Prostitution is often called the “world’s oldest profession”, a situation when one person pays another person for no-strings-attached sex (Ryan 2012). For as long as prostitution has been legal, there has also been the debate concerning whether or not prostitution should be legal. Currently prostitution is legal in 50% of the countries in the world, while it is illegal in 30% percent of world countries and 11% have limited legality (ProCon.org 2011). Many people who believe that legalizing prostitution think that there would be less crime, improved health, and bring in more taxes. These people believe that legalized prostitution would result in fewer prostitutes in the street and in jail and that prostitution is essentially a victimless crime. Despite these apparently positive aspects of legalizing prostitution, prostitution should not be a legalized form of producing revenue.
Many people say that prostitution is a victimless crime and that it is an act that is takes place between two consenting adults. The idea that prostitution is “victimless” results from the idea that no one is harmed by it because there are consenting adults involved. This is not always true. Prostitution creates a climate where humans become a commercial enterprise (ProCon.org 2012). Not all prostitutes are self-employed; rather they are at the mercy of a boss, or pimp, that uses exploitation, harassment and even rape to get the prostitute to comply with sexual demands. Despite the fact that prostitution is illegal in the United States, the trafficking of humans makes $9.5 billion yearly in the United States, and 300,000 children are at risk of being prostituted in the United States (Covering House 2013).
There are some people who chose to engage in prostitution and in that case it is his or her free choice to be a prostitute. Some people feel that it is the best option they have for making money and would rather prostitute themselves than take a more traditional job (ProCon.org 2013). These proponents of prostitution believe that prostitution is solely a financial exchange in a free market and that legalizing prostitution gives sex workers the same human rights as any other type of worker. Human Rights Activists would argue that most women choose prostitution due to a lack of other economic options, which isn’t the same thing as free choice (ProCon.org 2013).
Additionally, even if prostitution is legal or illegal it remains a very dangerous profession for people, especially women. Even in the best of circumstances a sex worker runs the risk of being raped on a daily basis, just by the physical nature of the work. Prostitution is also dangerous because sex workers run the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. Proponents of legalized prostitution argue that legalizing it will help to solve this part of the problem but in the case of HIV testing, it takes at least 12 weeks for the infection to show up so there is a window where a person could be infected and not know it and unintentionally spread the disease.
Prostitution turns one human into an object for the sexual use of another human being. “One needs to completely rid oneself of the voracity for cash to see that prostitution, although legalized, can never be a legitimate business because it will always be associated with crime, corruption, class, mass sexual exploitation and human trafficking” (ProCon.org 2012). Ninety-two percent of female prostitutes admit to wanting to leave the job but don’t know how to because of a lack of education, resources or ability (Opinion 2012). “Pimps” or “Johns” control sixty to 90 percent of female prostitutes (Opinion 2012). Most women prostitutes are either desperate or forced into prostitution against their free will. The U.S. Constitution promises to “promote the general Welfare” of the citizens of the United States and legalizing prostitution cannot ensure the protection of the general Welfare of anyone.
Fague. Lindsay. “The case against legalizing prostitution.” 28 November 2012. Web. 16 October 2013.
ProCon.org. “100 Countries and Their Prostitution Policies.” 12 December 2011. Web. 16 October 2013.
ProCon.org. “Top 10 Pros and Cons: Should prostitution be legal?” 6 May 2009. Web. 16 October 2013.
Ryan, Christopher. “Is Prostitution Really the “Oldest Profession?”” 12 March 2008. Web. 16 October 2013.
The Covering House. “Sex Trafficking Statistics & Source Documentation.” 2013. Web. 16 October 2013.