Last Updated 17 May 2021

Sex Workers: Legalization of Prostitution

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Prostitution, one of the most controversial jobs created, is often revered as one of the lowest jobs of the career totem pole. Sex workers are counted out and their voices are rarely, if ever, listened to, but no longer should sex workers be ignored. They are people too and have a lot to offer the America. Other countries have legalized prostitution and it has simply become a part of the culture, no longer looked down upon. Perhaps, the U. S. should revisit the job of sex working, and if stigmas and judgments about the field were removed and prostitution was viewed with unbiased eyes, then the positive aspects of legalization could be considered. Sex is simply another commodity that can be bought and sold, just like anything else that is traded, and should be treated as such. With certain restrictions, if brothels were designated for certain places, had their own district outside the major cities, it could help uplift a forgotten community. With certain regulations and laws put in place, not only sex workers, but society as large can benefit.

Sex workers are not hurting anyone and should be allowed to do what they love. the Declaration of Independence it clearly states that, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ” So if sex workers are happy doing their job then who is the government to try and outlaw it? Prostituting is their way of gaining life, liberty and it is their personal way of pursing happiness.

If sex workers are doing what they love, not hurting anyone, and prostituting in a safe manner then the only ethical thing to do is to legalize it. But the only reason this will not happen is because of the negative stigma attached to it. Legalizing prostitution would normalize it and the mystery about sex workers would quickly dissipate. But if it became just a regular job then a lot of the taboo allure about it would be lost. After a certain amount of time most Americans would become indifferent to the issue, similar to how the Dutch now view prostitution.

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According to Melanie Abrams of History Today, “research has shown that 74 per cent of the Dutch population regards prostitution as an acceptable job and prostitution has been legal in the Netherlands since 2000. ” If prostitution is normalized than stereotypes and judgments will decrease about the workers, making them feel less ostracized from society and help to create a richer place with diverse groups of people. The United States claims to be an accepting place, a “melting pot,” of all kinds of people with different ideas and lifestyles, so why sex workers be put on the outskirts of society?

So many of sex workers are taken advantage of and abused physically, but if prostitution was legalized than not as many woman would be injured. Everyday sex workers are beaten and abused, and the intuition who is supposed to be stopping this type of behavior, the police, is often a main perpetrator of it. The police use the power in their job title to coerce the women into illicit sexual acts so that they aren’t arrested and taken to jail. Sex workers live in fear of the possible threats from their customers and threats from the governing force, the police.

Legalizing prostitution would help to eliminate abuse from both of these groups because prostitution would be seen as a legitimate job. Just as other jobs have laws to ensure the protection of them, sex workers would be granted the same rights. The workers would be able to stand up for themselves and not be afraid to call out the people who take advantage of them. Also, the countless tax dollars spent on picking up sex workers and holding them in jail could be used for something more useful.

Because honestly, if a sex worker really enjoys their job, they are just going to go back out on the streets. This will only encourage a viscous cycle, that will never ever stop, and simply waste money that needs to be used in something more important. The spread of STDs, if prostitution was legalized, would decrease, due to mandatory testing. One of the greatest fears about sex workers is that the spread a large number of diseases to their customers because they do not have to use protection. But if prostitution was legalized then a system could be set up to curb the spread of STDs and STIs.

The workers would have to be checked periodically to insure the spread of diseases decreased, as opposed to workers who do not have to follow any rules, because they are participating in an illegal business. In parts of Australia, where prostitution is legal, sex workers “undergo regular examinations for STIs. If these tests are not done, the brothel will not permit the sex worker to work,” and in Queensland, Australia, “sex workers in brothels are required to wear a prophylactic during any type of sexual activity. As a result, Australian sex workers now have a very low incidence of STI’s. ” With many jobs people have to go undergo certain requirements whether it is periodically drug testing, or getting a background check. Prostitute are going to do their job, legal or not, so imposing a way for it to be done in healthy manner, can only be for the better and help to curb the spread of unwanted STDs and STIs. If prostitutes became a legal then sex workers could help the economy. Just as with any other job, prostitutes would become a part of the tax paying population.

Rather than making all the money under the table, which is what they do now, sex workers could help the Unites States out of the economic downturn of the past few years. They could play a vital part in helping to alleviate the billions of debt that the United States is in imagine the millions of unpaid tax dollars that is being overlooked annually because prostitution is not considered a “real job. ” Finally, the United States need to understand that prostitution is as a real of a job as any and rid themselves of the judgments that have been in the culture for years.

Yes, some of the workers are coerced into selling themselves on the street, but there is also a percentage of the woman enjoy the work. Some women enjoy the thrill, or simply enjoy having sex. It is their body, so who is the government to tell them what to do with it; what not to do with it? If the government was able to see past these judgments then America would be a better place for it. The spread of unwanted STIs and STDs would lessen within this field, millions; possibly billions of dollars could be made by taxing the work.

And the great melting pot, which is spoken so fondly of, would become even more diverse and accepting of people. In addition, there is no legal reason for it not to be legalized. Most of the reasons for why prostituting is illegal has to deal with morals. But if people do not like the idea of sex work, then they do not have to participate in it, but ultimately it is not their decision to make. If the sex workers are of the legal age, have made this decision on their own, without being forced or coerced, then they should be able to do what makes them happy.

That’s all most people search for, the thing that makes them happy, so everyone should be able to experience that without being treated terribly and dealing with the constant oppression from the society from which they live in.

Works Cited

  1. Abrams, Melanie. "City Of (Red) Lights. " History Today 59. 11 (2009): 6-7. Academic Search Complete. Web. 4 Dec. 2011.
  2. Sullivan, Barbara. "When (Some) Prostitution Is Legal: The Impact Of Law Reform On Sex Work In Australia. " Journal Of Law & Society 37. 1 (2010): 85-104. Sociological Collection. Web. 5 Dec. 2011.

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