The Instigator
arrivaltime
Pro (for)
Winning
36 Points
The Contender
mcalvey187
Con (against)
Losing
24 Points

Should prostitution be legalized?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/24/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,343 times Debate No: 936
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (20)

 

arrivaltime

Pro

According to Princeton, the definition of prostitution is "offering sexual intercourse for pay", and this is the definition this debate will be discussing the legalization of.

Prostitution is dangerous because it is illegal. Were it legal, it could much better be controlled.

If we legalized prostitution, we could tax it. Imagine how beneficial it would be for our economy if it was no longer illegal for men to seek these women on dirty street corners, but had a safe and secure place to go where they would pay a company both the fee for the prostitute and the tax.

Prostitutes would be paid and pay taxes. They would be better protected through STDs and unstable men if there was a company they worked for, because they would be given clean and properly contained contraceptives. These women would also be on birth control depending on the length of their employment, which would reduce the amount of unwanted pregnancies or abortions.

To continue pretending prostitution doesn't happen is naive, and to hope it will end is, too. If a certain person or group (ie a Church) disagree with prostitution, they are free to preach against it and not take part in it.

Stripping for money is legal, doing porn is legal, and dating someone with a lot of money who you don't really like yet will have sex with if they spend that money on you is legal, and so should prostitution be legal.

There is no civil reason for prostitution to be illegal.
mcalvey187

Con

Defenders of prostitution and other so called "victim-less" crimes frequently point to the economic side effects that would in theory accrue to society by the passage of their favored legislation. Such a crass devotion to economics ignores the moral threading that binds our society, both to itself, and to prior generations that have come before, and tackled the same issues that we have. Arrivaltime has made several leaps of faith and errors of omission in her statement, and I will try to address each of them in turn.
My opponent states that prostitution is "dangerous because it is illegal". This argument, of course, is demonstrably false. Cigarettes are dangerous, and their legality is of little concern to someone dying of lung cancer. Alcohol is of course a legal product, but that is of little comfort to the thousands of people who die every year due to drunk driving and alcohol related diseases. No, prostitution is not dangerous because it is illegal, it is illegal because it is dangerous. It is a myth that we could control prostitution, were it only to be legalized. Maybe some prostitutes would "clean-up", as it were, and operate only out of legitimate brothels, and pass regular medical inspections, and remain on birth-control. But surely, many times more would remain outside the legal bounds of society, existing in the same unregulated, unstructured world that they occupy today. The "consumer" of prostitution is what drives its sinister condition, and as long as men (and some women, to be sure), are looking for nothing more than quick, uninhibited sex, the sex industry WILL NOT clean itself up.
My opponent has called my position na�ve, but I feel that her contention that the legalization of prostitution will clean it up, to be the na�ve proposition here. The prostitution industry is based on an animalistic appeal to man's basest instincts. The dark side of man that seeks pleasure in this perversion is not interested in protection, the safety of the woman, or certainly the overall health of the economy at large. Suppose that a man insisted, through some vile fantasy of his, that the prostitute be unprotected. Under my opponents system, the prostitute would refuse service (although we can all admit, at least to ourselves, what the odds of that are). Do we really think our man is going to throw up his hands, and consent to using protection? No! He will go out on to the street and find some outlet for his fantasy, legal or illegal.
Simply because no physical harm is done, defenders of prostitution label it as a victimless crime, but there are numerous victims. This toleration of our lowest desires, and the promotion of our personal pleasure above all else, victimizes all of us, quite possibly the women living this lifestyle the most.
Prostitution WILL always happen, no matter the law or the consequences, but it would speak terribly ill of our society were we to ACCEPT it as a natural occurrence, or to extend to this degrading institution the legitimacy of our collective approval. My opponent has said there is no CIVIL reason for prostitution to be illegal, but this is exactly wrong. There is no CIVIL reason for prostitution to be legalized. The great compact our society has signed with countless preceding generations dictates to us what must be our societal revulsion at such disgusting behavior. Modern man, in his "long, slow climb from the swamps to the stars", has elevated his moral character, and codified the moral values that have been passed unto him from countless generations before. A society, or a man that seeks to break this chain, and to place his personal lust higher, damages far more than himself, and certainly does not conduct himself in a civil manner.
Debate Round No. 1
arrivaltime

Pro

Mcalvey, your arguments reek of a fear of people being sexual.

"Such a crass devotion to economics ignores the moral threading that binds our society, both to itself, and to prior generations that have come before, and tackled the same issues that we have."

You state this as though America has followed a sort of sexual moral thread. It hasn't. As I stated, stripping is legal. One night stands are legal. Gold diggers are legal. Our country may have the appearance of some sort of Holier-than-thou attitude about sex, but as you said it is a "base instinct" and people will do it no matter what image we put out there...people DO do it no matter the image we project.

