Thursday, September 16, 2010

Should prostitution be legalized?

This is the question which I had been thinking for...forever now. There are always pros and cons for every single situation but in this case, according to me, the cons seem to outweigh the pros. I am not sure how many of you agree with me but nevertheless, this is what I believe in:

Prostitution should not be made legal. I have tried to write what I believe in and I have taken a few references (but most of what I had written is my take) from what I thought are reliable sources (see sources below)....

Prostitution is an act of engaging in sex in return for money. Procuring is operating brothels, soliciting sex, pimping, child trafficking and all other activities which make profit at the cost of someone else (prostitute). I am going to call her a sex worker going forward.

Parties involved:
There are mainly 4 parties who are involved in this occupation, if we are referring to “Procuring”; the sex worker, pimp, client and an organized crime group.

Why does it exist?
Simple, Demand and Supply concept. It also exists because there is poverty. No one in this world would willingly sell their body to a different man every night (sometimes 3 to 4 times a night).
Unemployment, little/no education, few jobs (and that too which require skills), inadequate salaries are some of the factors, which compounded, forces some women into prostitution (willingly).

Statistics in Canada (Sorry, couldn’t find any books about prostitution in India in the local library):
Many studies clearly indicate the relation between sexual abuse and prostitution. Before turning to prostitution, 33 to 80% of prostitutes polled in Québec, in Canada and in Native communities had been victims of rape and sexual abuse.

Direct copy paste: Base:

• According to an international study, 81% of the sex workers have been threatened, 73% have been physically abused, and 68% have been assaulted with a weapon. In addition, 62% claim to have been raped since they began prostitution.
• An international survey establishes that 67% of prostitutes show symptoms of Post-traumatic stress syndrome.
• Although the figures vary, certain studies demonstrate the link between drug addiction and prostitution. Indeed, 75% of the street prostitutes in San Francisco are drug dependent, while 27% are alcohol dependent. In the Atlantic Provinces, the rate of male and female prostitutes who reported suffering from drug abuse is
50%, while in the Prairies, the rate is 42%.

Social and psychological damage: My take….

• We live in a world where a single woman is pried upon. What is the condition going to be for a sex worker? Men would start traumatizing her asking her sexual favors even to let her kid go to school, even when it is legalized.
• Every sex-worker, no matter which part of the world you live in, is subject to violent physical and emotional abuse.
• The level of stress of a sex worker is reportedly greater than that of the Vietnam War and the Gulf War veterans.
• Serious possibilities of contracting STD’s.
• Even if a sex worker survives a STD, she cannot survive in her ‘job’ beyond the age of 30. What is she going to do then? She is back to square one where she actually started; poverty, loneliness, insecurity etc.
• Falling in love, getting married, living a normal human life (unlike a sex-toy, slave, being named as a whore), giving a safe and secure future for her kid, enjoying simple pleasures like sleeping through the night peacefully is a distant dream for a sex worker.
• Try living a life having to shut down your feelings because you need to sleep with a stranger every single night…you will know what I mean. It’s not always about men, lust, men’s-needs, their desires. Stop and think what a woman goes through.

Legalization is not the solution:
Have you ever been to Las Vegas or any other country/city where organized prostitution is legal? Do consider the below points when you say that Organized Prostitution is ‘way to go’. Legalizing something which is not-right does not correct the situation.

The Nevada brothels (organized/legalized) take half of the money in every transaction and on top of that, they charge the women for room, board, the taxi driver who has got the client and every other little thing. Then the government gets in on the pimping by taxing their earnings and charging them licensing fees. How much do you think is left for the sex worker if she charges, say, $300 for 2 hours? And how much of emotional trauma do you think she has been going through? So how did legalization help a sex worker while 80% of her “HARD EARNED” money is going to someone else?
There is no proof to say that it’s the oldest profession. Even if it is, END IT and protect those who have to resort to it because only women who are poor would allow themselves to be willingly violated physically (if they are forced into it, its altogether a different story).
If a man cannot restrain himself sexually and is disturbed enough to resort to rape, what are the chances that he is not going to physically abuse the sex worker (positively none)? Just because men ‘pay’ does it automatically mean that they can treat sex workers like trash? How different is this from any other form of rape?
Police will still get their “share”, thanks to the ever existing vultures who do not miss a chance to touch/rub/make crude jokes to a sex worker (legal or otherwise).
It is masturbation with another body; literally, when there are no feelings involved. Sex/lovemaking is sacred. Let it be the way it is supposed to be.

[Translation from French version ]
Canada, Special Committee on Pornography and Prostitution, Pornography and
Prostitution in Canada, 1985.
“I’ve been in this trade for 19 years and I say if men come to see prostitutes it’s because it gives them a feeling of power. They dish out the money, so they’re in command. You belong to them for half an hour or an hour. They simply buy you, no obligation; you’re not a person, you’re just something to be used”.

