The Instigator
GAMR
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
mnstr
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Should prostitution be legal?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/24/2016 Category: Education
Updated: 6 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 174 times Debate No: 91763
Debate Rounds (3)
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GAMR

Con

Proponents of legalizing prostitution believe it would reduce crime, improve public health, increase tax revenue, help people out of poverty, get prostitutes off the streets, and allow consenting adults to make their own choices. They contend that prostitution is a victim-less crime, especially in the 11 Nevada counties where it remains legal.
What I believe is that legalizing prostitution would lead to increases in sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS, global human trafficking, and violent crime including rape and homicide. They contend that prostitution is inherently immoral, commercially exploitative, empowers the criminal underworld, and promotes the repression of women by men.
mnstr

Pro

To start off the debate, I'll go ahead and paste the link to the site where the opposition copy and pasted their first round argument: http://prostitution.procon.org...

As curious as the decision to perform that copy and pasting was, it's summary of the pro-legalization points does, by and large, match up with the arguments I will be utilizing in this debate.

As my opponent did not spend anytime disagreeing with the pro-legalization arguments which he presented (the reduction of crime, improvement to public health, increase tax revenue, help people get out of poverty, get prostitutes off the streets), I will say that I support those arguments, and don't feel a need to add any of my own expansion, as it would seem that they are uncontested.

Interestingly, however, many other points that I would use to argue for the legalization of prostitution were utilized by my opponent towards different conclusions, and it is these that I shall spend time addressing.

I do not believe that the legalization prostitution would lead to an increase in STD's, as my opponent has outlined, but could in fact reduce them. The legalization of prostitution is of course inherently tied to the regulation of prostitution. With the business of prostitution no longer being operated in the shadows, there would be an increased opportunity for oversight to ensure regular testing for STD's among prostitutes, as well as taking measures for other protections. In some ways this could be compared to the porn industry and the regulations there.

If one were to argue that the legalization wouldn't reduce the rates of STD's in any particular way, it would still be hard to argue that the rates would increase from where they are now. Even though prostitution is illegal, it is still a wide spread practice. Despite our prohibition people continue to practice prostitution, leaving the only difference between prohibition and legalization, in terms of health, is our ability to ensure sex workers would be receiving adequate testing and health care before exposing others to risks of STD.

This same argument, that of prostitution being a reality regardless of prohibition, can be used to address human trafficking, violent crime including rape and homicide, and empowering the criminal underworld- to quote arguments from my opponent. The legalization of prostitution would simply allow greater oversight. As regulation and enforcement increases, resulting in a natural stray from illegal prostitution, all of these concerns would be greatly reduced, if not eliminated from where they currently are.

We would be able to ensure that prostitutes were not being forcibly entered into the trade, as they would have regular contact with authorities and not being controlled by violent criminals. Prostitutes would have greater leeway into reporting crimes, as they would not fear punishment, either from authorities, or from criminals controlling themselves for contacting the authorities. Prostitutes would be a reduced target for homicide, as they would no longer be seen as people who had no power in the eyes of the law, and not only existing in places of society where authorities have no reach. And the "criminal underworld" would have less control over prostitution as the legalization of the practice would ensure that honest people could participate in the running of the practice, rather than only allowing criminal groups to participate in prostitution- which is exactly how the practice exists today.
Essentially: these problems are pervasive in the current state of prohibited prostitution, so we should try to take the position that would best enable us to mitigate these concerns.

Of course, there is a natural response to the addressing these health and crime concerns by pointing out that these will be problems regardless of prohibition: "Just because these will continue to be problems doesn't mean the state shouldn't still attempt to prevent them through prohibition. After all, murder is illegal, and yet it still happens. You wouldn't say we should legalize murder, would you?" However, this is easily answered by pointing out one of the differences between the case of murder and prostitution: Murder is almost universally regarded as being ethically wrong. However, there is not the same amount of universal consensus bout it being inherently wrong. Especially since many of the points used to argue the inherent wrongness of prostitution can be mitigated through the legalization and regulation of the practice. Thus, it must be shown that prostitution is inherently wrong.

While my opponent advanced this claim themselves (or rather, whoever wrote the paragraph that they pasted did), they did not expand on this in their first round. So, in order to contend with my argument of seeking to reduce health and crime concerns through legalization and regulation, my opponent would have to show why prostitution, as they claim, is inherently wrong. To counter this unsubstantiated claim: Why is prostitution more wrong than other fields of labor which are fully legal, yet dangerous to the health of individuals, the health of society at large, and by all means just as exploitative?

I look forward to reading my opponent's response.
Debate Round No. 1
GAMR

Con

GAMR forfeited this round.
mnstr

Pro

mnstr forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
GAMR

Con

GAMR forfeited this round.
mnstr

Pro

mnstr forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
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