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Arguments for and against prostitution legalization

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Sociology
Wordcount: 1739 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The article’s writer is Emily Bazelon who is a senior of Slate. Majority of the articles in which she wrote, were mostly controversial subjects, such as, the “Hamdan v. Rumsfelf trial” and “post-abortion syndrome”. She is a contributing writer who plays in many roles. Emily is the co-editor of the “Jurisprudence” blog, and edits Slate’s legal column. The “Jurisprudence” blog talks about women’s issues. Emily Bazelon was a senior editor of “Legal Affairs” before she started joining Slate as well as a contributing writer to “The New York Times Magazine”. In the year 1993 and 1994, she worked as a reporter in the San Francisco Bay Area and also as a journalist in Israel. Moreover, she is also a Senior Research Scholar in Law and Truman Capote as well as a fellow for the Creative Writing and Law at Yale Law School. She examined the reasons why prostitution is illegal or why it should be legal in the article of “Why is Prostitution”. Emily was comment that the reasons of it are because of the deprived women in the industry and it would only help brothel frequenter who are the ones who exploit and demean these women.

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From the article of “Why Is it prostitution illegal?”, Emily Bazelon talks on the prostitution issue by giving argument. Argument on legalizing prostitution expands, leads to back-alley violence and fails to protect woman. It also causes greater demand for human trafficking victims. Martha Nussbaum argues on sale of bodily services and poor woman that work as bad conditions. Difference between a street worker controlled by a pimp and a high-end call girl who picks her own clients, and how to increase poor women’s access to decent and safe work. Prostitution is inevitable but if it’s regulated then conditions will be better. Countries that prostitution is legal aren’t cesspools. In 1999, legal to sell but illegal to but sex and only johns and traffickers can be prosecuted. According to Women’s Justice Center, Sweden’s way is a big success. Prostitution has been reduced in Stockholm and Finland. SANS, for sex workers and Allies Network in Sweden dislike the 199 law. It has more dangerous clients and unsafe sex. Industries want straight-out legalization but without systematic studies shown law has made sex work worse or riskier. Prostitution laws should not come down to working conditions, laws that would lead for sex workers. Due to a recent working paper (PDF) by economist Steven Levitt and sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh, apparently don’t know that much about the specifics of the structure of the sex market. Levitt and Venkatesh found that women working on streets were making $27 a day and less than $20,000 a year from the data of Chicago police department. The Ricks of the trade were serious as an annual average of a dozen incidents of violence and 300 instances of unprotected sex. Surprisingly, high prevalence of police officers demanding sex from prostitutes in return for avoiding arrest. It’s another argument against the bans on prostitution; presumably women would not be caught in this particular trap if they were not worried about going to jail in the first place.

Prostitution means, the act or practice of engaging, and a career in which it is contempt by society even if it has been around for centuries. In ancient Greek, prostitution is not to be contempt because of the prostitutes’ dedication to the Gods or goodness of the priests. It began many centuries ago, as a way to service for the God. Today prostitution has become more and more open to the extent that some countries approve for the legalization of prostitution, countries such as, Bulgaria and the Netherlands industry. In my opinion, prostitution is an immoral transaction, even if it has been around for thousands of years. Legalization of prostitution is a problem on the country’s controversial topic. The article does not entirely agree because it has brought many negative effects, such as health, community policy issues and religious issues.

As we all know, that the biggest impact caused by prostitution is none other than health problems. There are many impacts created by prostitution, whether to the society or other people, and it is physically harmful to sex workers. Those sex workers have a high probability will get sexually transmitted disease (STD), such as HIV/ AIDS, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Herpes, Human Papilloma virus , and Syphills. These STD are alarmingly high among women in the prostitution industry. According to Minneapolis/St. Paul, studies demonstrated that 31% of the women interviewed had experienced at least one episode of DID which is the accounts for most of the serious illness associated with STD infection.(Janice, 1994). Besides that, it does not only gravely impair to the sex workers, but it will also be passed to innocent people such as their couple partners. In some developing countries, it has been estimated that 70% of females have STD and infertility, most of which were caused by their husbands or partners who were involved in prostitution (Jacobson, 1992). It shows that prostitution does not only affect sex workers and clients, but it also implicates to innocent people as well. Assuming that these diseases are uncontrollable and are continuously being spread out into community, the consequences will be disastrous. Hence, the rate of health in the community will be in the danger zone.

