Prostitution is one of th oldest trades known to man and even at the present time, while it is illegal in most areas of the United States, it is still employing many women and is solicited by even more men. Prostitution should be decriminalized because we are paying too high a financial and social cost for the ineffective enforcement of laws against it. The money and the law enforcement personnel freed by legalizing prostitution could be better spent if used to protect citizens against violent crimes. Prostitution has not always been a crime and there are still a few communities in the West, particularly in Nevada, where houses of prostitution operate as legal businesses.
First, let me give you a brief history lesson on prostitution. "Before the 17th century, fornication may not have been socially accepted, but neither English nor American common law recognized it as a crime. After the Civil War, a series of laws were proposed to segregate and license prostitutes to operate in "red light" districts, and in 1910, the Mann act, a federal statute prohibiting the transportation of females across a state border for the purpose of prostitution, debauchery, or any immoral purpose was passed. By 1917, the organized and highly profitable prostitution of New Orleans and other cities was doomed by federal edict, and in 1925, every state had enacted an anti-prostitution law. Still, the effectiveness and the social and economic cost of making prostitution a crime has been continually questioned" (J. Pearl, 256).
There are generally two types of prostitutes, those who either employ themselves or have a pimp, and then there are escorts. Escorts are supposed to be just that, an escort. According to Kentucky law, an escort is defined as "Any person who is held out to the public to be available for hire for monetary consideration in the form of a fee, commission, tip or salary, to consort with, or who accompanies, another or others to or about...
Cited: Mora, James. Personal Interview. 28 Apr. 1999
Pearl, Julie. "The Highest Paying Customers: America 's Cities Against the Costs of Prostitution Control." Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in Human Sexuality. ED. Robert T Francoeur. Guilford [C.T]: Dushkin Publishing Group, INC., 1989.
Sharkey, Joe. "Come Listen to a Story 'Bout a Town Against Hookers." New York Times. 19 Apr. 1998: P. 7, Sec. 4.
Winick, Charles. "Debate on the Legalization of Prostitution." Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in Human Sexuality: Ed. Robert T. Francoeur. Guilford [C.T.]: Dushkin Publishing Group, INC., 1989.
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