The Instigator
hightreason
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
bburli
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points

The government should subsidize prostitution

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
hightreason
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/24/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,329 times Debate No: 34139
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (3)

 

hightreason

Pro

I will be arguing that prostitution is good for society. So much so in fact that the government should subsidize prostitution in order to encourage it and lower the cost to customers.

Encourages Innovation and Progress

People spend a lot of their time attempting to find someone to have sex with. If sex were readily available from prostitutes cheaply and legally, this time could be spent doing a variety of other things such as advancing one's education and career. The proliferation of prostitution would push progress forward as people would have more time to research, invent, study, and engage in other activities that are beneficial to society instead of searching out sex partners.

Reduce Depression

People who engage in sex regularly are less prone to depression than those who do it infrequently or not at all. people who have depression are also less likely to be able to find someone with whom to engage in sex because of the symptoms of depression. It's a vicious cycle. If sex were readily available for depression sufferers and sufferers of other mental illnesses who are prone to depression because of their other ailments, the rate of depression would drop which would be in society's best interests.

Reduce Sexual Assault

If sex were readily available, there would be little incentive for anyone to rape someone. When faced with the difficulty and risk of raping a person vs the ease of simply walking into a brothel and ordering up sex the way you like it, the choice is clear. It may not eliminate rape but would certainly reduce it substantially.

Reduce Unemployment

Prostitution has a low barrier to entry and tons of demand. Entrepeneurial women who find themselves in need of money could start up a prostitution business almost overnight and be getting customers.

Prostitute Safety

For many prostitutes in areas where it is currently illegal, it is a dangerous profession. This is because there are no systems in place to protect prostitutes because they fear going to the police. Prostitutes are beaten or assaulted and have little recourse. Furthermore this drives many of them to work under pimps who offer protection and cut into their profits as well as human rights. Furthermore human trafficing would no longer be profitable as legal prostitues put the trafficing rings out of business

For all of these reasons, prostitution is good fo society and the government should embark on a campaign to encourage it and subsidize it.
bburli

Con

As I understand, what you have expressed in your arguments are some very fundamental misconceptions about prostitution. Please consider studying the following sources: One a case study of what were the consequences of legalizing sex in Australia and another about popular misconceptions about prostitution.

http://www.catwinternational.org...
http://www.prostitutionresearch.com...

Most of your arguments are a result of a myopic view of prostitution, as a tool to enhance the so called socio-economic balance of society. There is a larger need to think about its moral and ethical implications. It is a little similar to the problem of homelessness. We can follow your approach and freely distribute/allocate homes to those who lead a nomadic life. But what about its moral implications? What about those who strive day and night to own a dream home? Prostitution is not a technical issue. It has everything to do with everyone so we cannot take an objective approach and measure its benefits in terms of economy or growth.
Debate Round No. 1
hightreason

Pro

First of all I would like to point out that my opponent did not address my points or even present an argument at all. Instead, Con did little more than post a couple links to some sources.

Both of the links posted were written by authors that took it as a premise that prostitution is morally wrong and constitutes sexual abuse without attempting to argue for these.

Most of the problems pointed out in the first source were due to prostitution not being legal enough rather than having been legalized. For example, the article points out that "Legal parlours tend to be expensive, capital intensive buildings, allowing for the monopolisation of the industry by more wealthy owners." If indeed this is the case in Australia, that stems from the Australian law requiring prostitution to be done in a building especially designated and zoned for that purpose. If prostitutes were allowed to run their business out of their homes, this problem would be completely eliminated.

The second source likewise took the problems that are created by incomplete legalization and assumed that these would increase if complete legalization were implemented.

I agree with my opponent that it is somewhat like the problem of homelessness. The homeless, for example, spend a lot of their time looking for places to sleep and find it very difficult to progress in their lives until that problem is solved. I do not suggest that the government simply give these people houses any more than I suggest that the government give people wives/husbands. However, providing safe places to sleep for a night to homeless people does sound reasonable to me and is more analogous to the issue of prostitution. It temporarily resolves the problem until a more permanent solution can be found.

