Legalization of Prostitution in the United States of America

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In his book Love For Sale, Nils Johan Ringdal wrote, “If nobody wants to sell sex, it is a crime to force anyone to do so. But when men or women do want to sell their bodies, they should have that full right without encountering punishment or discrimination.” Prostitution, often described as the world’s oldest profession is a legitimate criminal offence in 109 countries of the world today (“Human Trafficking Statistics”). Laws on prostitution vary considerably from country to country: in some countries it is punishable by death penalty ("Iran - Facts on Trafficking”), in some it is a crime punishable by prison sentence, while in other jurisdictions, it is a lesser administrative offense punishable only with a fine ("The Sentencing and Punishment”). Punishments are usually more severe for the sex workers and pimps than for the solicitors of prostitution. In the United States of America, prostitution is illegal in all of its 50 states with the exception of the state of Nevada. Nevada is the only U.S. state with allows legal prostitution in some of its rural counties. Occupational health and safety laws are applied to the brothels in these counties but the sex workers elsewhere in the country still remain exposed to the threat of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and violence from pimps and customers. Prostitution exists in various forms in the States: street prostitution, escort prostitution, and brothel prostitution (Harcourt). It has been estimated that the sum total of the revenue generated by the underground prostitution industry in the U.S. is about $14.6 billion (“Prostitution Revenue”), the fifth highest in the world (about 8% of the total annual worldwide revenue). If prostitution were made legal, it would increase the U... ... middle of paper ... .... 09 Apr. 2014. "Sex Work and the Law in Asia and the Pacific." (2012): n. pag. UNDP. Web. 06 Apr. 2014. "Sex Worker Rights." American Jewish World Service, July 2013. Web. 10 Apr. 2014. "Sex Workers and HIV/AIDS." HIV and AIDS Information and Resources. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2014. "The NAYked Truth." Prostitution: The Economic and Criminal Justice Benefits of Legalization. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2014. "The Sentencing and Punishment of Prostitution." Web. 30 Mar. 2014. Weitzer, Ronald. "Prostitution: Facts and Fiction." George Washington University, 2007. Web. 08 Apr. 2014. "UNAIDS Guidance Note on HIV and Sex Work." Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) (2009): n. pag. UNAIDS. Web. 10 Apr. 2014. "US and State Prostitution Arrests, 2001-2010 - Prostitution -" ProConorg Headlines. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.

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