"My opponent states that prostitution is 'dangerous because it is illegal'. This argument, of course, is demonstrably false."

Prove it. Sex is healthy, cigarettes and alcohol are not so comparing the two is ineffective and irrelevent.

"No, prostitution is not dangerous because it is illegal, it is illegal because it is dangerous."

Not one woman in Nevada's brothels, since it was made into a legal industry with health regulations, has contracted HIV. They are tested monthly for STDs. That's a lot safer, and that's because its legal and regulated.

"Maybe some prostitutes would "clean-up", as it were, and operate only out of legitimate brothels, and pass regular medical inspections, and remain on birth-control. But surely, many times more would remain outside the legal bounds of society, existing in the same unregulated, unstructured world that they occupy today."

Why? How do you know a prostitute would not opt for health benefits and better conditions given the opportunity?

"The "consumer" of prostitution is what drives its sinister condition, and as long as men (and some women, to be sure), are looking for nothing more than quick, uninhibited sex, the sex industry WILL NOT clean itself up."

The consumer you are referring to is the man who does not mind breaking the law. Were prostitution legalized, there would be MANY more "consumers" as you put them who are looking for a prostitute for a variety of reasons, not just "quick, uninhibited sex".

"Suppose that a man insisted, through some vile fantasy of his, that the prostitute be unprotected. Under my opponents system, the prostitute would refuse service (although we can all admit, at least to ourselves, what the odds of that are). Do we really think our man is going to throw up his hands, and consent to using protection? No! He will go out on to the street and find some outlet for his fantasy, legal or illegal."

This example would probably not happen, and if it did, he would suffer the consequence, NOT the prostitute. You are making a lot of assumptions in this argument, because 1) You assume this would happen enough to really have an impact on the legalization of the industry and 2) You are basically calling prostitutes stupid and careless, because a prostitute would not lose money by refusing service to this man. That is the issue with the present system in illegal prostitution-- the men get what they want because thats what the women are being paid for. In the illegal industry, this could easily happen (unprotected sex because of a weird man's fantasy) but in a secure and protected industry, it is MUCH less likely.

"Simply because no physical harm is done, defenders of prostitution label it as a victimless crime, but there are numerous victims. This toleration of our lowest desires, and the promotion of our personal pleasure above all else, victimizes all of us, quite possibly the women living this lifestyle the most."

Toleration of lowest desires? Sex is a baser instinct but it is not a "lower desire". Sex is completely natural and can be healthy. The "promotion of our personal pleasure victimizes all of us"-- WHAT? How? This entire argument again reeks of a fear of sexuality. Sexual needs and gratifying them is not low or inhumane or wrong.

Women who are prostitutes are victims, I do not disagree, but that is why we should make prostitution legal. They are victims because of the abuse they endure from men who think there will be no consequences. They are victimes because of unwanted pregnancies and abortions. Women who are prostitutes will have much more satisfaction in their jobs if they have more security in their protection and are paid for their hours and not on commission.

"it would speak terribly ill of our society were we to ACCEPT it as a natural occurrence, or to extend to this degrading institution the legitimacy of our collective approval."

Prostitution is legal in Canada, most all of Europe including England, France, Wales, Denmark to name a few. We don't look at those societies as barbaric or low or "ill societies", do we? US is one of the FEW countries that has not legalized prostitution.

"The great compact our society has signed with countless preceding generations dictates to us what must be our societal revulsion at such disgusting behavior."

These are all your personal opinions-- why force them on others?

"Modern man, in his 'long, slow climb from the swamps to the stars', has elevated his moral character, and codified the moral values that have been passed unto him from countless generations before. A society, or a man that seeks to break this chain, and to place his personal lust higher, damages far more than himself, and certainly does not conduct himself in a civil manner."

Well you just took a big crap on the UK and France then. Whatever this argument is trying to get across, all I can see is that my opponent thinks it is morally wrong and degrading to legally sell sex despite how much it is already done in the media, in strip clubs, and everywhere else. Even though it is accepted as a sexual right in other countries, we would be "going back to the swamps" were we to legalize it? Simply, I disagree for the aforementioned reasons.
mcalvey187

Con

Since my opponent has brought little new to the table other than ad hominem attacks and accusations about my personality, this response will be mercifully shorter than her own broadside against my earlier statements.

I have no fear of a people being sexual, and I resent the insinuation that I am some Puritan judge descended from the 17th century to pass judgment on everyone. Sex IS great, when two people do it as an expression of love, when sex is PAID for, it is a completely and utterly vulgar occurrence. One night stands are not "legal" in the same vein that you wish prostitution legalized. One night stands are tolerated by the law, you wish prostitution to be ACCEPTED, with legalized whore-houses and the attendant regulation, and there is an enormous difference in those two positions.