In light of the fact that my opponent failed to offer any arguments, the resolution stands affirmed.
bburli

Con

The opening arguments of the debate reflected a very popular stream of statements that prevails among st the groups that advocate legalization of prostitution. Thus, I considered sharing two of the most important pieces of credible and objective studies on this aspect. Apparently, not only my arguments have been misunderstood, but Pro has quoted, from the sources I provided, material and put it out of context where it starts to look that I just pasted them off without any conviction in their conclusion. I stick to my sources.

Encourages Innovation and Progress
This is a false assumption. First, there is no major objective or subjective evidence that "people spend a lot of their time attempting to find someone to have sex with". Bonnie Ware - a famous blogger and a person who worked in palliative care - derives from her experience an article where she documents "Regrets of dying". This artcle is based on the data she collected from her patients. (http://www.inspirationandchai.com...) Among the top five regrets, there is no mention of "I wish I had more sex". People don't keep looking for sex. They keep looking for companionship and both are not same. Secondly, sex is neither a motivator for innovation nor a basic need. Inquisitiveness is.

Reduce Depression
It is the other way around. Depression leads to lack of sex. Sex does not cause depression unless you're so addicted to it that you're able to express relationships only one way - Sex. Then, of course it can and will lead to depression but this is an exception. World doesn't work like this. Anyways, even if it is in some possible way capable of causing depression, prostitution is certainly not the only way out.

Reduce Sexual Assault
On the contrary, sex crimes increase. It would be a little more than a blind assumption in arguing that legalizing prostitution will reduce crimes. Refer to the case study of Australia where, people started to be more violent on prostitutes as after legalization they felt that it is OK to do so or also to the studies of strip clubs in Nevada, Netherlands and Australia where, people penetrated strippers with different metallic objects, including a phone. It is preposterous to assume that legalizing prostitution will stop Illegal prostitution. Both will grow. I quote - "Nevada"s women are raped at rates that are twice that of New York and a fourth higher than the U.S. average. Women are three times as likely to be raped in Las Vegas as compared to New York City".

Reduce Unemployment
Prostitution is not a career option. Hardly anyone becomes a sex worker by choice. The inevitability of a person's situation forces them to sell their sex organs. I don't find the argument even remotely sensible. I quote - "In Germany the service union ver.di offered union membership to Germany's sex workers. They would have been be entitled to health care, legal aid, thirty paid holiday days a year, a five-day workweek, and Christmas and holiday bonuses. Out of an estimated 400,000 sex workers, only 100 joined the union."

Prostitute Safety
People becomes prostitutes not because they want to but they don't see any other way out for earning money. Most of these people are poor and they cannot make ends meet. Legalizing prostitution won't get wash away pimps and brothels because there cannot be a law restricting an activity in group but, allows it on a one-on-one basis. If we increase the scope of prostitution and enforce rules governing its trade on a limited basis, individually and not as a firm, with prerequisites of health checkups and a hundred more, I feel it is easier to just into a relationship.

If selling your sex organs was lawful, then human trafficking and selling other parts for money are no different. I also did not understand how the conclusion of the authors of above sources being biased in thinking about prostitution as a "morally wrong" was made. Nevertheless, I don't see any good it can do to a civilized socie
Debate Round No. 2
hightreason

Pro

Thanks for the lengthy response. I will address the points and point out where you are mistaken.

In response to Con's opening paragraph, I do not believe that I misunderstood anything in the sources Con provided, and do not object to Con provding them. My objection was based on the fact that Con did not provide arguments and cite these sources but instead just posted them which didin't give me much to respond to. I would be very interested to know how I took that quote out of context. What I quoted was claiming that pimps still ran the prostitution industry because the barriers to entry were too high for individual prostitutes to get in themselves. This is clearly the product of the law in Australia, not prostitution in general. If Con believes this to be taking the quote out of context, what is the additional context?

