Why should prostitution be legalised? July 26, 2019 – Posted in: Brothels, Escorts
Across the globe, the debate rages: should we legalise, or at least decriminalise, sex work? In many developed countries, selling sex for money, whether in brothels or as escorts, is illegal. In some countries, it is legal, within certain parameters. In Australia’s NSW for example, sex work has been decriminalised. This model of decriminalisation has also been employed in New Zealand successfully.
Proponents of legalising prostitution argue it would help to reduce crime, improve access to quality health care, allow for income reporting and thus tax income, help people out of a cycle of poverty, get prostitutes off the streets, and allow consenting adults to make choices. The contention is that prostitution is a victimless crime and essentially isn’t hurting anyone. The fact is, without pushing the sex industry underground, workers can enjoy the same protections afforded to the rest of the population.
Those against, say that legalising prostitution would lead to increased STI’s enables trafficking and is associated with violent crime. The moral argument is cited, that sex work is a negative thing, exploitative and gives strength to the criminal underground and promoted the repression of women.
The arguments against negate the facts that legal or not, prostitution is the oldest profession in the world and continues to flourish regardless of legislation. Anything in society that addresses a fundamental need in humans, and in this case, human contact, is going to exist, whether politicians and lawmakers “allow” it to. Think back to prohibition, when alcohol was made illegal. Did that prevent people from drinking? No. What actually happened was more violent crime and no way to control the alcohol industry. It was pushed into the shadows of society and still consumed in secret by the public.
The same would perhaps then apply to decriminalising and legalising brothels, escort services and other forms of sex work. There will always be people (some 90% of which are women) willing to work as prostitutes, and there will always be people happy to pay for the service (the majority of which are men).
With legalisation, the sex industry can shine a light into the dark corners, the dark being hidden when all sex work is criminal. This would mean less crime and greater protections for the sex workers and their clients. Being legal would mean education programs could be employed, promoting “safe sex” and offering health care, which would actually reduce STI transmission and improve the overall physical and mental health of prostitutes and their clients.
Legalisation would allow sex workers to pay tax, save money, access health services and generally live better than if brothels and the like were criminalised. Making an entire industry, especially one as large as the sex industry simply isn’t the answer to prevent the negative aspects cited by the opponents of the trade. Nevada, a state in the USA, where brothels are legal and legitimate businesses and prostitutes are afforded the same rights are other workers, has shown that it doesn’t create the issues that those against legalisation believe it would. Working girls are treated with respect and have a pleasant, safe and clean work environment.
Human beings need comfort and touch, and in many cases clients don’t have the opportunity to have the kind of intimacy they are yearning, unless they go to a brothel or see an escort. Clients of legal prostitution also benefit, safe in the knowledge that they aren’t breaking the law by seeking that desired physical contact.
Final note: the argument against legalisation is essentially about enforcing a moral code on all people, from an outdated view of how our society should operate. The reality, however, is very different. Legal sex work benefits everyone because in an ideal world, everything is out in the open and everyone involved is a responsible adult making their own free choices about what to do with their body and money.
Image: (ANOEK DE GROOT)