Decriminalization of Prostitution.
Prostitution has been around since the time of the early European settlers. It has been considered a social norm in many countries, while in others; it has been considered to be morally wrong and taboo. Canada, for example, has decriminalized prostitution, but the activities relating to it, such as soliciting, communicating and procuring, are illegal. Many parts of the United States have criminalized prostitution. Regulating prostitution through the state would eliminate many of the harms associated with prostitution.
Also, prostitution provides a means of financial income and sexual gratification in cases where it cannot otherwise be acquired. Lastly, people have the right to work as they please, and this includes selling one’s body if they so choose. With all of this being said, the decriminalization of prostitution positively affects Canadian society, and it would likely benefit other countries which have not yet decriminalized it. The conception that prostitution is highly dangerous is partially due to the fact that it has not been decriminalized in many places.
Alarming stories of rapes, robberies and STD transmissions have lead people to believe that prostitution is an evil and harmful act. However, this ‘dark side’ of prostitution can be alleviated if prostitution is controlled and monitored. Decriminalization of prostitution will help ease the amount of people partaking in transactions in shady, unsafe areas. With regulation comes the alleviation of organized crime and underage individuals prostituting themselves. Legal prostitution between consenting adults does not pose any direct threat to themselves or society.
Exploitation, abuse, diseases, and many other negative factors can be safely managed if the state treats prostitutes as real workers. Prostitutes would be protected by the state by having regular STD checks, being taxed, and being protected by a regulated system. In places where prostitution has already been decriminalized: Sex work is officially recognised and dealt with as a legitimate occupation: sex workers are entitled to a number of employment-related protections under the law and local authorities are required to ensure that brothels are suitably licensed, and operating in accordance with relevant health and safety requirements.
The issue with prostitution being a criminal offence is that there are no institutions or programs that are enforced to protect prostitutes from the harms that they sometimes encounter. Governing the acts of prostitutes will ensure the safety of the prostitute, the customer, and society. Prostitution requires working shifts in exchange for income, which makes it a legitimate job. People within a society have the freedom to work in whichever profession that they wish to participate in.
The Occupation Health and Safety (OHS) is an area of industrial relations that encompasses the fundamental right of employees not to have their health put at risk through the normal requirements of their work. The application oh OHS to legal prostitution would eliminate the harms and hazards of the job. The decriminalization of prostitution can be justified by the ideology that it is a harmless act between two willing and consenting adults. While there are prostitutes who do not enjoy their work, there are far more who are quite content with the job because of the lifestyle and income it can provide for them.
Although prostitution is frowned upon and viewed as a controversial topic, it can provide people with jobs who otherwise would have no means of financial stability. It keeps potentially homeless individuals from living in the streets. However, without legalization, these people often end up being fined or imprisoned for trying to establish an income for themselves. Jobs are very difficult to come by in today’s working world. In some cases, prostitution is the only job available to those who are lacking a necessary education.
Women’s involvement in prostitution demonstrates that prostitution is a gendered survival strategy often used by poor women trying to create a better future for them and their dependents. Denying people the right to work as they please is putting them in further danger by risking their safety, health and general well-being. With regards to the customers of prostitutes, they are often lonely individuals who have no other means of friendship or sexual gratification unless they use the services of a prostitute. Single men sometimes have low self-esteem, causing them to be lonely and unable to pursue non-prostitutes.
For them, they look to prostitutes for company first, and for sex secondarily. This does not cause any harm to the prostitute or the customer, as long as the prostitute has valid protection and both parties have consented to the act. This is a positive outlet for both the prostitute and the customer to achieve the needs they are aiming to fulfill. The most eminent argument against the legalization of prostitution is that it is “morally wrong” for one to sell their body. Many religions have the belief that God owns a person’s body until they are married, at which point they may share it with their spouse.
However, not every person is religious, and not everyone agrees with this. The reality is that every individual is responsible for their own actions and has the right to use their bodies for whatever purpose they see fit, whether it is child bearing, donating an organ, or prostitution. The concept of legalizing prostitution relates to the controversial topic of pro-choice abortion, which states that only the woman herself can decide what she wants to do with her body; it is her personal choice. With the regulation of prostitution through the state, underage prostitutes would be more closely monitored and detached from the profession.
This means that only consenting adults – not children – would be legally allowed to prostitute themselves. Adults are able to understand the possible consequences of their actions – consequences that will not be as heavy of a burden once prostitution is decriminalized within a society. It is not the state’s position to become involved in what two adults choose to do in their spare time as long as no one is being directly harmed. The harms will never completely cease to exist; however, with regulation, many issues can be minimized.
Everyone has different values and morals, and because prostitution is a victimless crime, there is no need to criticize these morals or criminalize the actions that go along with them. Whether prostitution is really a “moral wrong” is debatable, and perhaps in an ideal world, it would not exist at all. However, this is not an ideal world – there are issues that will continue to arise regardless of attempts to control and stop them. It is justified to believe that decriminalizing prostitution is beneficial to society, as it creates far more pros than cons.
It would be in society’s best interest to keep prostitution under control rather than to keep it criminalized, because without legalization, people will continue to act upon their sexual and emotional needs in hazardous ways. Finally, human beings are at liberty to both work as they please, and treat their bodies as they please. The sex trade is something that has been around for a long time, and it will continue to exist as long as human beings have needs – therefore, it can be sustained that the decriminalization of prostitution allows society to be better off.
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