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Benefits Of The Decriminalization And Legalization Of Prostitution

1093 words - 5 pages

The world’s oldest profession. Escort. Whore. Hooker. Wench. Streetwalker. Call girl. Courtesan. Hustler. Harlot. No matter what you call it, we all know it as prostitution, and it is typically accompanied by a negative attitude. Montgomery College professor Susan A. Milstein, however, argues that prostitution is merely another job, saying, “Imagine a woman who is engaging in a specific behavior for money. Is that prostitution, or is it a job?” If we take away our preconceived notion of prostitutes as streetwalkers or whores and look at them as employees attempting to make a living, they become normal people in our eyes. Prostitution is often looked down upon as disgraceful or “dehumanizing” ...view middle of the document...

Such health screening requirements would also result in multiple health benefits for both the sex workers and the customers.
Health Benefits
If the United States were to decriminalize prostitution across the entire country, prostitutes would hopefully be required to undergo regular tests for sexually transmitted infections, as well as the human immunodeficiency virus. Legal sex workers would also be required to utilize condoms when working. Research claims that with such requirements, the frequency of sexually related diseases would decrease (Milstein, 2009). This, however, would require additional funding. While prostitution is legal in Canada, the country does not possess the financial resources to fund the testing of prostitutes. Greece, on the other hand, requires legally registered prostitutes to undergo regular health screenings. The United States could use taxes and licensing fees from prostitution to fund health screenings. By monitoring the health statuses of prostitutes, the United States could decrease sexually transmitted infections among the population as a whole. Not only would this help prevent the prostitutes from contracting a disease, but it would also increase their general safety and welfare.
Safety and Welfare
According to Milstein, “many prostitutes are raped by their clients” or are threatened by clients, pimps, and even police (Milstein, 2009). Jane Wells and John-Keith Wasson of The Cable News Network (CNN) state that “legalization could potentially cut down on violence by [clients], but it cannot control the violence outside of brothel walls” (Wells, 2013). Prostitutes, however, are currently unable to report such violence because, in doing so, they would be outing themselves as prostitutes, a criminal act in all but two states. Sex workers not only experience physical violence but a lifetime of physical and emotional distress. Wells and Wasson interviewed former sex workers who claimed to “struggle with [post traumatic stress disorder], chronic pelvic disease, the repercussions of forced abortions, depression, drug addiction, self-mutilation and shame” (Wells, 2013). With the decriminalization and legalization of prostitution, these men and women would have resources for treatment of such complications, although they may still suffer from negative repercussions of their profession.
Conclusions and Future Study
The United States Department of State and Bureau of Public Affairs asserts that prostitution “[fuels] the...

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