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What are the arguments behind why prostitution should not be legalized?

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amazona0125 | Honors

Posted August 27, 2009 at 5:08 PM via web

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What are the arguments behind why prostitution should not be legalized?

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 27, 2009 at 6:18 PM (Answer #2)

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One reason it is argued that prostitution should not be legal in the United States could be posited on the grounds of human trafficking.  If prostitution is made legal, the justice system would essentially condone the peddling of human flesh for profit.  Symbolically, this rings with awful pangs and causes a great deal of consternation within individuals, given the Constiution's implications within American society.  To legalize prostitution would undermine these ideals.  Additionally, the legalization of prostitution would greatly benefit those who procure prostitutes and control their earnings.  Unless it became a state sanctioned service (which opens up even more debate and greater implications), individuals who "control" those who engage in prostitution would be protected by the legal system and would be capable of acting without recompense because of the shield of the justice system.

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appletrees | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted August 27, 2009 at 8:52 PM (Answer #3)

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Another reason often cited in arguing against the legalization of prostitution is that it condones promiscuous sexual behavior and therefore increases the risk of illness or death via sexually-transmitted disease. Generally speaking, in regions where prostitution is legal, there tends to be a higher percentage of safe sex practices (such as in Las Vegas or Amsterdam), but the legalization of prostitution would be seen as a condonement of promiscuity, which in turn could lead to a higher risk factor for STD transmission, unless this was also accompanied by a greater effort at education, outreach and health services and testing being provided to communities in need.

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scarletpimpernel | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 28, 2009 at 11:12 AM (Answer #4)

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Another argument against the legalization of prostitution is the moral decay that normally follows such an action.  While one can logically argue that America is not the moral bastion that it once set out to be, it still maintains many ties to Judeo-Christian morals. Do we really want to legalize a practice which promotes adultery, lasciviousness, and often the degradation of women? While many "legal" prostitutes say that they chose their trade, they also admit that it is not their first choice and hopefully will not be their last. 

If you study history, you see that the moral bankruptcy of a civilization most often leads to its complete downfall (the Roman Empire, the Jewish Kingdoms--on several occasions, etc.)  One would be hard pressed to prove that prostitution does not fall within the realm of immoral activity.

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mshurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 29, 2009 at 12:32 AM (Answer #5)

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Just a point of correction, I think. Prostitution is legal in one part of Nevada (the infamous Mustang Ranch), but it is not legal in Las Vegas. While I was living there in 2008, the local authorities were busy breaking up prostitution rings that involved underage girls. They were waging war not only against prostitution, but also against child abuse, which it surely was. Legalizing prostitution would then open the door to this kind of crime. False proof-of-age documents are easily obtained.

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted August 29, 2009 at 2:58 AM (Answer #6)

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The most harmful effect of prostitution is that it hits at the root of institution of marriage, which plays a very important and useful role in societies all over the world.

Giving legal and social sanction to prostitution has serious implication for so many other accepted norms and practices. If we legalize prostitution then we have no justification of legalizing just female prostitution. It should be either both. And if prostitution is legal then availing services also need to be made legal. This means adultery in marriages will have to be made legal. I must remind here that adultery is sufficient ground for divorce in most of the countries. And if adultery by visiting prostitutes is socially acceptable then, what is the justification for other forms of adultery. This way, by making prostitution legal and socially acceptable we might start a chain reaction that may be difficult for us to control.

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mbeimer | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted August 29, 2009 at 11:20 PM (Answer #7)

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I agree with the other posts saying there are health issues, human trafficking, and moral decay. Additionally, it violates our collective consciousness. Our country was founded on conservative Christian ideals. These ideals left a moral imprint on our society even if we have veered from the original standard. We know it’s wrong even if we can’t say why. That’s part of why we see senators and public officials publicly pursuing and persecuting prostitution rings, but they seem to have no problem is certain clandestine affairs. They hide what they “know” is wrong…even publicly apologizing when caught.

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drmonica | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted August 31, 2009 at 3:49 PM (Answer #8)

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If prostitution were to be legalized, then a sexual activity outside of marriage would be encouraged, taxed, and regulated. The state has already established that marriage is a desirable institution (it is also taxed and regulated, which provides financial profit to the state). Prostitution in essence competes with marriage. It is not to the state’s benefit to encourage activities that undermine one of its longest standing and profitable institutions. The state would, in effect, be competing against itself, which does not make economic sense.