Encourages Innovation and Progress
Sex is a basic need. Humans are compelled to do two things above all else, survive and procreate. While many humans do not actually want to procreate, the need to engage in the act is still very much present. This is true even of homosexuals. Even if the sex has no chance of creating offspring, there is a basic human need to engage in the act. The psychologist Abraham Maslow showed in the Hierarchy of Needs, the most basic human needs are breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis, and excretion. In the article Con links to, none of those regrets have to do with basic needs. No one said "I wish I ate more food" or "I wish I breathed more air." People don't regret not having their basic needs met. They regret all the stuff they didn't get done because they were too busy getting their basic needs met. If companionship were sufficient, why must the companion be of the gender the person is sexually interested in? Clearly Con's case doesn't hold water.

Reduce Depression
While I agree with Con that depression can lead to lack of sex drive, Con's contention that lack of sex only leads to depression in sex addicts is absurd. Since sex is a basic human need, being unable to have sex leads to feelings of worthlessness, anxiety, and depression. These are symptoms also seen in people who are unable to get other basic needs met like people who are homeless or unable to provide food for themselves or their families. Con's claim that prostitution is not the only way out is irrelevant since I never claimed that it was the only way out. However, other ways out involve considerably more time and effort; time and effort that could be put toward more productive things than looking for sex.

Reduce Sexual Assault
Once again Con is quoting from sources that study incomplete legalization and assume that the problems will persist if complete legalization were implemented. Con also quotes a study saying that women are more likely to be raped in Las Vegas than New York which is irrelevant since prostitution is not legal in either of those places. Con is also cherry picking the data. No mention of The Netherlands where rape rates are significantly lower than in the US.

Reduce Unemployment
Con states that hardly anyone becomes a sex worker by choice which is completely false. I question what Con means by "by choice." Hardly any sex workers are slaves. Therefore, they are in the business by choice. If Con believes that any job should be outlawed that people rarely take if they have other options, Con would have to be in favor of banning janitorial services, farm work, fast food employment, and a whole bunch of other things. Indeed society would shut down if people were not allowed to do work they didn't like. I also fail to see how the number of sex workers who desired to join a union has any bearing on whether or not it is legitimate employment. Sex work is a career option and is legitimate work.

People sell the use of their bodies all the time legally. Farm workers sell the use of their bodies to harvest crops. factory workers sell the use of their bodies to assemble products. Prostitution is no different.



bburli

Con

The misunderstanding is but obvious from Pro's arguments. I agree that I should have made pointed arguments. The context here is not only about high entry barrier but, the fact that legalization lead to it. All the while when Pro has been pointing out that the prostitution was not "fully" or properly legalized, Netherlands case clearly demonstrates that stringent legalization creates high entry barrier thus persuading prostitues to seek out to pimps and brothels for customers. I would be very interested in Pro's definition of "proper" legalization, if he so thinks that Australian Government did not do it. So, in short, context forms the whole argument and not what is convenient.

Encourages Innovation and Progress - Sex is not a basic need as in food, water and air are. First, Abraham Maslow's survey sample included only people who had reached self-actualization. Second, Abraham Maslow did not consider the Collective and Individualistic (Cultural Legacy) influences of humans highly predominant in determining needs. Third, it is proper to interpret "sex" as a basic need as in "need for companion and procreation", rather than sexual pleasure. Sex is medically an act of releasing endorphin in our body. It is the highest stage of intimacy. Intimacy or Companionship comes first. Not sex. Many people ac cross the globe lead and achieve great milestones in their lives without having sex. They could not have done the same without food, air and water. Sex is an expression of companionship.

Reduce Depression - There is hardly anything to address under this point since most of it I covered in the last one. If prostitution were legalized - properly with all relevant mechanisms and checks put in place - business becomes so sparse for prostitues that people prefer relationships or enslave themselves to pimps. Please study this aspect; no use arguing sex as a basic need. Please take a look at what data indicates. (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

Reduce Sexual Assault - Con's mention of Netherlands, as a place where legalization of prostitution has reduced sex crimes is a downright lie. I would please suggest to do some reading on this - both from the sources provided above and for simplicity wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org...). No country has benefited from this act.

