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Legalizing Prostitution

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Should a person be imprisoned for no more than selling or buying sex? Phrasing the question in such a way unveils the true stakes involved in this type of issue. What kind of conduct should land a person behind bars? What kind of conduct, regardless of what one may think of it, should still be left to the individuals involved, without the intervention of the police power of the state? When couched in terms of individual freedom, the notion that prostitution, per se, should no longer be a punishable crime, becomes a palatable and even quite civilized alternative to the present system.

If we, as a society, really care about women, we will not only provide them with equal rights and opportunity, but we will stop turning some of them into criminals merely because they have chosen to exchange sex for money. Women, who, for whatever reason, choose to engage in prostitution, do not need to be incarcerated for their own good. The old argument of whether I would want my wife, daughter or sister to become a prostitute has nothing to do with the fact that women who do become prostitutes should not be thrown in jail.

This statement by Edward Tabash, a constitutional and civil rights attorney, published on the internet on a web site sponsored by the Freedom USA, underscores the importance of adopting todayÐ'ÐŽÐ'Їs debate resolution:

Resolve that: United States government should legalize prostitution.

In order to help better understand the resolution we offer the following definitions:

1. United States of Government - federal republic of individual states.

2. Legalize - process of removing a legal prohibition against something which is currently not legal.

3. Prostitution - the sale of sexual services for money or other kind of return.

The adoption of the resolution which mentioned above will be asked through the following argument.

Contention- One

Illegal Prostitution causes violence and sexually transmitted viruses.

Norman Davies (1996).

Campbell, Russell. Europe: A History, p. 413.

Ð'ÐŽÐ'oProstitutes are at risk of violent crime [6], as well as possibly at higher risk of occupational mortality than any other group of women ever studied. For example, the homicide rate for female prostitutes was estimated to be 204 per 100,000 (Potterat et al, 2004), which is some times higher than that for the riskiest legitimate occupations in the United States during a similar period (4 per 100,000 for female liquor store workers and 29 per 100,000 for male taxicab drivers) (Castillo et al., 1994). However, there are substantial differences in rates of victimization between street prostitutes and indoor prostitutes who work as escorts, call girls, or in brothels and massage parlors (Weitzer 2000, 2005). Perpetrators include violent clients, pimps, and corrupt law-enforcement officers. Prostitutes (particularly those engaging in street prostitution) are also sometimes the targets of serial killers, who may consider them easy targets, or use the religious and social stigma associated with prostitutes as justification for their murder.Ð'ÐŽÐ'±


Cobb, William Jelani, Staff, Blame it on Rio, Vol. 37, Issue 5, 00140880

A 2004 UN report on AIDS states there are 660,000 HIV-infected persons living in Brazil. Sex work by definition entails exposure to STDs

U.S. News & World Report, 10/24/2005

Fang, Bay, Staff, YOUNG LIVES FOR SALE. Vol. 139 , Issue 15, 00415537

Pimps also use the promise of riches to entice girls into "the Game." But while the girls can make thousands of dollars a night, they never keep much of it. If they do, they get "baptized," or beaten by their pimps. Kristie's pimp would rape her if she did not bring in enough money, saying things like, "I know you don't want Daddy to do it like this, but you have to be punished." "The average life expectancy of a child after getting into prostitution," says Johnson, citing homicide or HIV/AIDS as the main causes of death, "is seven years." Tom O'Brien, the criminal division chief of the Los Angeles U.S. attorney's office, describes a conversation he had with one 14-year-old prostitute who was testifying against her pimp. "I told her, 'When I was your age, I thought I'd live forever.' She looked me in the eye and said, 'Mr. O'Brien, I'll be dead before I'm 21.' "

Contention - Two

The Supreme Court decision for Commonwealth v. King made prostitution prohibited.

Wikipedia, free encyclopedia, October 2006

In all but two U.S. states, the buying and selling of sexual services is illegal and usually classified as a misdemeanor. Regulated brothels are legal in several counties of Nevada . In Rhode Island, the act of sex for money is not illegal, but street solicitation and operating a brothel are.

Freedom USA Home Page, 2001


State Senator Richard Katz: Existing law prohibits loitering under specified circumstances, including loitering upon the private property of another without visible or lawful business with the owner or occupant thereof, or loitering in or about any public toilet for the purpose of engaging in or soliciting a lewd, lascivious, or unlawful act.

This new law makes it a misdemeanor to loiter in any public place in a manner and under circumstances manifesting the purpose and ... with the intent to commit prostitution.




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