, the working conditions in the new regulated brothels with regular health checks would become preferable to those that illegal prostitutes are used to now."
So, by making it more expensive and less accessible it makes it preferred?

"Another major benefit that con has not responded to is the fact that prostitutes would be able to unionize, and would thus be able to improve their working conditions through the same means that other workers do."
This assumes they would be able to unionize. Unions might make things safer IF they were there, but it also raises the cost of prostitution which lowers demand and increases black market activity. If you were trying to avoid black market activity this is certainly not how you would do it.

Legalization of prostitution actually increases black market activity. (See Trafficking)


3. Decreasing the taxpayers' load

Con argues here that violance would increase, but why would this be the case? Besides misspelling violence, here is why. Since the legalization of prostitution increases black market activity (See Trafficking) that means more people are now being abused in this "profession". The quote is completely relevant. Since it prevents serious crimes, like black market operations, it cost less because you would not need as many police, and results in less destructive crimes like robberies.


Arguments against

1. Demeaning to women

How doesn't it make women‘s bodies just sex objects to buy and sell? Men are purchasing a woman's body to have sex with. "Freedom over sex life"? Women don't choose to be prostitutes. It is their last resort. [4] "Treating them like children or idiots ..." How is this not emotionally charged like you claim I do? Plus it is not treating them like children anymore than saying you can't be publicly naked is treating people like children. Further I don't claim that prostitutes look like supermodels or celebrities. This is just another strawman. Here is how it enforces stereotypes and unrealistic beauty. Brothels want to make money, so they would hire the most attractive prostitutes. Who do men find attractive? Young, beautiful women. This does create a stereotype, and give an unrealistic version of beauty.

The quote is half way down the page 168, the page I linked to, I could not link it directly to the quote.
This is no more "emotionally charged" than your treating them like children or idiots comment. You are just using that as an excuse not to respond to it. Unsupported? I have to find support for my support? You first.

2. Disease

It is impossible to screen both and get accurate results since HIV is undetectable until 2 to 8 weeks [5] and having them wait at least 20 minutes for the fastest test for just HIV. Plus who is paying for the test? Either way it increases the cost of prostitution. It would be more for other STDs, so it wasn't due to improper medical checks. They did has much as they could reasonably do.

My opponent assumes it was not regulated for condom use; however, this is wrong. From the same source it says "Although certain sex businesses had rules that required men to wear condoms, men nonetheless attempted to have sex without condoms. One woman stated: “It’s ‘regulation’ to wear a condom at the sauna, but negotiable between parties on the side. Most guys expected blow jobs without a condom" [4] Getting checked for STD can be very expensive and could test negative for the first few weeks, at which time they could spread disease.



3. Trafficking

Sex Trafficking: the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act. [2]

Legalizing prostitution gives a boom to the black market and increases trafficking. "After legalization in Victoria, Australia, there was a 300 percent increase in illegal brothels." [2] "Approximately 63 percent of the estimated 400,000 prostitutes in Germany are migrants, meaning German women do not want to prostitute, so they have to bring in women from other countries, an environment ripe for sex traffickers to exploit." [2] "By 2008, Spain’s Equality Ministry said 80 percent of prostitutes in Spain came from places including China, Romania, and Latin America — many coerced by gangs." [2] Like I said earlier legalization does not diminish black markets it only legitimizes and expands them.



Sources:
[1] http://tinyurl.com...
[2] http://www.cwfa.org...
.[3]
https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com...
[4]
http://www.embracedignity.org...
[5]
http://hivtest.cdc.gov...

Debate Round No. 3
Arnar

Pro

Arnar forfeited this round.
Guidestone

Con

It is rather unfortunate that my opponent forfeited this round and in fact closed his account.

I was looking forward to concluding this debate.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Yraelz 2 years ago
Yraelz
ArnarGuidestoneTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Technically the STD arguments are all solvency take outs without actual offensive power. That said, Pro absolutely doesn't bother contesting this point. Con also wins the (rather funny) black market increase argumentation which justifies STD increases independently. Con handily wins "demeaning women" via superior source citation. Since the final round was reserved for rebuttals, I simply ignored it. Good debate con.