Furthermore, prostitution also related to the crime problems in the community. Most prostitution industries connected to crime groups such as triad. Illegal prostitution does not bring any benefit to the society; instead, it will increase the rate of crime. Because prostitution is being induce, it leads to the production of criminal such as theft robbery, assault, murder, alcoholism, drug abuse, kidnapping, human trafficking and others. Some of the sex woman workers are victims of human trafficking which are manipulated by criminal groups. Many of them are living in a violent environment even life threatening ones as Emily Bazelon mentioned in the article. She mentioned that women who fear prosecution could not go to the police for help due to life threats. As the article mentioned, many of the works involve the sales of bodily services and that lots of the works involve bad working condition. I strongly believe that legalizing prostitution is a huge mistake because not only will it encourage the rate of crime to continuously rise but sooner or later it will become a rampant increase. For example, as “Why Is Prostitution Illegal” article mentioned, the government claimed that legalizing or tolerating prostitution would create a greater demand for human trafficking problem. More succinctly, legalizing prostitution industry will increase the demand of sex worker because of the shortage of voluntary sex workers, so they will kidnap girls and force them to be sex workers. Therefore, do not legalize prostitution is the best choice.

In fact, professional ethics have always despised sex workers in the society because it is a violation of religious moral teachings. Prostitution represents a distortion of traditional cultural values and a corruption of humanity. For example, there have five percepts in Buddhism. One of the percepts is talking about prostitution. “The third percept is to be refraining from sexual misconduct. Prostitution is a systematic violation of this rule, a problem Buddhists need to take more seriously. Among other things, a substantial improvement in the economic well-being of rural areas, as well as the enforcement of laws punishing profiling from the business of prostitution, is needed to reduce pressure on rural young women to resort to prostitution (Peter, 1999)”. From this, we know that a religionist or a superior man does not allow prostitution. Even in ancient China, the status of sex workers has no value and its level is lower compared to slaves. Despite some countries acceptance, the Muslim religionist in Malaysia does not. Therefore, Malaysia has laws to those prostitution offenders. They will be given serious punishments if the laws are violated. It is stated in the “Syariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territories) Act 1997”. In section 21 of Act 559, it is demonstrates that any women who are involves in prostitution shall be arrest and offense on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding five thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to whipping not exceeding six strokes or to any combination thereof. This is one of the ways Muslim people go against prostitution, which is using strict laws. Therefore, the legalization of prostitution would be very likely to break with the harmonious relationship between governments and religionists.

In conclusion I strongly believe that these three factors are why prostitution is should not be legalized. Prostitution is to increase the culture of corruption in a society, because it will gradually undermine the social morality and the destruction of human conscience. If people’s cultures are being corrupted continuously, we will no longer live in a peaceful and harmonious life. Thus, prostitution should not be legalized.

Reference Page

Parriott, Ruth. Health Experiences of Twin Cities Women Used in Prostitution: Survey Findings and Recommendations. Unpublished, May 1994. Available from Breaking Free, 1821 University Ave., Suite 312, South, St. Paul, Minnesota 55104. Retrieve from November 27, 2010 from http://www.uri.edu/artsci/wms/hughes/mhvhealt.htm.

Jacobson, Jodi L. “The Other Epidemic.” World Watch. May-June 1992, pp. 10-11. Retrieve from November 27, 2010 from http://www.enabling.org/ia/vipassana/Archive/J/Jackson/homoBuddhaJackson.html

Emily Bazelon. Article of “Why is Prostitution Should Illegal?” Posted Monday, March 10, 2008 at Slate Magazine. Retrieve from November 27, 2010. From


“Syariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territories) Act 1997”. In section 21 of Act 559. Retrieve from November 27, 2010. From http://www.mylawyer.com.my/pdf/Syariah_Criminal_Offences_Federal_Territories_Act.pdf


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