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In America, prostitution is against the law and enforced by law enforcement agencies across the country. “Cities throughout the United States spent an average of $7.5 to $16 million per year enforcing prostitution laws and addressing negative outcomes associated with prostitution” Murphy, L. (2010 p. 785). In other countries prostitution is legal but often contained within a specific area of the city. The “Red Light District” is probably the most well know area or district in the world, and there are those who believe America should adopt similar prostitution laws like Germany. Those who argue prostitution is a victim less crime and believe it should be legalized have turned a blind eye to how it affects relationships, the women (prostitutes), porn industry and use of drug within our society.
When you compare prostitution to drug use many would argue drug use causes more damage to society then prostitution. No doubt drugs are damaging to our society yet prostitution is often associated with organized crime. These criminal organizations control the women involved providing them with drugs to use and or sell. Prostitutes will often choose to use drug to make the pain of guilt, shame or abuse existing in their life. An article written by L. Murphy (2010), revealed through research and taking the time to interviewing twelve women involved in prostitution that, “Ten of the twelve women currently used drugs, with heroin being the drug of choice. Length of drug use largely correlated with incidence of prostitution”. It becomes a vicious circle which often has a tragic ending. It goes without saying, there are health concerns associated with drug use. A prostitute who uses drugs has a higher probably to wide spread disease as she has intercourse with “John’s” causing a bigger threat or damage to society.
Pornography, much like prostitution, is argued to be a victimless guilty pleasure. Pornography is a billion dollar industry which society has accepted as a more tolerable form prostitution. Research M. Farley, R. Lloyd, & S.M Berg, (2007 p. 2) indicated in their article that “49 percent of 854 prostituted persons reported pornography was made of them while they were prostituting Just because a woman is considered an actor, and engages in sex with other actors in the name of art or film does not make it okay”.
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Considering the statements and facts presented the act of prostitution should be punished more severely. Some of the factors that should be considered when determining the severity of the punishment are adultery, sexually transmitted disease, and the use of prostitution with the intent to commit another crime. The severity of the punishment should be increased if adultery is committed. Adultery is still a crime twenty-seven states even though it is rarely enforced. If a prostitute has knowledge that she or he is a carrier of a sexually transmitted disease and thus infects a “John” they should be punished more severely. Last, if a prostitute uses the prostitution as a means to be able to engage or commits another criminal act they should be punished more severely.
Bhunu, C. P., & Mushayabsa, S. S. (2012). PROSTITUTION AND DRUG (ALCOHOL) MISUSE: THE MENACING COMBINATION. Journal of Biological Systems, 20(2), 1250005-1-1250005-17.
Farley, M., Lloyd, R., & Berg, S. M. (2007). Pornography and Pop Culture: Pornography Prostitution & Sex Trafficking: How Do You Tell the Difference? Off Our Backs, (1), 64. doi:10.2307/20838778
Murphy, L. (2010). Understanding the social and economic contexts surrounding women
engaged in street-level prostitution. Issues In Mental Health Nursing, 31(12), 775-784. doi:10.3109/01612840.2010.524345