The decriminalization of prostitution has been a long fraught debate dating back to ancient times. Societies have flip-flopped on both sides of the law, both legalizing and regulating it and abolishing and banning it. Punishments have ranged from public stonings and fines to exiles and executions. Today, the debate continues. Several counties in Nevada have legalized regulated brothels, but the majority of the United States has lagged behind in their attempts to decriminalize prostitution. However, there are plenty of reasons that prostitution should be legal—here are the top 10 reasons:
Prostitution is a victimless crime
Prostitution is a contract between two legal-aged consenting adults. One individual has something the other one wants and is willing to pay for. A prostitute receives compensation for services rendered, and the customer pays for what he or she wants. Nobody has to be a victim. Legalization of prostitution will help to ensure the regulation of the age of prostitutes (to guarantee they are not minors) and help establish general practices for the trade. Prohibition put similar abolishments on a victimless crime, only to be repealed in a short time.
Prostitution is a matter of free choice
The U.S. Constitution was built on the essence of free will. Prostitutes are exercising their free will when they decide to engage in acts of prostitution. Additionally, it may be empowering to individuals, because they get to be their own bosses, set their own hours and work under the conditions they choose. Moreover, legalized prostitution would help escorts: although completely legal even today, they are often confused with prostitutes by indiscriminate government agents.
Legalization of prostitution is not dispensing morality
Nobody may tell another what is moral or immoral. Laws are not designed to legislate morality. Laws are to determine what is legal and illegal. Legalizing prostitution should not be a moral debate. It should be based on facts, figures and statistics, not morality. Additionally, the question remains how purchasing something that is given away is immoral or illegal.
Legalizing prostitution will decrease human trafficking
Human trafficking is a way in which many pimps, prostitution rings and their law enforcement partners acquire new workers for their illegal brothels and operations. With regulation, sneaking in illegal immigrants for use as prostitutes would be more difficult to accomplish. Human trafficking occurs, in part, because prostitution belongs in the underworld. Bringing it into legal sphere will weaken the incentive for seekers of illegal profits and save lives of many escorts who are forced into prostitution.
The decriminalization of prostitution will reduce the spread of violence
Currently, prostitutes are forced into dangerous situations by legal restrictions and tendency to avoid the law. If prostitution were decriminalized, prostitutes could operate their businesses openly and have legal recourse if a client becomes violent. As it is now, many prostitutes who are victims of violence are afraid to press charges against a violent client for fear of prosecution for themselves. This aspect also refers to escorts, who often avoid contacts with the law for fear of being mistaken for a prostitute.
Legal prostitution means better STD/STI prevention
If prostitution were regulated, standards of protection and regular medical examinations would be a part of regular prostitution licensing. Prostitutes who are infected with an STD won’t be allowed to work until they are cleared medically. Education about safe-sex practices will be a regular part of licensing and may reduce the spread of STDs.
Rape prevention is a part of the decriminalization of prostitution
According to research conducted by Dr. Kirby Cundiff at Northeastern State University in 2004, rape incidents could be reduced by 25 percent if prostitution were legalized.
Legalization of prostitution will be a triumph of feminism
Legal prostitution will mean that women are accepted as mature, responsible members of the community, capable of their own choice. In a free market society, businesses benefit from a supply and demand market. Where there is demand, there will be supply, whether legal or not. Obviously, sex is in demand. The opportunity is there for women to make profitable businesses and make decent living from working as legal prostitutes, the way they have been doing for as long as humankind exists.
The decriminalization of prostitution means more taxes
Women and men who work as prostitutes often get by with only reporting a portion of their incomes. (The same is true for some escorts too, who prefer to keep quiet for fear of being confused for prostitutes.) Incomes derived from legal prostitution will be taxed just like everything else. Unless it is getting its share of illegal profits, no government will refuse a chance to legalize and tax.
Unemployment will decrease
Some people are not skilled or patient enough for 9-to-5 office serfdom or a blue-collar labor, while many people are capable of performing the duties of prostitutes. By opening this up as a viable career option, many unemployed workers may find opportunities for making a living that were legally unavailable to them previously. This would be beneficial to the escorting industry, as escorts would be able to legally offer their clients additional services.