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Armentano (2) defines prostitution as simply the practice or the act of engaging in sexual acts to gain money. For a very long time controversy has surrounded as whether this, arguably the world’s oldest profession should be legalized or not. Many countries around the world and most states in the United States of America outlaw it with Nevada being the first state to legalize it. Even though the long-term outcomes of legalized prostitution are uncertain, its short-term outcomes have proved to be economically beneficial (ACLU, 2). In this paper therefore I argue that prostitution should be legalized because other than being financially beneficial to a country, it also has other benefits such as reduced crime and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) rates.
Reasons why prostitution should be legalized
As opposed to the alleged fear that decriminalization of prostitution will increase the rates of spread of STIs such as gonorrhea and HIV/AIDS, the act will only serve to improve the safety of all the involved parties. This is because legalization will lead to regulation of prostitution hence ensuring that there is adequate monitoring of the safety of all parties. This implies that there will be screening of all sex workers for STIs and they also will be protected from clients that might be potentially harmful. These same benefits will also be translated to the clients as they will be assured of safety, as it is the case with the system of legalized prostitution in most counties of Nevada (Amelia, 1).
Legalizing prostitution will increase the tax revenue collected from the profession. Prostitutes will be liable to pay taxes if the act is organized, regulated and monitored because it will be easier to track down those in operation. As a result, there will be more revenue pumped into the economies of the respective countries or states. Brothels pay a large amount of money to the government in terms of their operation licenses and legalization will only serve to amplify the collected amount. Additionally, many people are also helped out of poverty and improve their living status.
Amelia (2) points out that statistics indicate that most Americans are of the opinion that prostitution should be legalized and regulated because from technical point of view, it does not infringe upon the constitutional right of anyone. The constitution is the supreme law in any one give country and if it is indicated nowhere within it that it is illegal to accept or offer money for sexual act then it is indeed illegal to criminalize the act. This is therefore a call to all the opponents to appreciate that prostitution is a profession and stop violating the constitution by calling it illegal.
Everyone has liberty to what pleases them as long as it is not harming any other person. Consequently, the freedom and civil liberties of individuals to whatever they chose with their bodies are violated by outlawing prostitution. Just like those in support of legalizing marijuana argue, everyone benefits from commercial sex work and the act will still go on irrespective of being regulated, monitored, and legalized by the government (Armentano, 3).
Just like every other member of the society, prostitutes need their peace of mind and respect from all members of the public (ACLU, 1). Decriminalization of prostitution will ensure that the sex workers access the rights that they would not access if their workplace and work was “illegal” and also gives them opportunity to go regular pelvic exams and STIs tests without fear of discrimination. For instance police distrust prostitutes and incase something happens to them, they don’t go to the police; the point here is that legalization will enhance their freedom.
Prostitution has to be legalized because the laws imposed against it violate the right of one’s privacy due to the penal sanctions they impose for the consenting adult’s private sexual conduct. It is a matter of personal choice to engage in sexual activity for any purposes whether for exchange for something of value or for pleasure or recreation and the government has no business to interfere. These laws are also enforced using entrapment equipment by the police and considering that this is basically a private activity, it is reprehensible. Likewise, the engagement of “loitering and vagrancy laws to reprove prostitutes for the status or arresting them on the basis of their appearance and reputation, contravenes civilized notions of due process of law” (ACLU, 3).
Armentano (1) asserts that it has to be understood that much as prostitution is looked at as immorality, this profession upholds respect for all and operates on the basis of willing buyer, willing seller. On the contrary, there are a lot of unscrupulous people in the so cold “decent and honest” professions such as banking, government officials, journalism, medicine, clergy and other areas; from all walks of life who violate the code of conduct within their professions and no one points fingers at them. Any one who is unscrupulous has to be dealt with by the law regardless of their professions and the positions they hold. And if all professions were to be criminalized because of some of their members breaking the law, then the existing legally sanctioned professions would be few.
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To sum up the whole discussion about the legalization of prostitution, the economic and moral case is this issue is overwhelming. The profession should be legalized because government regulation and prohibition blatantly violates the individual’s rights other than being economically expensive. Therefore, the views of America and strategies concerning the subject of prostitution have to go through a radical and immediate change. Time is due for the nation and the whole world to abandon their archaic attempts of legislating personal morality. It is time to face up to the facts and implement policies that can only bring about positive difference. It is the time for legalization of prostitution.