Reasons dates back to Ancient Greece. Albeit being an

Reasons Prostitution Should
Not Be Legalized

Prostitution is one of the world’s oldest
professions, and its origin dates back to Ancient Greece. Albeit being an old practice,
it is considered one of the most controversial vocations where some countries
have made it illegal, others have legalized it, and the majority of states
still has debates about how to address the issue. Over the last fifty years,
prostitution has changed and thrived to become one of the most lucrative businesses
in many countries. Every day, millions of dollars change hands from the sale of
sexual services. To some, prostitution is a natural process of human nature
while, to others, it is an illegal process since God did not ordain people to
sell their bodies for money. As a consequence of strong religious and varying
ethical beliefs existing across the globe, there is a controversial debate
about the role of prostitution in society together with its implications. In the
same world that is pursuing to endorse gender equality by encouraging equal pay
and equal opportunities for all, women walk in panic and are oppressed and
subjugated by men for their personal pleasures. Given the perpetuation of the
myths of a “happy hooker” that exist in the sex industry, the effects
of prostitution have been detrimental to society. Thus, there is a need to criminalize
the practice and pronounce it as an illegal venture since it leads to moral
deterioration, mental and physical health diseases, organized crime, expansion
of the black market, and gender-based violence against women.

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Prostitution in itself is morally wrong.
Technically, it involves engaging in sexual acts in exchange for money. The
practice that is more spread among the female gender undermines God’s purpose
for sex, namely procreation. Throughout modern society, prostitution is often
seen as a controversial issue in respect to ethics. Kant’s deontological theory
stresses on the need to treat others as ends in themselves rather than as a
means to an end (Mingers 196). This theory views prostitution as a means to an
end since buyers of sex solely use sellers as a means of gratification, hence
terming it as immoral. Technically, from a sociological perspective,
prostitution goes against the ethos of society. It demeans women and promotes
male chauvinism since men can view females as objects to satisfy their sexual
desires outside marriage. In the Washington
Post 2016, Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States, claimed
that normalizing prostitution only debases men by allowing them to use women’s
bodies for sexual indulgence. Such a notion has led to the socialization of
young boys, making them believe that girls and women are commodities that can
be purchased to satisfy sexual needs, which are basic human needs.

By virtue of religion, prostitution infringes
the privilege of physical and moral integrity through the estrangement of
women’s sexuality, debasing and relegating it to a commodity that can be sold
and purchased. In the Bible, God ordained that sex should be between married
couples as a way of procreation. In particular, the Book of Proverbs condemns
prostitution and terms it as immoral: “For a prostitute is a deep pit and a
wayward wife is a narrow well. Like a bandit, she lies in wait, and multiplies
the unfaithful among men” (New International Version, Prov. 23:27-28). God outlawed prostitution since he knew that
it was destructive to humankind and it could destroy not only the institutions
of family and marriage but also the body and soul, resulting in spiritual
death. The Bible further states, “The body is not for sexual immorality but for
the Lord, and the Lord for the body” (1
Cor. 6:13). Similarly, other religions
across the globe call for the criminalization of prostitution in order to bring
back moral sanity to society. Muslims and Hindus are also stalwartly against prostitution
as they consider the human body as a temple of the divine. They advocate the
control of the body and mind as a way of directing attention to the realization
of one’s divine nature.

Although various laws have been implemented to
justify the legalization of prostitution and defend women’s health, they fail
to tackle the psychological effects of the practice. A legalized system of
prostitution calls for frequent health assessments and accreditation of both
women and male buyers. Normally, the rule is more enforceable with regards to
women, not considering that men are also carriers of diseases that they
transmit to females. In the United States, condom distribution policies were
implemented with the aim of encouraging sex workers to use condoms to reduce
the spread of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases (Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention). However, they
only made things worse since men offered to pay more money to have sexual
intercourse where no condoms were involved, increasing the spread of sexually
transmitted diseases. In addition, women go through psychological trauma in the
normal course of business since they encounter clients who abuse them (Anderson).
As the law does not provide for punishment for torture in prostitution, most females
end up with mental traumas caused by sexual abuse. Moreover, albeit
prostitution being among the oldest professions, the global society has never
come to appreciate and respect the vocation. They view women and men who engage
in the business as outcasts in the society, making them feel stigmatized. The
majority of prostitutes faces harassment from the public, which affects them
psychologically.

