Legalizing Prostitution in the U.S Essay

Pages: 3 (1322 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Women's Issues - Sexuality


Regulation rather than prohibition also makes the environment safer for both the sex worker and the customer. One of the biggest arguments against prostitution is the fear of spreading STDs. Opponents propagate that by banning prostitution these diseases can be controlled. As already established there is little evidence that illegalization reduces prostitution. In such a scenario a more effective policy would be to legalize and regulate the environment in which these sex workers operate. In Netherlands's for example regular medical checks are mandatory for renewal of licenses for an individual sex worker and brothels. Compare this situation with the U.S.A. where the sex workers shirk health visits afraid of being found out by a doctor. The harm of this is that sexually transmitted diseases are rarely caught on time and spread more readily from one prostitute to the next, causing health issues in the population as a whole.

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There are also strong arguments made against legalizing prostitution. On the forefront is the belief that legalization will result in greater number of people being involved in this trade due to the ease of earning money. This argument indicates a disregard for human behavior. Man is a social animal and craves for societal acceptance.Thus, the decision to enter a trade that is frowned down upon by society and is an offense in the eyes of law cannot have been taken easily. A report by ILO has shown that most women enter the sex trade due to economic reasons. Thus, should the focus of public policy not be the eradication of the cause (socio-economic difficulties) rather than the symptom (prostitution)? Should our finite tax dollars be spent on punishing these individuals that the society has failed in the first place, by not providing them with the basic necessities of life, or on rehabilitating them with economic opportunities and protecting them from harm sway?

TOPIC: Essay on Legalizing Prostitution in the U.S.A. Assignment

Another popular argument against legalization is its effect on human trafficking. It is assumed that prostitution encourages people to indulge in human trafficking and its legalization would only serve to increase this practice. Firstly, studies have indicated that prostitution is only a tiny fraction of human trafficking and there is zero empirical evidence from peer-reviewed research that smuggling increases when prostitution is legal (Obrien, 2011). Most human trafficking is in the form of labor smuggling (Feingold, 2005).Thus, ignoring the benefits of regulation and banning sex trade on this pretense, that some people smuggle prostitutes is analogous to banning all TV because some people watch too much TV. Rather, focus of the government should be to declare smuggling prostitutes illegal rather than the trade itself. Another important nuance to this argument is the environment of dependency that illegalization of prostitution has created for sex workers. Their close ties with smugglers and gangsters are because in the eyes of the law they are also criminals, and depend on the goodwill of these groups to provide them protection.

In light of this line of arguments, I believe that prostitution should be legalized. The focus of state policy should be to regulate the industry by keeping it safeand provide economic opportunities to individuals so that they refrain from an occupation that is frowned upon in society. A possible policy example could be to follow similar legislation as that on alcoholism, which has been relatively successful in curbing the negative externalities of too much drinking. Regulation and not prohibition should be the way forward.


Feingold, D. (2005). Human Trafficking.Foreign Policy.Retrieved from:

Langer, G. (2004). Poll: American Sex Survey. ABC News Online. Retrieved from:

O'Brien, E. (2011) Fuelling traffic: abolitionist claims of a causal nexus between legalized prostitution and trafficking. Crime, Law and Social Change. Retrieved from:

The Economist. ( 1998, Feb 12). Giving the customer what he wants. Retrieved from: [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Legalizing Prostitution in the U.S" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Legalizing Prostitution in the U.S.  (2013, February 6).  Retrieved December 8, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Legalizing Prostitution in the U.S."  6 February 2013.  Web.  8 December 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Legalizing Prostitution in the U.S."  February 6, 2013.  Accessed December 8, 2021.