No Clear Answer Concerning the Decriminalization of Prostitution

Powerful Essays
No Clear Answer Concerning the Decriminalization of Prostitution

To decriminalize or not to decriminalize? That is the question people in the United States and other nations have been asking themselves for decades. Many countries, including Costa Rica, Italy, Norway, and Singapore, do legally sanction certain forms of prostitution, and some find it odd that a nation like the United States, which prides itself so heavily on the principle of individual liberty, would forbid any type of activity between two consenting adults. Nonetheless, countless Americans find the prospect of legal prostitution offensive to their ideals concerning traditional moralism, sex, or womanhood. While morality debates may rage on, it does seem rather strange that almost all state governments in the U.S. still prohibit what seems to be a harmless, victimless activity.

The truth is, though, that prostitution is not as harmless or victimless as it seems. In fact, all too often the women involved in the trade are not even working out of their own free will. Aside from the brutal realities of forced prostitution, other problems lurk beneath the surface, as well; but could the harm associated with prostitution be alleviated through decriminalization? It is impossible to know for certain exactly what would happen were legal prostitution a reality, but in order to effectively evaluate the consequences of such a change, the potential dangers and benefits must be considered.

First of all, with legality, prostitution would become safer for both the client and the prostitute. There could very easily be a government registration system through which prostitutes could get a license, the monthly or weekly renewal of which would require health check-ups. S...

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...oral sphere, the answers are largely subjective and based on personal feelings rather than on the objective reality of the world. The fact remains that there are people who are willing to buy and sell sexual pleasure, and a better question to ask is, what is the best way of managing these transactions that will result in the least possible harm and the most possible benefit? While there is no clear answer, it is clear that the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and the perpetuation forced or abusive labor could be diminished significantly with the decriminalization of prostitution. If the government, however, is not willing to fight the greatest evils associated with the business--the trafficking and forced labor of women and girls--these problems would likely grow worse with legalization, thus making it better for the United States to keep its current policy.