Women should not be identified by their bodies
and, therefore, instead of legalizing prostitution and encouraging females to
sell their bodies, the government should provide more decent job opportunities
that would fit them and not humiliate them as women. One of the major causes of
an increase in prostitution cases across the globe is poverty. Many girls are
brought up in extreme poverty and can barely afford a life of their own. From
the Sumerian era of 2700 BC, there were no careers for women and there was less
support from families for females to join careers. Divorced and widowed women
who had no one to take care of them joined prostitution as the only option to
support their destitute families. In the United States, most girls join the sex
industry at the age of 12 due to the high demand for young girls by male
clients and high returns (Lalasz 12). It
is unfortunate that this mostly happens to girls and not to boys. These young
teenagers should not be encouraged to join prostitution but rather should get vocational
skills to help them acquire jobs or set up their own ventures.

Girls do not decide to go into prostitution by
themselves but are forced to do so due to social circumstances. The world
believes that since prostitution is a vocation, women who engage in the
business do so on their own volition. However, it is just a fallacy as facts
have shown that the majority of women is forced into the act against their
will. Many research studies across the globe state that women in prostitution
were abused as children. For example, nearly 77% of prostitutes in Florida were
victims of abuse in their childhood (Raphael 238). Other social issues such as
drugs and addiction have contributed to the involvement of women in
prostitution. Therefore, rather than legalizing prostitution, help should be
provided for these girls to overcome such circumstances. Moreover, 92% of the
women interviewed showed their desire to exit from the business but mentioned the
lack of education, inaccessibility to health care, and the lack of money as the
reasons they find it hard to quit (Huisman 221).
The above factors pose a challenge to governments and non-governmental
organizations on human rights to assist women in accessing basic resources such
as education and healthcare for them to acquire skills that will help them earn
a decent living to meet basic needs of their families.

Furthermore, prostitution contributes to the
promotion of crime and violence toward women. Most customers tend to view
themselves as righteous people with a belief that purchasing sex is like
conducting normal business dealings (Lalasz 12).
They consider prostitution as victimless sex, which is not the case. The notion
of victimless sex only exists to serve as a legal justification for exploiting
women and making them feel vulnerable to their choices because thousands of
women are raped in brothels. Even when a
prostitute consents to the act, it is still considered as paid rape resulting
from economic coercion and vulnerability (Dank et
al. 179). Former prostitutes eloquently speak of their encounters in
brothels and state that no matter how society perceives prostitution, it can
never be a victimless crime. They describe the ordeals of how they were subject
to calculated rape and sexual assault by their customers and pimps. Others are
imprisoned and locked up during the daytime, segregating them from friends and
families and jeopardizing them with victimless abuse. Though legalizing
prostitution is sought as a means of reducing this victimless crime, it has
done nothing to reduce it. The police in New Zealand and New South Wales claim
to be unable to monitor the safety of women in brothels and state that it has
become a territory of organized crime, making it difficult for them to uncover
the exploitation (Hunt). Organized crime across the globe will always pose a
challenge to justice, and an international policing department without strict
jurisdiction should be introduced to allow the police arrest perpetrators.

Promoting prostitution has led to the expansion
of the black market across the globe. According to the global analysis of the
black economy, prostitution is worth $186 billion that does not go back to the
society (Havoscope). It is a black market
where pimps benefit from the untaxed money. In many mega brothels where
prostitution thrives, other businesses related to the black market such as
drugs, slavery, and human trafficking are also known to thrive due to the high
supply of money. Those who are not drug addicts by the time they join the sex
industry end up as addicts as a means of escaping the agony and dilapidation of
their job. On the other hand, pimps can just skeptically ensure prostitutes become
addicted, which gives them an opportunity to have more power over them. Women
who end up victims of abuse in prostitution take drugs to relieve their trauma,
hence encouraging the flourishing of the drug business (Gerassi). Due to the
status of prostitutes, they are also used by pimps as prime targets for
peddling drugs to their customers. If the world seeks to deal with the black market
and promote sustainable economic development of all nations, dealing with
prostitution would go a long way since it would reduce the prevalence of the drug
use among victims of prostitution.

