Prostitution Essay, Research Paper
Government Regulation of Prostitution is Key
The question of whether prostitution should be legalized has been an extremely controversial issue over the past few years. Many people who oppose government regulation of prostitution claim that America?s morality is at stake. However, I disagree. Government regulation will only help solve this on going social problem that exists in society today. If prostitution is legalized, these sex workers will be less likely to spread sexually transmitted diseases to their customers, the number of pimps will decline, and neighborhood streetwalkers will virtually disappear.
Government regulation of prostitution will only help stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases in this country. As in Nevada, prostitution would be regulated by the state. The state government would regulate licensing prostitutes, handing out contraceptives, and medically testing for all of its sex workers. These actions could only help make the exchange of sex for money safer for customers. Although illegal prostitution may persist, government regulation will help lower that number significantly. The customers of prostitution would realize that even though brothels may be more expensive, their personal safety should come first. They would also not have worry about being arrested by the police. These two deterrents would help eliminate the devastating black market of prostitution we see in society today. The elimination of this black market is why Governor Jesse Ventura supports legalizing prostitution. He states that it is easier to control something when it is legal. For example, during the days of prohibition, it was awfully hard to control the illegal sale of alcohol. Because alcohol was illegal, it was sold on the black market. This black market of selling illegal alcohol was the main reason for the rise in organized crime. The black market of prostitution has done the same. It has bred numerous pimps that constantly exploit and abuse women.
Allowing prostitutes to leave their pimps is also an important reason why prostitution should be legalized. Since prostitution is illegal, many women feel that they need a pimp in order to gain business. Pimps act as the middlemen in this black market of sex. They bring in many extra customers in exchange for a substantial share of the prostitutes earnings. This exploitation of women is seen to many as the most relevant problem with prostitution today. Pimps treat their prostitutes with little or no respect, and some even go so far as to physically abuse the women that work for them. Statistics will show that up to ninety percent of prostitutes have a pimp or guardian. Although these pimps treat their prostitutes horribly, most of these women do not have the option of leaving them because it will cause them to either lose customers or they will be subject to violence. This exploitation and abuse of women should not be overlooked or glamorized by rappers. It should be condemned. These women should not have to deal with kind of mistreatment, yet, if prostitution remains illegal, the problem can only get worse.
Illegal prostitution has also allowed streetwalkers to become prevalent in many residential neighborhoods. Streetwalkers are the lowest status of prostitutes. They are commonly seen on street corners, dressing inappropriately in order to get customers attention. These women are generally poor, and see prostitution as the only available means of surviving (Henslin 58). These kind of prostitutes devastate neighborhoods, because the majority of the public do not want to see others soliciting sex around their homes. This kind of behavior causes areas to look undesirable, and therefore brings real estate values down. Very few people want to live in a neighborhood where prostitutes are conducting business on the street. Government regulation would definitely decrease the number of prostitutes on the streets because customers would find it safer to go to a brothel, rather than possibly receiving a STD from a streetwalker.
One can argue that if prostitution were legalized, would there not be more of an abundance of prostitutes on the streets. I do not think that this would be the case because if prostitution were legalized, street prostitution would remain illegal. Only the government-regulated brothels would be legal, and prostitutes would surely want to leave their abusive pimps if they had the opportunity. The problem is that they do not have the opportunity to leave their pimps because prostitution is still illegal. In Nevada, brothels replace pimps with madams that are closely watched by the state government. This leaves little room for the prostitutes to be exploited or abused. In order to rid society of street prostitution, strict laws would be needed to deter any illegal prostitution. For instance, mandatory prison sentencing for anyone caught soliciting sex should be made law. This would apply to both prostitutes and pimps who work on the streets. Of course, this may not completely cause an end to street prostitution, but I?m sure it could only help in reducing illegal prostitution we know today.
Another argument against the legalization of prostitution regards the morality issue. Many people find soliciting sex as immoral. However, people are being paid everyday for sex in the adult film and magazine industry. This billion-dollar industry is showcasing people having sex all of the time. Why should adult film stars not be arrested for selling themselves? Is this kind of thinking hypocritical? I think so. Why should adult film stars not be punished for having sex for money in a studio, while prostitutes are being punished for having consensual sex? To allow one and not the other is just plain wrong.
Ergo, government regulation of prostitution will help make the occupation safer for its customers, will allow prostitutes to leave their pimps, and strict enforcement of laws regarding illegal prostitution would rid neighborhoods of streetwalkers. Prostitution is only a certain aspect of someone selling herself. It is done on a daily basis, and should not be scrutinized by our legal system. Though I?m against prostitution, and would never promote it, I do not understand the reasoning behind telling two consenting adults what they can or cannot do with their bodies. As long as they are not hurting anyone else, they should be allowed to conduct their business without being penalized by our legal system.