JoAnna St Germain
October 25th, 2013
Should Prostitution Be Legalized?
When people hear the word prostitution, they automatically think of it as just women selling their bodies for sex. There is far more reasoning behind prostitution and why it still remains so popular everywhere today. Some may believe prostitution should be legalized, while others find it absurd to legalize. Prostitution can be viewed as one’s occupation, how one makes a living, or their profession. It can also be viewed as women and their bodies being taken advantage of and that no human’s body should be bought and sold. Being a sophomore in college, I understand that it is extremely hard to make a living on your own. Not saying that I stand on the street to make my money, but I understand where the women are coming from that partake in prostitution. Most of the women involved in prostitution entered at an early age to make money and couldn’t afford to go to college so they settled for prostitution. Prostitution has been around for many years and there are a lot of different forms for example, street, domestic, brothels, etc. The Prostitution Act of 1996 was an act to decriminalize and regulate prostitution. In the Prostitution Act of 1996, a ton of valid points were made for legalizing prostitution. There are six parts to the act, preliminary, prostitution consultation board, regulations, registration, offences, and consequential amendments. I’ve decided to do further research on the legalization of prostitution so that everyone can get an understanding as to why prostitution should be legalized.
In my first source, an article from the New Internationalist, two authors Dianne Post and Bishakha Datta go head to head as to why prostitution should and should not be legalized. Datta, who is a writer and filmmaker based in India, believes that prostitution should in fact be legalized. Datta believes that individuals have sex for all kinds of different reasons. For example, sex for pleasure, for fun, to have children, even to earn a living. Also, rather than thinking it’s just a form of coercion, we should listen to women when they say that prostitution is a form of livelihood or commerce. Prostitutes just want the rights that all other humans have when they have an occupation. Post is a human rights lawyer whom on the other hand, believes that it should remain illegal for many reasons. Post reminds us in the article that women who sell themselves for sex to another man’s sexual access is found to be a form of inequality of gender, sex, and race. “Legalization gives approval to violence, control, and devaluation. When violence is directed at half of the worlds population – women – it undermines the entire structure of human rights,” says Post. Dianne suggests that we too also listen to the voices of women. She states that in a five-country survey, over ninety percent wanted out of prostitution immediately.
After reading the argument about prostitution and whether it should be legalized, I realized that when two people are trying to get their point across as to why it should or should not be legalized, they each use different subjects of the matter. For example, Datta seemed to focus mainly on the women that enjoy prostitution as their occupation, and that we should be aware that they deserve all of the same rights that other human beings receive. She also looks at the financial aspect of prostitution and draws in the fact that in India 68.7% of people live off of less than two dollars a day, and that’s why some people turn to sex work as their way of living. She makes a good point that we legally accept the other badly paid forms of informal labor such as construction, farm labor, etc. where they use their hands and such to earn a living and sex is no different. Post then focuses more on the human rights and equality of men and women. Dianne makes valid points that we as a whole need to do better for women and get rid of...
References: Bergman, Angela. “For Their Own Good? Exploring Legislative Responses to the
Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and the Illinois Safe Children Act.” Vanderbilt Law Review 65.5 (2012): 1361-1400
Muftić, Lisa. Mary Finn. “Health Outcomes Among Women Trafficked for Sex in the
United Stated States: A Closer Look.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 28.9 (2013): 1859-85
Pedigo, Katie. “Prostitution: A Victimless Crime?” AI Jazeera 19 Mar. 2013: 45. Web.
Raymond, Janice. “Ten Reasons for Not Legalizing Prostitution and a Legal Response to
the Demand for Prostitution.” Journal of Trauma Practice 2.3 (2004): 315-332
Please join StudyMode to read the full document