Prostitution should be legalized throughout the United States
By Chris Skarnulis, Arts and Entertainment Editor
Prostitution is a charming industry that has enveloped the minds of both curious men and women for centuries. It’s a type of business that has operated in all continents throughout the world. Although it is outlawed in a majority of these countries, one state in the United States, Nevada, maintained its legal status. The problem is that prostitution is a legitimate business, and it should be recognized as one. Although the types of services offered by the business may not send the best message, it should not be breaking the law by any means necessary.
One barrier to legalizing prostitution is the belief that a higher percentage of individuals (prostitutes and customers) who engage in prostitution will become infected with a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) of some form. Therefore, the amount of STD cases in the United States would largely increase. However, this information proves to be false. According to a new study presented at the International AIDS Conference in Australia, the transmission of HIV among sex workers could significantly be reduced by around 33 to 46 percent if prostitution were decriminalized. Because prostitution is deemed criminal in the United States, prostitutes have very limited access to healthcare and are at a much higher risk of transmitting an STD. If prostitution were to be legalized, the government could put in place regulations that protect the well-being of those in the business. This could include frequent medical examinations and check-ups to make sure that the prostitute themselves are healthy when engaging in sexual services with clients.
The life of illegal prostitution can be quite violent. Whether the cause is from the pimp or the client itself, the correlation between violence and prostitution go hand-in-hand. Although prostitutes are deemed the stereotypical slutty, white-trash woman, they are people too and don’t deserve the physical and mental abuse that some receive. Once legalized, sex workers would hold the right to approach a police officer if they are in danger or having a problem with their clients or pimps. In addition, they would also be given an opportunity to conduct their business on their own without the control of an abusive pimp, which reduces the possibility of violence and abuse.
It is worth mentioning that it costs the United States government millions of dollars to outlaw prostitution. Why spend so much money on outlawing a profession that will continue to occur anyway? According to listland.com, in the U.S., law enforcement agencies spend at least $2,000 for each arrest of a sex worker – that includes the arrest, court, and imprisonment costs. With the vast number of sex workers in the country, the Future of Freedom Foundation estimated that it costs the government more than $120 million a year on prostitution control. That money could be better spent to combat a multitude of other issues.
However, the fact of the matter is that even if not legalized, prostitution will continue to happen anyways. There will always be a surplus of customers looking to engage in a variety of services with a prostitute, so why fight a battle that can’t be won?
What legalizing this practice boils down to is the violation of rights a prostitute has to his/her body. The prostitute is aware of the business they work for, and understands the repercussions that may come with it. This country was founded on free will, and to not decriminalize prostitution is a violation of that foundation.