The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Prostitution should be legal in the United States

Do you like this debate?NoYes+2
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headphonegut has forfeited round #2.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/18/2017 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 1,192 times Debate No: 103591
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (10)
Votes (0)




Debate Format (deviation from format denotes forfeiture - let's have a real debate)

Pro R1 - Challenge Posting, Format, and Definitions
Con R1 - Acceptance and Definition Acknowledgement/Amendments
*No arguments for Pro/Con in Round 1
Pro R2 - Case
Con R2 - Case
*No rebuttals admitted in R2
Pro R3 - Rebuttal to Con R2
Con R3 - Rebuttal to Pro R2
*Argument point(s) not refuted denotes 'Automatic Acceptance' on said point(s)
Pro R4 - Rebuttal Responses and Final Arguments
Con R4 - Rebuttal Responses and Final Arguments
*No new argument points allowed in R4. Rebuttal points not responded denotes 'Automatic Acceptance' on said point(s)
Pro R5 - Summary and Closing Statements
Con R5 - Summary and Closing Statements
*No new points or arguments allowed in R5, Case Summaries and Conclusions only

Citations may be posted in comments to allow maximum character usage for argument text box.

I, as the Instigator to this topic, am doing this to 're-ignite' the spark on this site. I want to post many topics to debate with debate-style formats that allow for structured arguments to transpire.

I look forward to any challengers and wish the best of luck and look forward to this exchange of information!

Definitions (from the Oxford Word Dictionary online @

"Prostitution" - (1) The practice or occupation of engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment (1.1) The unworthy or corrupt use of one's talents for personal or financial gain.

"Legal" - (2) Permitted by law

"United States" - A country occupying most of the southern half of North America and including also Alaska and the Hawaiian Islands; population 321,800,000 (estimated 2015); capital, Washington, DC. Full name United States of America.

As the Con, if you would like to amend any of the definitions above please do so with a citation/source and reason. If the definitions are fair and you feel comfortable moving forward - then simply write "Accept and Acknowledge" for R1


Definition; Should: (Duty) used to say or ask what is the correct or best thing to do.
Debate Round No. 1



So many ways it is performed, and so many ways it is perceived. Both by those who have nothing to do with the industry and by those actively involved. We need to place a paramount perspective that in all business that business is PEOPLE. As American citizens, there are rights we are given solely by "being alive." The stigma and negative connotation of anything that involves the "profane" has always existed. We may never see true equality among men and women, but this [prostitution] is something that extends beyond American borders.
We may have varying opinion on what "prostitution" is/isn"t " with this segue I want to introduce a United Nations 2000 "Protocol to Prevent, Supress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime" to explain that prostitution can NOT be "human trafficking" if this industry is legalized, regulated, taxed and incorporated into our economic structure. The UN convened that, "'Trafficking in persons' shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs."
None of these can exist in a legitimate/legal business enterprise.
It is for the overall benefit for the PEOPLE in this industry that I take this stance that "America should legalize prostitution."
My arguments are going to revolved around the only information available (in America) to discuss the projected changes by applying the "Nevada brothel model" to this industry (as it is already LEGAL in these United States " similar to any "legalize marijuana" argument.) I believe this comparison allows for a clearer understanding on the contrast within this country when it comes to handling prostitution as a business, and when it is a "street crime."

The 5 points for my case in the affirmative for "America should legalize prostitution" are:

A1-Increase health, safety, and labor rights/regulations for those working in this industry
A2-Economic benefits
A3-Reallocates law enforcement persons and resources towards actual threats against citizens
A4-Reduction of violence against women
And my final point:
A5-It is the oldest profession that will NEVER go away

A1 - Illegal street prostitutes might face pressure from pimps and Johns to forgo condoms. But states that legalize prostitution can require sex workers to use condoms and get tested for sexually transmitted diseases.
Sex workers in Nevada must get monthly tests for syphilis and HIV and weekly tests for gonorrhea and chlamydia. Nevada also requires condoms for all sex in brothels. This law is posted on the outside of the state's brothels, according to the paper by Barbara Brents and Kathryn Hausbeck of the University of Nevada.
"All of the women we interviewed were passionate about expressing their support for these law. For example, they insisted that they always use condoms, whether the client prefers to or not," the report stated.
Making sex work a crime can drive prostitutes underground and make them less likely to practice safe sex and get tested for sexually transmitted disease.

An April 2012 study by the Urban Justice Center found that New York City cops were using condoms found on women as evidence in criminal prostitution cases against them. It's easy to imagine how this practice might deter sex workers from carrying protection.

The United Nations Development Programme published a report last year on illegal sex work in Asia and the Pacific that highlighted just how damaging the criminalization of sex work can be to women's health. Here's what it said:
Criminalization increases vulnerability to HIV by fueling stigma and discrimination, limiting access to HIV and sexual health services, condoms and harm reduction services, and adversely affecting the self-esteem of sex workers and their ability to make informed choices about their health.

Legally employed people in America get rights like a minimum wage, freedom from discrimination, and a safe work environment. Since prostitutes don't work legally, they don't get any of those rights.
The United Nations Development Programme's report on sex work in Asia and the Pacific highlighted why it's problematic when sex workers don't have legal rights. "Sex workers in all countries of the region except New Zealand and the state of New South Wales (Australia) lack the labour rights afforded to other workers, including the legal right to a safe and healthy workplace and to reasonable terms and conditions of employment ... Labour laws and social security laws that do not recognize sex work as legitimate work contribute to stigma and marginalization of sex workers."

