Discuss/debate the legalization of prostitution

Discuss/debate the legalization of prostitution

Please discuss/debate the legalization of prostitution. In doing so, reflect upon why women enter into prostitution, their experiences as prostitutes, coping mechanisms, how prostitution varies by country, and the impact of legalization versus criminality. You should also consider whether different types of prostitution make a difference in the legalization debate.

According to Heilemann and Santhiveeran (2011), approximately 2.5% to 2.7% of all female murder victims in the US are prostitutes. Prostitution refers to the involvement in sexual relations for money. The issue of legalizing prostitution is highly contentious, with some supporting it while others oppose it. Legalization entails the regulation of the practice by the government, while decriminalization involves the elimination of all laws governing the occupation. Criminalization is the illegalization of prostitution. The debate on legalizing prostitution is ongoing, with supporters arguing that it protects the sex workers’ rights, criminalizing it does not deter the practice, and it safeguards their privacy and autonomy. Conversely, opponents of legalization assert that it promotes the abuse and exploitation of women, degrades women, expands the sex industry, fosters sex trafficking, and increases the demand for prostitution.

There are numerous impacts of legalizing and criminalizing prostitution. Legalizing prostitution will lead to the protection of the sex workers’ rights as they will be able to report crimes perpetrated against them, including sexual and physical violence. Moreover, the state should not criminalize prostitution as it is a private matter involving the voluntary purchase and sale of sexual services. Prostitution should be legalized and taxed to boost the economy because even in countries where it is illegal, it continues to flourish in the black market. Furthermore, legalizing it will protect the people’s right to privacy and individual autonomy, which allows them to make decisions such as engaging in sexual activity for any reason, including in exchange for money. On the other hand, those who support the criminalization of prostitution argue that it will reduce the abuse and exploitation of women. They also claim that prostitution is not always voluntary because some women are forced into it through human trafficking. Moreover, it is degrading for women as it reduces their bodies to commodities that can be sold and bought. Other negative impacts of legalizing prostitution include the expansion of the sex industry, the promotion of sex trafficking, and increased demand for prostitution (Raymond, 2004). Therefore, criminalization of prostitution will diminish the sex industry, reduce sex trafficking, and reduce the demand for prostitution.


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