Should Prostitution Be Legalized?

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There are many different opinions on the legalization of prostitution and many “meet-in-the-middle” compromises, however, in a “black and white” sense, there are generally two directly opposing views in terms of the legalization/ decriminalization of prostitution. In an article entitled “Should Prostitution be Legalized”, both of the opposing views are addressed. Dianne Post stands against the legalization of prostitution and argues things such as equality and human rights, respecting the voice of women, and the right to be entitled to “decent” work. Arguing against Post’s points is Bishakha Datta. Datta responds to Post’s argumentative focuses by making the same claims, but with counterpoints supporting her belief that prostitution should indeed be legalized. As stated above, however, there can be that grey area where compromises can be made and a perspective can be formed with respect to both sides of the argument.
Dianne Post, an international human rights attorney currently living in Pheonix, Arizona, presents the audience with a few main points that should be looked at when determining the legalities involved with prostitution. Her first point is that if prostitution were to be legalized/ decriminalized, true equality for women would be non-existent. She argues that the legalization ultimately just makes the woman available for men’s sexual access at their disposal. Also, she states that basic human rights would be violated and activities that in any other situation would be considered legally actionable, such as “rape, captivity, economic coercion, or damaging verbal abuse” (Post 1), would then become normalized. Her second argument states that by listening to the voice of the very women involved in sex work we can discover...

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...compelling arguments, however, it is possible that in a situation such as this, a solution may best be reached through compromise such as the legalization of brothels. Regardless, the individuals in sex work don’t deserve to be denounced in the manner they are. Ultimately they are using their bodies to make money just as a construction worker or professional figure skater is and should not be punished for simply getting paid to do something that many strangers would do for a lot less.

Works Cited

Datta, Bishakha, and Post, Dianne. “Should Prostitution Be Legalized?” New Internationalist. 462 (2013): 28-30. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Mar. 2014.
Raymond, Janice G. “Ten Reasons for Not Legalizing Prostitution and a Legal Response to the Demand for Prostitution.” Journal of Trauma Practice. (2003): 315-332. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Mar. 2014.

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