Reduce unemployment - I mean to suggest nothing more than is usual from "by choice". However, Pro put a lot of imaginative content so let me clear a few things. First, please go through various studies that in no uncertain terms prove my argument. (Sample - http://crime.about.com...) Pro has not provided any data (quantitative or qualitative) whatsoever supporting his argument. Thus, for all we know, this is Pro's own opinions. Second, Germany's example very clearly shows that people don't treat it as a profession. It is their problems with life forcing them into it. How is it hard to relate to the point?

There is a basic difference between "selling the use" of one's body and "selling the body" itself. If a distinction can't be made, then I cannot help in this aspect any more than to suggest that it is like actors looking beautiful versues actors having excellent acting skills. Prostitution - legal or otherwise - is only sexual exploitation, a drudgery for those doing it and a means of exploitation for the so called "customers"(http://en.wikipedia.org...). In Netherlands, Australia, Nevada, India etc. it is a failed social experiment. Very certainly a law will only complicate things and its impacts on society is beyond measure. Since 90% of the people involved in it are women; men gain an unnecessary dominance. Companions are always of sexually attractive gender as that is the only way humans can continue their race. However, this in no possible way, proves that sex is a basic need.
Debate Round No. 3
hightreason

Pro

As one can clearly see in the case of the Australian law, it is the law itself which creates barriers to entry, not the fact that prostitution is legal. This is what I was talking about that it was not completely legalized. It was legalized with conditions built in that are difficult to meet. The law itself requires that prostitution be done in a building designated for that purpose which meets a variety of other requirements. Clearly the barriers to entry are not a product of legalization but the law itself.

I agree with Con that companionship is an important part of human life. I also agree that sex can be an expression of intimacy among companions. Prostitution cannot replace companionship. However, even when not in a relationship, humans still feel compelled toward sex. This is often satisfied through one night stands and the like. It is this basic need for sex that prostitution can and does address. In fact, a legal and regulated sex industry would often be safer than random hook ups at a bar. It is certainly less time consuming than hanging around bars hoping to hook up, and does not involve consuming alcohol and other detrimental behaviors. For this reason prostitution is a net gain for society as a whole and should not only be legal but also encouraged.

Con contends that if prostitution were completely legal, it would be so prevalent that prostitutes would compete each other out of business. Of course, even a cursory knowledge of economics should dissuade anyone from believing this. Con curiously seems to claim that the increased availability of prostitutes would cause people to prefer relationships. I have already discussed earlier that sex as an expression of intimacy and sex as the fulfillment of a basic need are vastly different situations and prostitutes would not be put out of business by relationships. I also fail to see how, as Con claims, that prostitutes would choose to "enslave themselves to pimps" once legalized. This is something that happens because it is illegal.

Con's source about the Netherlands refers to human trafficking, indeed a problem that needs to be addressed, but that still doesn't change the fact that sexual assualt in the netherlands is significantly lower than in the US which Con offered no evidence against.

In an attempt to prove that prostitution is not a job, Con links to an article that seems to have nothing to do with his point. Indeed there are serious issues prostitutes face and it's only after normalizing and accepting prostitution that these issues will be able to be addressed properly. As long as prostitution is viewed by many as shameful, bad, or wrong, prostitutes will continue to be victimized. Once we all view it as just as viable a profession as working in a retail store, the "shadiness" will inevitably go away. Con also seems to believe that anyone who refuses to join a union is not in a legitimate profession, an absurd contention I won't waste any space arguing against because it's obviously incorrect.

Con likens prostitution to modeling (as opposed to acting). I agree with him on this point, and also believe that modeling should be completely legal and viewed as a valid career path. Luckily it already is. We should afford this same courtesy to prostitutes. Con also says that a law will only complicate things while arguing in favor of a law to ban prostitution, a strange contradiction.

In summary, if prostitution were not only legal but also normalized and fully embraced as a legitimate career choice, all of society would be better off. Let me repeat that simple legalization is not enough. It needs to be normalized and accepted. All of Con's points about the downside of prostitution are either because it is illegal, because the laws are designed badly, or simply because the profession is viewed as wrong or shameful even in places where it's legal. It is because of this last point that legalization is not enough. We need to normalize and encourage it as a legitimate career choice.
bburli

Con

It is not about what I believe or what Pro imagines me to believe. It is about prostitution and its reality. The studies that I have provided so far unmistakably prove that, it is a failed social experiment.