A2 - While brothels in Nevada pay no state taxes, they pay "significant amounts of tax" to the rural counties where they do business, according to The New York Times. (Nevada Republicans blocked a plan a couple of years ago to subject brothels to state taxes, as they didn't want schools and other state services funded by sex work.)
Illegal prostitution businesses in America, of course, pay no taxes. If those brothels were legalized, then state and county governments could gain significant revenue.
"Let government share in the revenue, but otherwise stay out of the affairs of consenting adults," MSNBC political analyst Michael Smerconish has written.

A3 - The investigation into notorious John, and former New York governor, Eliot Spitzer is a perfect example of how costly it can be to probe sophisticated prostitution rings.
"In this case, they wiretapped 5,000 phone conversations, intercepted 6,000 emails, used surveillance and undercover tactics that are more appropriate for trapping terrorists than entrapping Johns," famed Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz wrote in the Wall Street Journal.
Dershowitz has also told MSNBC's Michael Smerconish, "Every hour spent going after prostitution is an hour that could have been spent going after terrorists and going after people who victimize."

A4 - Prostitutes in America (mostly women) are vulnerable to violence from customers and pimps.
A study of San Francisco prostitutes found that 82% had been assaulted and 68% had been raped while working as prostitutes. Another study of prostitutes in Colorado Springs found they were 18 times more likely to be murdered than non-prostitutes their age and race.

Prostitutes who experience violence may be reluctant to call the cops since what they're doing is illegal. Sex workers in licensed brothels, on the other hand, can have somebody to back them up, according to a paper by Barbara Brents and Kathryn Hausbeck of the University of Nevada. Brents and Hausbeck interviewed brothel owners and made these observations: Brothel owners have a clear interest in maintaining their image as law-abiding, trouble-free businesses to keep their licenses and maintain good relations within their communities. The owners we interviewed ensure this by making it policy to call the police at the slightest hint of trouble to send a message that they don"t tolerate bad behavior. "The whole name of the game is control. But that control also makes us get along pretty well with the sheriff"s office," one owner told the researchers. "There are two reasons for doing it, one, the sheriff"s office, but also the girls" personal safety."
The study concluded that "brothels offer the safest environment available for women to sell consensual sex acts for money."

A5 - There will always be lonely or kinky men in America who will pay for sex, and there will always be women willing to rent out their bodies. As the anthropologist Patty Kelly has written in the Los Angeles Times, prostitution has become a "part of our culture" in the United States.

We legalize and regulate a ton of commerce that's morally controversial " like gambling, alcohol, tobacco, lap-dancing, and pornography. Yes, women can be coerced into prostituting themselves. But we're not helping them by making consenting sex work a crime.

Closing Observation " Again, it is already legal in a specified territory in this country and it is an industry that has been around since the beginning, and will last for as long as "we crave sex" and continue to live in a "depressed social state." The merits of "morality" are not concreted to keep this industry illegal as the true "moral compass" of America is freedom/civil liberties/representation/at will employment (which only happens once people are not deemed "criminals" and are able to live the life of their choosing. By legalizing prostitution, we are supporting the free market capital principles of American economics. We do not need anymore people incarcerated in our over populated prisons that have not committed any acts of violence. As mentioned, the ones who are at the highest threat of violence are the workers themselves. As Americans we owe it to the other American citizens to have their rights (as PEOPLE) protected as equally as any other person.

And by all this - this is why America should legalize prostitution.
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Bob16 11 months ago
Are you still active? Would you like to debate?
Posted by love3014 2 years ago
Consensual sex can not be a crime.
Posted by BMyers 2 years ago
Thank you for accepting this debate - and thank you for contributing to the debate in offering a key definition that I (initially) overlooked when posting the challenge.

"Should" - I accept your definition, and look forward to this challenge.

I do apologize I didn't check in sooner to see the moment when you accepted, nevertheless I am working on my case now (at the time of this comment the clock is showing 1 day, 2 hours, 54 minutes remaining)

I will have it ready in time

Good luck and I look forward to this exchange of information
Posted by DaWiseKid 2 years ago
Well they are just making it illegal so that it would decrease and IMO this is illegal because of religion.
Posted by FanboyMctroll 2 years ago
We could debate but I agree with you, prostitution has been around for thousands of years, I don't see anything wrong with it or why it shouldn't be legalized
Posted by BMyers 2 years ago
If you'd like to debate - feel free to accept. We can discuss all the different angles of this topic you'd like.
Posted by FanboyMctroll 2 years ago
What about Escort Services and Rub N Tug massage parlors??
Posted by BMyers 2 years ago
No, I am arguing that through all 50 states in the US that prostitution should be legal.

Nothing to do with Amsterdam, however the Nevada comment is on the right track
Posted by EnchantedPlatinum 2 years ago
In this argument, would you argue that Red Light Districts count as legally allowing prostituation? Where prostitution isn't legal everywhere but very specific areas?
Posted by FanboyMctroll 2 years ago
It already is in Nevada, that is why they have the brothel houses everywhere.
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