My opponent says that comparing cigarettes and alcohol to sex is "ineffective and irrelevant." While I will leave the efficacy of my arguments to the judging audience, I would hasten to point out that I am not saying sex will kill you, I was merely pointing out that merely because something IS legal does not make it, ipso facto, safe. Legalizing suicide will not remove its permanent side-effects.

My opponent has also taken to mischaracterizing my position by insinuating that I have said no prostitutes would clean up. I freely admitted that some would, but I do believe that many more will continue to operate a sexual black market that will continue to go unregulated.

My opponent again refers to me, in what is apparently the beginning of a rambling confusion as having a "fear of sexuality". Again, nothing could be further from the truth. Sex is a wonderful thing. But sex without meaning, and without attachment, is a corrosive and destructive force that cheapens both the man AND the woman, and it is the elevation of our own personal pleasure ABOVE societal standards is what I consider wrong. Society makes innumerable judgment calls about human morality, we outlaw pedastry, polygamy, bestiality, and other sexual deviancies. I hear the CTRL + C warming up, so I would hasten to note that this is not to compare prostitution to child molestation, merely to point out that society has a vested interest in the preservation of its sexual mores, and seeking to change those mores for the SOLE PURPOSE of gaining approval for a sexually deviant act is wrong.

You agree with my contention that prostitutes are the victims, and yet curiously argue that legitimizing their victim-hood will empower them. I prostitute is a victim because men use her for sex and violate her basic humanity, not because what she does is illegal.

My opponent insinuates that I am forcing my own opinion upon others. These are not my ideas in a vacuum. Personal and societal codes of conduct come from millennia of human history, it is arrogant (and flattering) to claim that I somehow am imposing my will on society. I am merely stating that society has banned prostitution for ages, and the simple fact that other countries are quick to throw tradition out the window does not make it sound, or moral, policy. My opponent has no problem forcing her opinions on others, and yet is critical of my attempts to argue for re-examination of our own values. This childish attempt to accuse me of doing what she is doing can not go unnoted.

My opponent's last paragraph, in addition to including a scatological reference, is also an exercise in high comedy. Our media, and strip clubs, and "everywhere else" (where is arrivalgirl hanging out?) do not sell sex, they MARKET the ILLUSION of sex, and to pretend that there is no difference is foolish. Sex is not allowed on strip clubs, and one can not copulate with their television sex. A woman stripping on a stage is a far, far cry from a woman hawking her body to the highest bidder, but I admire your attempt to insinuate otherwise.
Debate Round No. 2
arrivaltime

Pro

"Since my opponent has brought little new to the table other than ad hominem attacks and accusations about my personality, this response will be mercifully shorter than her own broadside against my earlier statements."

My opponent argued his own opinions and cliches, not facts and so I was forced to show how his opinions were irrelevent in a legal matter.

"I have no fear of a people being sexual, and I resent the insinuation that I am some Puritan judge descended from the 17th century to pass judgment on everyone."

My opponent referred to consenting sex wihout love as "disgusting behavior", "low", and gratifying a "baser instinct" as well as "personal pleasure".

"Sex IS great, when two people do it as an expression of love, when sex is PAID for, it is a completely and utterly vulgar occurrence."
Which is exactly why I am forced to use ad hominem attacks. THIS is my opponent's opinion. This is NOT fact, and to regulate or make something legal because some people feel it is 'vulgar' is completely uncivil.

"One night stands are not "legal" in the same vein that you wish prostitution legalized. One night stands are tolerated by the law, you wish prostitution to be ACCEPTED."

No, the argument is over the legalization of prostitution.

"I would hasten to point out that I am not saying sex will kill you, I was merely pointing out that merely because something IS legal does not make it, ipso facto, safe. Legalizing suicide will not remove its permanent side-effects."

My opponent is completely ignoring the fact that legalizing prostitution WILL make it safer, should prostitutes agree to comply.

"My opponent has also taken to mischaracterizing my position by insinuating that I have said no prostitutes would clean up. I freely admitted that some would, but I do believe that many more will continue to operate a sexual black market that will continue to go unregulated."

My opponent has no evidence for this assertion.

"Again, nothing could be further from the truth. Sex is a wonderful thing. But sex without meaning, and without attachment, is a corrosive and destructive force that cheapens both the man AND the woman, and it is the elevation of our own personal pleasure ABOVE societal standards is what I consider wrong. "

Again, my opponent is referring to his personal beliefs about sex to why prostitution should be illegal, again forcing me to attack via ad hominem-- MY OPPONENT'S OPINION does not matter when the subject of safety is at hand and there is evidence that prostitutes who work in brothels are much safer than those who work on the street.

"I hear the CTRL + C warming up"

If you would prefer, I can address your arguments without refering to them in quotes? It's easier for me.