There has not even been a shred of evidence from Pro supporting his arguments. I cannot think how one can take them seriously as it lacks credibility in its entirety. I did not mention modelling. I talked about acting. I did not say that not joining a union proves a job as illegitimate. I talked about the fact that, how the various benefits provided by those unions did not entice prostitutes to join them in Germany. After Geert Hofstede's study on Cultural legacy, Sex was understood well to be the need for continuing one's race for survival and not as an act of pleasure. The science of Homeopathy also does not say that sex is an act of pleasure. Throughout the world Sex has been instituted through relationships and only in advanced primates like humans it is viewed as an act of pleasure, quite recently. Medicine states clearly that sex prevails between the age of 15-40 years in human life. Thus it is not as basic as food, air and water are. All these points, and many more, point towards "sex with companionship" model. Hookups at bar and other modes are extravaganza of cults that advocates "sex for pleasure" model. It is nothing but a business trick to earn money and fool people. It has never yielded anything good for anybody in the known history.

Pro's claim that Netherlands has lesser number of sexual assaults is supported by no evidence and it might be because of a lot of other reasons like good policing, good moral education etc. The fact is fragile and it bears no influence whatsoever.

Cigarette smoking is not banned completely. It is legalized with restrictions and of course, with warnings. Yet it is the single most important cause of most death in US. It is quite easy for anyone to discern the complications of law. A law can twisted, turned and molded into whatever its creators want it to. Something legalized is subjected to amendments, additions, removals. Law can be extrapolated into a fearful compulsion. I can't guarantee that it will but, no one can guarantee that it won't. Law takes its own course and , if you really want to understand how it won't help the cause, please understand how law works in certain developing countries like India.

Prostitution is not a job that people choose. Various studies in this respect have shown time and again that people in it want to go out and live another life. It requires no special skills. No talent. It is but exploitation and disrespect of the natural and scientific law of "sex for procreation". It additionally leads to Sexually Transmitted Diseases, AIDS, Cervical Cancers and a deluge of other problems.

In summary, sex was not meant to be performed for pleasure only. It is the most intensive expression of companionship and should be performed with a defined purpose of continuing once survival. This process is so normal and was so well understood in the past that, the current institution of marriage that is prevalent now is a result of some serious thinking in this regard. The taboo on prostitution is also a result of this thought process and that has to be understood. If one wants to have sex, a relationship is the way to do it. That way it is safe and it has so many other benefits like stronger companionship, more vitality, better and predictable offspring and thus better life. I have already pointed out that if selling of reproductive organs was legalized then, trafficking or selling of one's kidney, heart or for that matter any body organs presume legitimacy and we would run into a chaos regulating all these businesses. Given a choice of one benefit (sexual pleasure) and a horde of problems against one regulation (relationship) and long-term benefits, a rational choice would be the latter. This is not only about an individual and his/her need for sex.
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by bburli 3 years ago
bburli
Many congratulations hightreason!
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
11) CON: "The studies that I have provided so far unmistakably prove that, it is a failed social experiment." This stands after PRO's arguments.

12) CON: "There has not even been a shred of evidence from Pro supporting his arguments. I cannot think how one can take them seriously as it lacks credibility in its entirety." Agree.

13) CON: "The science of Homeopathy also does not say that sex is an act of pleasure." As unsubstantiated as all of PRO's case.

14) CON: "Prostitution is not a job that people choose." I am convinced of this at the end of the debate.

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CONCLUSION:

Interesting debate. Relatively well argued, with some glaring faults on both sides, mainly to do with sources. PRO did not source at all, which severely damaged the credibility of his case. CON's sourcing was erratic, and at times he leaned on his sources far too heavily. You need to actually make an argument, THEN cite your sources. Arguing through sources is a sign of a poor debater.

