Legalized Prostitution Debate

History and Debate of Legalized Prostitution

Prostitution is defined as the act of providing sexual services to a person in exchange for money, goods or other services. Worldwide, this practice produces over $100 billion in revenue annually. Prostitution practices vary greatly from country to country. Prostitution is legal in some countries; however, prostitution is considered so serious a crime that it is punishable by death in other countries. Currently, prostitution is illegal in the United States with the exception of a few small jurisdictions in Nevada. Some believe that legalizing this industry would bring many benefits, while others have identified many negatives of legalized prostitution.

Arguments in Favor of the Legalized Prostitution Debate

Proponents for the legalization of prostitution generally believe that, since prostitution is a harmless act, it should not, by definition, be considered a crime. Many believe that criminalizing prostitution only exacerbates the spread of diseases, and if the practice were legal, it would encourage cleaner working conditions and better STD testing for prostitutes. Those who support legalization also believe that there is nothing immoral about sex, and since it is freely dispensed, there is no harm in charging for it. Many also believe that criminalizing the industry only brings discrimination and poor working conditions for sex providers and purchasers. Current laws do not stop prostitutes from selling sex, but seems only to make them more prone to violent acts while working. Many also think that if women could legally participate on their own free will, the likelihood of underage prostitution and sex slaves would decrease.

Arguments Opposed to the Legalized Prostitution Debate

Proponents opposed to the legalized prostitution debate believe that prostitution is simply immoral and should be considered a crime. They also believe that legalizing prostitution would increase the spread of disease, stating that it takes several weeks to get the results from STD tests allowing an infected prostitute to continue infecting her clients. Many also believe that since most sex workers are female, the practice is demeaning to women and enhances the changes of rape and violence. Some go so far as defining prostitution as a type of rape, since it turns a woman into an object for a man's use. Others state that prostitution increases the involvement of sexual predators and the use of minors as sex slaves.

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For Legalized Prostitution

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Against Legalized Prostitution

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