After all, I did say that human beings were not meant to be sold and that our bodies are sacred and not to be treated as rental property. PLEASE! RESPECT US. SHOW US CONCERN WHEN WE ARE POOR. WE ARE MORE THAN ‘MERE’ FEMALES. GIVE US A LIFE WHERE WE DO NOT NEED TO SELL OUR SOULS ALONG WITH OUR BODY. PLEASE!!
I am not a sex worker. Still the fact that somewhere, something like prostitution exists makes me feels like my body is some merchandise. This is not a healthy sign for any women.

Sources of the facts/statistics:

Prostitution et VIH au Québec - bilan des connaissances. Sylvie Gendron and Catherine Hankins
Canada, Special Committee on Pornography and Prostitution, Pornography and Prostitution in Canada, 1985.


Try and do something about poverty which drives women into prostitution.
Try and curb child trafficking and forced entry of young women into prostitution.
Remember that if someone is entering prostitution because it is lucrative (very small percentage of women do this), they still are prone to the post traumatic stress disorders and all other ill’s I have mentioned above.
Again, remember that women are persons. It’s not always about men and their desires.

And most importantly, before anyone starts defending legalizing prostitution, will you allow your sibling to join this profession if its legal?


  1. Well I agree with all the points you said and I don't judge if it has to be legalized or not .. as it doesn't add much difference to the lives of all those people who are into prostitution... but I have a question though, is it the only way to earn money?? and what about any incident which involves illegal sexual activity... like casting couch ??

  2. very thought provoking..I think for evrything solution lies in removes poverty.

  3. Invi, of course its not the only way to earn money. Usually girls as young as 13 years are forced into this through child trafficking, buying them for cash from parents etc. Usually they hardly have any choice. Even when it comes to casting couch, its the strong taking hold of weak.

    @Renu, That's right. Education is the only thing which can save us!

  4. Prostitution exists in various legal and illegal forms in every country of the world. Very few countries have legal prostitution that is controlled and regulated by the government for safety. Some other countries have legal prostitution, but it is not regulated in any way. Still other countries have legal prostitution, but different laws surrounding prostitution are illegal, making the actual act difficult to obtain.

    Proponents believe legalization would reduce crime, improve public health, increase tax revenue, and allow for individuals to make their own choices. They argue that the legalization of prostitution is a necessary step in sexual liberation, helps people out of poverty, and gets prostitutes off the street.

    "We chose sex work after we did a lot of things we couldn't stand. Sex work is better. For me, sex work isn't my first choice of paying work. It just happens to be the best alternative available. It's better than being president of someone else's corporation. It's better than being a secretary. It is the most honest work I know of."

    Veronica Monet
    Prostitute and Author
    in Gauntlet Magazine
    "It is estimated that if prostitution were legalized in the United States, the rape rate would decrease by roughly 25% for a decrease of approximately 25,000 rapes per year...."

    Kirby R. Cundiff, PhD
    Associate Professor of Finance at Northeastern State University
    "Prostitution and Sex Crimes"
    Apr. 8, 2004.

    Why is it illegal to charge for what can be freely dispensed? Sex work is no more moral or immoral than the chocolate or distilling industries."

    Catherine La Croix
    Founder of Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics (COYOTE) chapter in Seattle
    "Love For Sale" in the magazine Internet Underground
    Oct. 1996

  5. Good to see you here. Sorry, I didnt get the point you are trying to make.

  6. Simple.The explanation that it existed from time immemorial is acceptable or not? It clearly shows the human nature.Man is basically polygamous.Our culture and social values decide what we should do.What is right in some places is wrong in other places.Marrying three or even ten times is acceptable in certain religions. You cannot eradicate prostitution. How many of these moralists are willing to give a hundred rupees to a starving woman and her child? The Police make more money out of the prostitutes.At least, legalizing will give some kind of protection from the very people who are supposed to protect law and order.See, no one opts prostitution as a career if they have a choice. And no one sends them for any training or education.They deserve all the sympathy you can give. I am reminded of a story written by Anton Chekhov..Prostitutes are the most kind hearted, they understand the sufferings of fellow human beings.Be kind.

  7. Dr.Anthony, agreed that prostitutes are kind hearted. I don't doubt that. But what I don't agree is that, legalization is not the answer to something which in its root is not right. I do know that this has been going on for ages now, but legalizing something which is not right does not make it right.

    Also, I would like to point out that, India has legalized prostitution. By this, I mean that, if any woman wants to be a sex worker out of her own willingness, then it is legal. This is the fact which most sex workers do not know.
    What is not legal is the "procuring" or in other words pimping.

    In the example you quoted, if a starving woman involves in prostitution, no one can stop her and it IS LAW, in India at least. If any pimp is involved who is making commission out of her is illegal.

  8. Yes, like you said, prostitution cannot be eradicated. What is required of law is to educate all the sex workers about the current law system, which is ever changing. For example, how many know that if anyone wants to involve in sex trade willingly, it is legal? Not many.