Against the Legalization of Prostitution Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Establishment owners who have been interviewed say that most of these men are highly educated family men, who frequent the establishment by day and then return home to their families at night. Women who try to maintain legitimate relationships with men find more and more that their partners are visiting these brothels and sex establishments (Raymond, 2003).

Legalization Does Not Protect Women's Health

The legalization of prostitution mandates that the women submit to health checks and certifications, but does not require this from male consumers. This makes no sense at all since women oftentimes contract the disease from the men. The women are not protected from contracting HIV, AIDS, or other STDs. This is not to support that both the prostitutes and male consumers be checked -- it simply points out the ridiculousness that the policy implies. "A regulated and decriminalized system of prostitution will promote safer sex and HIV / AIDS control." Male consumers have and will continue to transmit disease to the prostitutes they buy.

Some have argued that controlled prostitution establishments would protect women through legally implemented condom policies. One study revealed that 47% of women involved in U.S. prostitution stated that men expected sex without protection; 73% said that men offered to pay more for sex without protection; and 45% of women said that men became abusive upon the assertion of using condoms. One prostitute said, "It's 'regulation' to wear a condom at the sauna, but negotiable between parties on the side. Most guys expected oral sex without a condom..." (Raymond, 2003, p. 7)

Furthermore, "safety policies" in sex establishments did not protect women from injury. Where some brothels claim to watch over the happenings between the prostitute and consumer, women claimed that they were physically harmed by some consumers, and at times, by establishment owners and their friends. Even when "bouncers" interceded to temporarily control consumer abuse, women constantly lived in trepidation. Although 60% of the prostitutes interviewed stated that consumers had sometimes been prevented from behaving violently, half of the same women admitted that they thought they might be killed by one of their buyers at one time or another.

Legalization Does Not Improve Women's Choice of Employment

All around the world there is a human rights crisis of sexual abuse of millions of women and children in prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation. There are regions of the world where prostitution has gone from being almost nonexistent to a hundred million dollar money-making industry..." (Gerdes, 2007, p. 2)

For many women, prostitution is a survival method. It is highly unlikely that of all the other options a woman would choose prostitution as her lifelong endeavor. The profession was most likely chosen as a means to support themselves and their families. Alternatives are obviously extremely limited for these women. Raymond suggests that governments should not profit from the taxable economic profits of sexual enterprises, but rather, seize the assets of these establishments and then utilize the funds to provide real options for women in prostitution. Raymond also implies that any measures taken to inhibit sex trafficking, prostitution, recruiters, pimps, and buyers will fail unless governments empower prostituted women by providing economic resources that facilitate women to change their lives (Raymond, 2003).

Like Raymond, Hughes also supports the abolishment of legal prostitution. She implies that all governments, NGOs, and religious organizations need to hone in on limiting the demand for victims of prostitution. Anyone involved in the demand for prostitution need to be punished. This includes men who pay money for sexual encounters, traffickers, pimps who profit from the sale of women and children for sex, states that advocate misleading messages and act as pimp, and the culture that "lies" about the nature of prostitution. According to Hughes, governments could greatly diminish the amount of victims, if the demand for them was penalized. If there were no men seeking to purchase sex, there would be no need for women and children to be bought and sold. If there were no sex establishments beckoning for victims, no victims would be recruited. If no states were allowed to profit from the sex trade, there would be no need for regulations that facilitate the flow of women from poverty-stricken towns to wealthier sex industry establishments. If there were no lies concerning the nature of prostitution, no women or children would be swindled into thinking prostitution is an alluring or legitimate occupation (Gerdes, 2007).

Prostitution should not be legalized in the United States. Other countries around the world have tried legalizing prostitution and it doesn't work. For the sake of "true liberation," why not learn from the mistakes of others and choose a different route or diminishing both legal and illegal prostitution.


Gerdes, L. (2007). Policies favoring legalization encourage prostitution and sex trafficking. At Issue: What are the causes of Prostitution? Detroit: Greenhaven Press. Opposing Viewpoints Resource.

Raymond, J. (2003). Ten Reasons…

Sources Used in Document:


Gerdes, L. (2007). Policies favoring legalization encourage prostitution and sex trafficking. At Issue: What are the causes of Prostitution? Detroit: Greenhaven Press. Opposing Viewpoints Resource.

Raymond, J. (2003). Ten Reasons for not Legalizing Prostitution. Journal of Trauma Practice. Haworth Press, Inc.

Roleff, T.L. (2006). Legalization and decriminalization of prostitution would not help prostitutes. Contemporary Issues Companion: Prostitution. Greenhaven Press. From Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center.

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