THE ISSUE: If prostitution is the oldest profession in the world, then debating its social benefits and whether it should be legal or not is the oldest pastime. Below, Erin Fuchs makes a case for legalization to help get the debate cranked up again. Let us know what you think.
7 Reasons Why America Should Legalize Prostitution
Business Insider's Dylan Love had his expectations shattered when he reported on a Nevada brothel and observed that legalized, well-regulated prostitution can be both safe and profitable.
Nevada only allows prostitution in licensed brothels that test workers routinely for sexually transmitted infections. While Love is not the first to observe legal prostitution can be relatively safe, Nevada's rural counties are the only place in America where the world's oldest profession is officially allowed.
Here are seven solid arguments for why the rest of the United States should let people sell sex in a well-regulated capacity, as they do in the Netherlands, Switzerland, and parts of Mexico, among other countries.
It Would Reduce Violence Against Women
Prostitutes in America (mostly women) are vulnerable to violence from customers and pimps.
A study of San Francisco prostitutes found tha t 82% had been assaulted and 68% had been raped while working as prostitutes. Another study of prostitutes in Colorado Springs found they were 18 times more likely to be murdered than non-prostitutes their age and race.
Prostitutes who experience violence may be reluctant to call the cops since what they're doing is illegal. Sex workers in licensed brothels, on the other hand, can have somebody to back them up, according to a paper by Barbara Brents and Kathryn Hausbeck of the University of Nevada. Brents and Hausbeck interviewed brothel owners and made these observations:
Brothel owners have a clear interest in maintaining their image as law-abiding, trouble-free businesses to keep their licenses and maintain good relations within their communities. The owners we interviewed ensure this by making it policy to call the police at the slightest hint of trouble to send a message that they don’t tolerate bad behavior. "The whole name of the game is control. But that control also makes us get along pretty well with the sheriff’s office," one owner told the researchers. "There are two reasons for doing it, one, the sheriff’s office, but also the girls’ personal safety."
The study concluded that "brothels offer the safest environment available for women to sell consensual sex acts for money." (Read the rest.)