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Should be legalizing prostitution in the U.S?
The perpetual issue of prostitution continues to be a divisive source of contention in the U.S. Prostitution, defined as performance of sex for money, food, grant, drug, and other material goods, is illegal in most states in the US, except in the state of Nevada, where 30 legal brothels operate per year. It is estimated that there are 100,000 women are working as prostitutes in the US, and of these individuals, 70%-90% have been victims of sexual abuse, and most have a history of drug abuse and trauma.” These women are frequently singled out by law enforcement, which arrested and charged, unlike the clients of prostitutes who only pay a fine or spend a night in jail. To balance such inequities, many advocates of prostitution, such as Bay Area Sex Workers Advocacy Network, have sought the decriminalization of prostitution, whereby the prostitutes can minimize health risk, be protected by authority, and pay benefits to government. I believe that prostitution in the US should be decriminalized and legalized.
Legalizing prostitution can minimize health risk for both prostitutes and clients. Because prostitution is the close bodily contact business, it means increased risk for health and safety issues such as diseases which are most important. If prostitution is legalized, people can keep eyes on prostitutes and diseases can be tested for. It can reduce the health risk for both participants between clients and sex workers. According to Barbara Brents, “ In the rural countries outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, about 500 women work as legal independent contractors in just 30 brothels” . In those legal brothels, prostitutes are required by state health codes, and closely monitored by brothel owners and city regulation; they have licenses and must undergo a strict regimen of medical tests to guard against the STD or HIV/AIDS. While comparing 500 prostitutes are working in brothels and under legalization with the other 100,000 prostitutes that are working illegal and never be tested for diseases, it can show how women receive benefits from working legally. In the legal condition, not only prostitutes can reduce the chance of getting STD diseases for themselves, but also the clients can avoid receiving the unwanted disease from prostitutes. There is a sad story about Skylar who is college graduate student but she ends up on Broadway. She studies music and want to be an opera singer, but life have turned to the red zone. After the interview with the host, she was singing with the cracking voice after suffering from drug. By standing on street corners looking for Johns, although she mentioned that she does not want to have sex for money, she needs to satisfy her addiction. She needs to live in the toughly illegal world alone or someone like her, because she can find no resource to get help. Because of the drug addiction and sex without protection, the chance that she gets disease mostly 100%. By criminalizing prostitution, it stop women from getting help and chance to change their lives, they need to live with their diseases and addiction until they die. Although there are places that provide free health care for illegal prostitutes, Skylar did not accept the help due to she did not want to get caught and scare by her pimp. If prostitution is legalized, Skylar could be tested for her diseases, also she can stop her addiction that could change her life. Street walkers should be removed from the streets and allowed to work under legally condition which can help them access to healthier standard. If the girls are healthy and disease free then that means the clients won't be passing around any problems to other partners. It would be subjected to less health risks if prostitution were regulated by the government.
Legalizing prostitution can protect sex workers and respect their human-being. According to Carol Leigh, “The recent Canadian court decision helps establish social justice for sex worker in Canada.” After the Canadian court approved, sex workers are allowed to enter business relationship, rent apartment, etc. They are also protected by police if they are abused or violent by pimps or clients. From that point, we can know women are protected legally from exploitation. They are staying under safety condition, and regulating by authority. They would have their own right .Criminalizing drives prostitutes working underground with more dangerous, and give more power to clients. According to Chika Unigwe, “An ex-prostitute in Italy, where prostitution is illegally, told me of women who were beaten by their clients when they demanded payment. She told me of a Nigerian prostitute who was believed to have been killed by a customer. That is an extreme case, but the fact remains that criminalizing prostitution puts the women at the power of their customers. And we know how absolute power can corrupt absolutely.” The writer want the readers feel that criminalizing prostitution make the clients hold the most power to threaten prostitutes and put their lives at risk. Those two women sell their bodies and respects to make a little money for surviving, but their safety is zero. They become vulnerable and whoever can endanger their lives. After they use their body to service clients, they don’t even make a payment and risk the women lives. Those women have to face to abuse from their pimps or Johns. A lot of times the women get very little even nothing of what they bring in because pimps are the big bosses who control the business. Because they are superior in the relationship, some of the pimps would not think twice about killing a woman if she tries to escape or held on him. If prostitution was legal they would not need pimps and that would eliminate most of big problems.
Prostitution is a big business, and it has been spreading out really strong. That’s why many people stay into this sex industry, although it mentioned the oldest oppression. If prostitution was legal and regulate by government, it could open up a whole new area in our economy: “Increase in tax revenue”. Of course, the most component making money from women is pimps or gangs who dominate prostitute’s world. According to Cornell notes, experts estimate that more than 90% of the girls are connect to a pimp and they are really big controller. If the country legalizes prostitution, government can regulate the gangs and make money from prostitutes throughout taxes. Not all the John come to prostitute for sex, they need more than that which is girl-friends experience. They can spend large amount of money for the girl and they are happy, so where the money go if they do business underground. It can become “black cash” and make the gangs are stronger. For instance, in Nevada brothel, Max was a legal prostitute and got paid $20,000 by one male client for one entire night. Because it’s legal, she pays taxes that world be win-win condition for her and government. The country can receive the huge benefits from prostitution, instead of spending money to eliminate them.