Another modern-day scourge related to
prostitution is human trafficking. It is on the rise across the globe with
alarming rates in the United States. Statistics from a research conducted by the
US Department of Justice showed that among the cases of human trafficking,
cases of sex trafficking accounted for 82% (Latonero
11). Trafficking is a booming business with traffickers earning about $150
billion per year, including $99 billion from sexual exploitation (International
Labour Office 13). For those who think that legalizing prostitution will reduce
human trafficking, their notion is far from being a reality. They should
analyze the increased human trafficking cases in Germany and Australia,
countries that have legalized prostitution, and, therefore, seek better
measures such as criminalizing prostitution and charging both the seller and
buyer. In Germany where prostitution was legalized in 2002, the situation has not
changed significantly. In particular, in the years 2011 and 2012, there was
approximately the same number of sex trafficking victims, 640 and 612, respectively
(US Department of State 185). If not addressed, the situation will deteriorate as
trafficking crooks will capture girls from desolate regions such as sub-Saharan
Africa and India, bringing them to brothels to expand their businesses.

Prostitution is modern slavery that demeans
human dignity. In numerous countries, it has been considered as slavery where
the members cannot quit. In most cities across the globe, prostitution is
controlled by capitalists who recruit young girls and women to mega brothels to
make a profit. Based on the Karl Marx’s theory, prostitution can be compared to
the communist society where the haves would exploit the have-nots (Thackrah 75).
The majority of women and girls is from the poor background, seeking money to
pay for household expenses, while buyers are mostly wealthy businesspersons. Behind
the façade of legalized prostitution are brothels where women are forced to
serve clients even when sick, menstruating, or pregnant with no entitlement to
decline offers from clients who have requested for their services. They are
also subject to paying for brothel rooms, medical checkups, assigned clothing,
as well as any fines for breaking house rules. These costs can take away 50% of
their earnings, leaving them worse off financially.

The idea of legalizing commercial sex is only a
persistent myth that does not seem to solve the problems it has created. Many
believe that if sex trade was made legal and if it was treated just like any
other business, then it would be safer. With this in mind, proponents of
legalizing prostitution propose laws and regulations that will improve the
conditions of sex workers, arguing that such laws protect women from sanctions
and ensure their safety by the law. However, so far, there does not exist substantial
evidence that legalizing prostitution makes situations any better for women in
the industry. Things are only better for the government and the industry itself
as they benefit from improved revenues. The possibility that the situation will
become better in the industry once prostitution is legalized has been refuted
by the evidence from countries that have legalized it, indicating that the
humiliation and manipulation of women, as well as violence and maltreatment, persist
at the stake of the state. With governments legalizing prostitution, dirty
money from the business is cleaned, illegal acts are legalized, and pimps are converted
into legit businesspersons, thus stimulating the industry. Rather than watch
women drown in this bandwagon of prostitution, governments across the globe
should introduce legislations that address male buyers instead of sellers.

The Nordic model is one of the laws that have
been implemented in a number of countries with the aim of curbing the vices of
prostitution. The model is based on the feminist approach that was first
implemented in Sweden in 1999 with the aim of curbing the demand for commercial
sex and promoting gender equality. In Sweden, the law aimed at criminalizing
sex buyers while keeping the persons selling sex decriminalized. An analysis of
its effectiveness shows that it has helped reduce the demand for commercial sex
from 13.6% to 7.9% (Equality Now). Other
countries such as India, South Africa, Canada, and some states in the United
States in collaboration with the UN Committee on the Elimination of all Forms
of Discrimination against Women have implemented the model or plan to adopt it
to reduce the vices of prostitution (Equality Now).

To avoid moral deterioration, diseases,
organized crime, expansion of the black market, and gender-based violence
against women, instead of creating a demand for prostitution, legislators
should enact laws that will reduce male demand for prostitution, consequently
reducing the supply. In the economic model, the supply cannot exist without
demand, and once the demand is abolished, women will engage in other activities
that will reduce their humiliation. Legislators should pass laws that will want
women to quit the industry by helping them access basic resources such as
education and healthcare and acquire skills to meet their basic needs. The
challenge is for legislators to enact laws that will punish pimps, traffickers,
and buyers rather than those bound to protect sex workers. In addition, the
government should capitalize on establishing the future of prostitutes by
offering and allocating economic resources that will empower these women to improve
their lives. The above can be done through the seizure of assets belonging to
sex businesses and the use of the funds generated to provide real economic
alternatives for these females and the future generations. In addition, if
implemented with other strict measures, the Nordic model will help promote
gender equality, as well as reduce gender-based violence targeted toward women.