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted August 31, 2009 at 7:31 PM (Answer #9)

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I am pained to observe marriage and prostitution being treated as just two economic activities, supported or opposed just on the basis of their tax generating capacities.

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lit24 | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted September 4, 2009 at 6:24 AM (Answer #10)

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I think the strongest argument  against prostitution  [the oldest profession] becoming legal not only in the U.S. but also in any part of the world would be that no one would like his mother, sister or daughter to take up prostitution as a profession or career.

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melskielee19 | Student , Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted September 7, 2011 at 9:21 PM (Answer #11)

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in my own point of view, prostitution is prohibited for it is against the Church and leads to the destruction of reputation, family, self.

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jbrenw | Student , Grade 9 | Honors

Posted September 29, 2011 at 2:52 AM (Answer #12)

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One arguement is that there is no way to tell wether or not a prostitute has an STD or not so if they do then they would be spreading the disease that could potentially harm many people.

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krys97 | Student , Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted December 16, 2011 at 7:18 AM (Answer #14)

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it could create a outburst in diseases such as AIDS

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thenewkidd | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 1, 2012 at 12:37 PM (Answer #15)

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Just a point of correction, I think. Prostitution is legal in one part of Nevada (the infamous Mustang Ranch), but it is not legal in Las Vegas. While I was living there in 2008, the local authorities were busy breaking up prostitution rings that involved underage girls. They were waging war not only against prostitution, but also against child abuse, which it surely was. Legalizing prostitution would then open the door to this kind of crime. False proof-of-age documents are easily obtained.

 

If False proof-of-age documents are easily obtained that would mean that more underage girls are entering the porn business too...

And there for porn should be illegal for the same reasoning... however we know that porn is legal whether someone feels it should be illegal or not is not the debate, the fact remains porn is legal and underage girls seem to stay out of that... we should be battling the child abuse or the underage girls entering the business, not telling two concenting adult what they can and cannot do behind closed doors out of the eye of the public.

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thenewkidd | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 1, 2012 at 12:45 PM (Answer #16)

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The most harmful effect of prostitution is that it hits at the root of institution of marriage, which plays a very important and useful role in societies all over the world.

Giving legal and social sanction to prostitution has serious implication for so many other accepted norms and practices. If we legalize prostitution then we have no justification of legalizing just female prostitution. It should be either both. And if prostitution is legal then availing services also need to be made legal. This means adultery in marriages will have to be made legal. I must remind here that adultery is sufficient ground for divorce in most of the countries. And if adultery by visiting prostitutes is socially acceptable then, what is the justification for other forms of adultery. This way, by making prostitution legal and socially acceptable we might start a chain reaction that may be difficult for us to control.

Whether prostitution is legal or not, these cheaters are doing it anyway and the guy who plans on cheating can easily go to a local bar to hook up with someone for 'free'.  If prostitution was legal an adulterer is going to cheat whether money is exchanged or not.
On top of that, this is a moral argument that effects people that may not believe in your same moral view points... so in effect you are forcing people to live by law something you believe in but someone else might not.
There are open marriages.. there are swingers.. there many other things that are "legal" but because you feel it is morally wrong, you want to force that view point onto others.

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thenewkidd | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 1, 2012 at 12:48 PM (Answer #17)

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I think the strongest argument  against prostitution  [the oldest profession] becoming legal not only in the U.S. but also in any part of the world would be that no one would like his mother, sister or daughter to take up prostitution as a profession or career.

And that is a reason to keep something illegal because someone wouldn't like their "Mother, Sister, Daughter" to contribute to such a career.

Strip Clubs are legal, Porn is legal... why does it need to be illegal because you don't agree with someone you care about doing it?

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thenewkidd | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 1, 2012 at 12:53 PM (Answer #18)

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it could create a outburst in diseases such as AIDS

That could happen whether there is exchange of money or not... money has no affect on whether there is spread of STDs or not.

Is there an "outburst" of STDs in the some parts of Nevada where it IS legal?

It's actually a very safe way to have sex vs picking up some random girl at a bar and do it for free with her... but some how people think the exchange of money increases that risk of catching something... that girl at the bar could be sleeping with just as many people for free and the risk is the same in catching something then if you give her a couple hundred for the activity.

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