PRO's point about the Maslow hierarchy was interesting, but that was the only real point that stuck through the debate. The rest, while certainly convincing from a common sense male interpretation of the positives to come from prostitution, does not survive scrutiny. CON did engage well at some points, but at others seemed to grapple with basic English. I found his points to be difficult to understand at times.

I will award arguments and sources to CON, and S&G to PRO. I will also award conduct to PRO, because I found his writing style to be quite engaging, and also because I do not believe CON deserves the full 2 points for sources.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
1) CON copped out in round #2. Sources do not make arguments, they substantiate them.

2) CON: "I quote - "In Germany the service union..."
"I quote - "Nevada"s women are raped at rates..."

You need to properly cite your sources so that people know where your information comes from.

Example: "I quote - "Nevada"s women are raped at rates..." [1]
[1] http://www.prostitutionresearch.com...

Otherwise, I found CON's arguments to be stronger than PRO's.

5) PRO: " People don't regret not having their basic needs met. They regret all the stuff they didn't get done because they were too busy getting their basic needs met." Interesting approach. The Maslow hierarchy gives it a lot of legitimacy.

6) PRO: "I also fail to see how the number of sex workers who desired to join a union has any bearing on whether or not it is legitimate employment." He showed that prostitutes don't look for what people typically look for in a career, things like job security and health care, the latter being especially important to a prostitute. This would strongly suggest that it is illegitimate, especially in a societal context (since not in a legal context).

7) CON: "Third, it is proper to interpret "sex" as a basic need as in "need for companion and procreation", rather than sexual pleasure." You totally lost me here.

8) CON: "I would please suggest to do some reading on this..." I would strongly suggest you actually present it as an argument first, this being a debate.

9) PRO: "As one can clearly see in the case of the Australian law..." No, I cannot see it, as you did not source it.

10) PRO: "Con contends that if prostitution were completely legal, it would be so prevalent that prostitutes would compete each other out of business. " Gigantic strawman. I have no idea how PRO got this out of CON's arguments.

(con't, and conclusion)
Posted by bburli 3 years ago
bburli
The feeling is mutual. It was an interesting ride whatever be its outcome.
Posted by Nyx999 3 years ago
Nyx999
Sorry, I posted a vote, and in my reason I said "Con refuted, but not effectively enough to make me doubt that it would not work. " I accidentally slipped that not in, I meant to say "Con refuted, but not effectively enough to make me doubt that it would work."
Posted by hightreason 3 years ago
hightreason
Thanks for this debate and may the best argument win. I would have thanked you in the round itself but space did not permit. I'll remember to create future debates with a higher word limit.
Posted by newbiehere 4 years ago
newbiehere
I like this debate topic. Good luck to both of you!
Posted by hightreason 4 years ago
hightreason
I changed it to 72 hours and 2 weeks. 3 weeks was not an option and a month is too long. I hope this is satisfactory.
Posted by merciless 4 years ago
merciless
I'll accept this debate if you make the time to post rounds 72 hours and the voting period 3 weeks.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Juris_Naturalis 3 years ago
Juris_Naturalis
hightreasonbburliTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Very good debate. If Pro had used some sources, he could've pulled this through alot better
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
hightreasonbburliTied
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Total points awarded:25 
Reasons for voting decision: see comments
Vote Placed by Nyx999 3 years ago
Nyx999
hightreasonbburliTied
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Total points awarded:42 
Reasons for voting decision: This was a very interesting debate, although it was lengthy, and I feel like after a while you were just repeating yourselves. :) I believe Pro was the better debater, considering that social experiments are never really conclusive since there are so many different factors. Australia is very different from the USA, and thus might have a different outcome just like The Netherlands are so very different that you might get a different outcome. Pro had a lot of reasons why prostitution should be legal, and Con refuted, but not effectively enough to make me doubt that it would not work. And I think that the argument that it is morally wrong is ridiculous, people should be able to do with their bodies whatever they wish, and if they want to have sex with strangers for money so they can have a home at night, so be it. They should just be doing it with the protection of the government instead of pimps.