The Debate on the Legalization of Prostitution: “Prostitute” vs. “Sex Worker”
CCJS 330: Contemporary Issues in Criminology
Dr. B. Dooley
Gabriela Lissette Alonzo
May 21, 2014
What is sex, or rather what should sex be? Is it a physical and emotional intimacy and private expression of love between two people? Should it only be allowed in marriage? Is it something casual that happens in every romantic relationship? Should it be private or publicly exposed in liberal societies? Should businesses and advertising companies such as clothing lines, the alcohol industry, fragrances and others use sex in order to help sell their product? As the saying goes, “sex sells.” But should sex sell? Should sex be sold? Or maybe the better question is, should selling sex be legal? That is the very question that has been most prominently debated since the 1970’s when selling sex became legalized within the state of Nevada; still the only state to have legalized prostitution in the U.S.. The goal throughout my research and discussion is not to state any ultimate solution to this debate or to the profession of prostitution itself. Neither is it to force any person(s) to accept any stance presented. Rather it is to give you, the reader, a greater understanding of the context that surrounds this issue, the motives that drive parties for or against its legalization and their tactics and solutions, and hopefully to allow you to make a more conscious decision of your own stance and to hopefully understand mine. Should prostitution be legalized? Are the people within this profession prostitutes or are they sex workers?
It’s your first year of college, studying the dream of your careers, and the best part is you’re at Duke University! Not only do you get to study your passion but you’ll receive a degree from one of the most elite universities in the country that will surely open doors when you walk into the real world. There’s just one problem it’s called tuition. You’re facing a bill of $60,000 a year, have no financial aid, and your parents can’t afford it. As a college freshman, with obviously no degree, what job could you possibly get that will earn you $60,000 a year and pay for necessary expenses like books, food, and traveling home on the holidays. This is the story of one Miriam Weeks, more commonly known as “Belle Knox”, an 18-year-old college student who found a way to foot the bill by becoming a porn star.
In an interview on The View, Knox was asked about her choice of becoming a porn star and the life-impact that resulted from it. She expressed that as a freshman college student with no degree there were no viable jobs that could have possibly covered her tuition and so decided to work in the sex industry knowing that she would make more than enough money. She expressed that her parents had been supportive of her choice and that being a porn star empowered her as a woman. In the interview, one of the hosts, Whoopi Goldberg, asked her to explain her feeling...