"A[sic] prostitute is a victim because men use her for sex and violate her basic humanity, not because what she does is illegal."

I did not say it was because prostitution was illegal, I said it was because she will be a prostitute if she needs to be and keeping it illegal is extreme victimization because of what men can get away with doing to her.

"My opponent insinuates that I am forcing my own opinion upon others. These are not my ideas in a vacuum. Personal and societal codes of conduct come from millennia of human history, it is arrogant (and flattering) to claim that I somehow am imposing my will on society. I am merely stating that society has banned prostitution for ages, and the simple fact that other countries are quick to throw tradition out the window does not make it sound, or moral, policy. My opponent has no problem forcing her opinions on others, and yet is critical of my attempts to argue for re-examination of our own values. This childish attempt to accuse me of doing what she is doing can not go unnoted."

Yet I am the one attacking via ad hominem? My arguments are soley against what my opponent has given me:

On the subject of legalizing prostition making it less safe, my opponent said, "This argument, of course, is demonstrably false." Yet never gave any evidence other than assumptions about prostitution.

"The dark side of man that seeks pleasure in this perversion is not interested in protection" "This toleration of our lowest desires, and the promotion of our personal pleasure above all else" "this degrading institution" "such disgusting behavior" "Sex IS great, when two people do it as an expression of love, when sex is PAID for, it is a completely and utterly vulgar occurrence." "But sex without meaning, and without attachment, is a corrosive and destructive force that cheapens both the man AND the woman, and it is the elevation of our own personal pleasure ABOVE societal standards is what I consider wrong"

(to name a few)

Now explain to me again, my opponent, how you aren't using your opinion as your basis for this?

"Personal and societal codes of conduct come from millennia of human history"

Are you really arguing that prostitution has always been illegal? Because prostitution had been legal in America until around the turn of 20th century.
Prostitution has been wrong for 1000 years you say? But prostitution was legal all over the world hundreds of years ago. So I would like to know this CONTRACT and MORAL THREAD you are referring to that has been there for a "millennia".
mcalvey187

Con

I feel that after 2 rounds of some substantial length, I can so no more than will not strike the reader as merely a rehashing of my earlier contentions, I will only make one point that I feel I may have insufficiently addressed in my "Round 2".

Of COURSE I am giving MY OPINION. You are giving your opinion, that's wonderful, I thought this site was about the exchange of opinions, since when projecting future occurences, there can be no facts. The few facts that can possibly enter into this debate concern the safety of brothels in Nevada, and the list of countries that have legalized prostitution. These are hardly the equivalent of an Encyclopedia Brittanica. I have stated my opinion twice now, and I will not bore the audience with a re-assertion of my views, but nor will I attempt to prove my superiority over my opponent by pointing out that she is arguing her opinion as well. I am content, in the long run, to let my opinion, backed by the moral standards of countless generations of humanity, stand against that of my opponent, motivated by little more than a desire for the social acceptance of sexual promiscuity. Thank you everyone for reading this, and thank you arrivalgirl for initiating the debate.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by arrivaltime 9 years ago
arrivaltime
Yeah, you sure are the bigger man here.
Posted by mcalvey187 9 years ago
mcalvey187
Arrivaltime,

My point was not that there are no possible facts that can be brought into this debate, only that the only real alternatives in this instance are opinions supported by historical experience. In my OPINION, the slight economic benefits are not worth the corrosion in societal standards, and that is how I framed my argument. In your OPINION, there is (or will be, I should say) no such degradation in societal standards, OR THAT THOSE STANDARDS DON'T MATTER. I can't make you agree with my moral standards, and you can't make me agree with yours. I will, however, rest satisfied and grateful that I live in a country where people still hold the ideal of morality above basic economics and self-gratification.
Posted by PrestonAC 9 years ago
PrestonAC
I would add that some of the worst criminals in American history were sexualy frustrated men. Do you think the Columbine boys would have had a shooting spree if they had gotten laid regularly? To furter prove the point of sexual frustration, look at incidents of rape. Since pornography on tape and, subsequently, internet became available, incidents of rape have gone down.

See http://jurist.law.pitt.edu...

We're talking about consenting adults making a mutually beneficial transaction. Legal, safer outlets for men's sexual frustrations will prevent crime and help make a happier, freer society.
Posted by Fimbulvintr 9 years ago
Fimbulvintr
Prostitution debate is reduced down to irrelevant morals, the economic benefits are clear. I believe the pro realized that best.
Posted by cjet79 9 years ago
cjet79
If you argue opinions...then people will vote for whichever opinion they like best. Since I dont think sex is all that evil...i guess its score one more for sexual promiscuity.
Posted by arrivaltime 9 years ago
arrivaltime
It would have been easy to look at the effects of other countries who do have legalized prostituion, so I don't buy the "there were no facts to argue".
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