Ethics And Public Policy: Legalizing Prostitution

Superior Essays
Ansley Kunnath
Mrs. Cavalier
Ethics and Public Policy
29 October 2014
Safety Is Not For Sale Sometimes, governments must sacrifice individual freedoms for the security of a larger population. This is the case with prostitution. Some may say that since selling services is legal, and sex is legal, selling sex should also be legal. However, prostitution should remain illegal for the safety of the people involved. Legalizing prostitution would encourage sex trafficking, increase the amount of rape and abuse cases, and support misogynistic behavior. Prostitution is often a pseudonym for sex trafficking. For over a century, the U.S. has been committed to ending all forms of human trafficking (The White House). To allow prostitution would be to
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Women in the sex industry suffer from significantly high rates of hepatitis B, cervical cancer, and fertility complications (Bureau of Public Affairs). An interviewed sex worker calls the field nothing short of “humiliating and [violent]” (Coalition). She continues, saying that “prostitution stripped [her] of [her] life, [her] health, everything” (Coalition). America needs to stop commercialized sex, because women should not be forced to put a price on their health. The rape and abuse that often adjoins prostitution causes irreparable physical and psychological …show more content…
Of the prostitution-related felonies in Chicago in 2012, ninety-seven percent of the charges were made against the sex workers, not the sex clients (Grant). This disparity between the treatment of the two groups shows that the laws unfairly target those selling sex, while ignoring the fact that the industry is fueled by those who purchase sex. It is true that the ban on prostitution has flaws; however, this problem has a solution. If the government were to shift to a system where only the purchasers of prostitution are incarcerated or fined, not the prostitutes themselves, there might be more justice. This type of system is already being used in Sweden. There, policies condemn the purchase of sex, not the sale of sex (Goldberg). Two years after the beginning of this law, there was a fifty percent decrease in female prostitution and a general decrease in sex trafficking (Goldberg). America should equip similar policies to protect sex workers while discouraging the field at the same time.
Another common argument related to the justice system and prostitution describes the unfair arrests of certain minority groups within the sex industry. A disproportionate amount of black and transgender women are arrested for crimes related to prostitution (Grant). Though this is true, the real problem is the prejudiced people enforcing the law, not the law itself. Regardless of the rights

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