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

Should prostitution be illegal, while pornography is not?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/21/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 408 times Debate No: 73845
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)




No, prostitution should not be illegal if pornography is not. They are literally the exact same thing, save for a camera. Pornography is defined as "printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings." While prostitution is defined as "the practice or occupation of engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment." Pornstars are people who actually do this for a living. They are "engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment." Pornographic videos are prostitution.period. Therefore one should not be legal, while the other is not.


First of all, I would like to greet my opponent and thank him for initiating this debate. This is my first debate, so, hopefully, it will be an enjoyable opportunity to exchange ideas and opinions for both of us. Good luck!

Let's begin by clearly defining the topic of the debate, so that it is understandable to all people who are reading the arguments. Looking at the title of the debate and Con's argument of the first round, we can see that this is not a debate on whether prostitution should be legal or illegal, but whether the legalization of pornography necessitates the legalization of prostitution, on the grounds that the two are equivalent, and banning one while legalizing the other will be an act of hypocrisy. In other words, Con will need to demonstrate the following:

1) Prostitution and pornography are equivalent terms, or, at least, belong to the same category.
2) If one legalizes pornography, then the only rational option is to legalize prostitution as well.

I, as a Pro, will have to demonstrate that (1) and (2) are false or, at the very least, show that Con's arguments are invalid. Again, please note that we are not debating whether prostitution should be legal/illegal in general. I myself will take a neutral view on this for now.

Let's start by showing that (1) is false by examining the definitions of the terms. Con has supplied these two definitions:

Pornography - printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings.
Prostitution - the practice or occupation of engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment.

We can see that pornography only refers to the description or display of sexual organs or activity for erotic purposes. It does not involve sexual acts or sexual intercourse with another person for payment. In other words, the subjects in the pornographic material do not physically/sexually interact with the person who is watching pornography. Prostitution, on the other hand, involves two or more people physically interacting with each other in order to experience sexual acts or intercourse. This is usually done for a payment. Here we see two key differences between the two:

1) Physical interaction between two or more subjects (or lack thereof);
2) The selling/buying of sexual services for payment (or lack thereof);

From these two it is obvious that the terms "pornography" and "prostitution" are not equivalent and their meanings and usage differ considerably. While they both deal with sexual activities, they are fundamentally different. Therefore, I cannot agree with Con that "They are literally the exact same thing." and that "Pornographic videos are prostitution."

Secondly, let's take a look at how pornography and prostitution differ in more practical terms, what their consequences are and why one can legalize pornography while banning prostitution, while remaining consistent.

When one considers pornography, it is obvious that this is a more simple and safer concept than prostitution. Prostitution, on the other hand, is often associated with increased risk of STDs [1], human trafficking [2], violence [3], use of children [4], Illegal immigration [5] and survival sex [6]. It is perfectly reasonable to argue that, since pornography does not involve that many negative and widespread consequences, it should be legalized, while prostitution, which causes a lot of trouble worldwide, should be criminalized. While I do not argue that all of these consequences are sufficient to ban prostitution, I do think that these consequences provide a strong enough case for one to rationally argue for pornography, but against prostitution, without actually resorting to contradictory statements and beliefs.

In short, I hope that I demonstrated that:

1) Prostitution and pornography are not equivalent terms
2) Legalization of pornography is legally, rationally and logically compatible with criminalization of prostitution


Debate Round No. 1


Link123109 forfeited this round.


It seems unfortunate that my opponent missed this round. Hopefully, he will return so that we can have at least some exchanges of arguments and rebuttals. I therefore extend my arguments.
Debate Round No. 2


Link123109 forfeited this round.


My opponent has forfeited all rounds but one and has therefore not supplied any good arguments or rebuttals.

Vote Pro!
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Yassine 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: - Conduct: FF. => Pro's win. - Argument: Pro successfully showed that prostitution & pornography are not analogous, nor do they share the same ramifications, thus do not & should not merit the same legal consideration. => Pro's win. - Sources: Con provided none. => Pro's win.