Shah 1 Shivani Shah Mr. Terrell English 1101 November 22, 1999 Prostitution The world’s largest trade, prostitution, has always found ways to overcome the legal attempts to suppress it. Prostitution has become one of the most common trades throughout the world. Many poor countries have turned to prostitution as an outlet from their economic difficulties. It is the easiest from of labor for those who do not have a proper education or the economic background to join the legal labor force. Many men and women have found this line of work to be extremely rewarding in monetary aspects. Therefore the globalisation and popularity of prostitution is not seen as a huge surprise. Prostitution has been on the streets and behind doors since the sixteenth century. It was present during the medieval period through the Victorian period and now to the present time. In the past, prostitution was seen as morally wrong and a great “social evil”. During the medieval time in Europe and England, prostitutes were fully exploited by society. In medieval Europe and England, prostitutes were known to be single women who could not marry. There were not many opportunities for single women in the labor force during this time. If women were unable to marry, they turned to prostitution as an alternative out of economic necessity. The medieval society felt the need to stigmatize and exploit the single women for prostitution. The Victorians saw prostitution as a “social evil” and refused to accept it in their society. Prostitution was tolerated in a Shah 2 sense, but seen as big nuisance in the streets. Society was disturbed by it, but did nothing to change the problem. Children were forced into prostitution by their parents or guardians. Many women and children were given off to perform sexual activities in exchange for money. The Victorians tolerated prostitution, but never accepted it as part of their society. By the mid-nineteenth century, prostitution became more open and accepted. Men of all social classes went to brothels and engaged in sexual activities with street prostitutes. The government became lenient in their resistant to strengthening the laws against prostitutes. Regulation or systematic toleration was put into place as a result of the changing attitudes towards prostitution. The government realized that prostitution could never completely disappear, so it was tolerated and regulated simultaneously. Street prostitution is the largest group of prostitution today. It is the easiest to join because there are not many necessities or requirements involved. Three major groups of street prostitution exist. Professionals who work full time for a living, the ones who work to feed a habit, and the part-time workers who work to support their family The professionals join this line of work through their own volition and make a long life career out of it. Many of them are sex crazed and therefore choose to become prostitutes. The prostitutes that work to feed a habit, usually work to get money for drugs and alcohol. Intravenous drugs has become linked with prostitution in the past few years. The criminalization of prostitution has forced it into the streets where drugs and alcohol are abundantly present. The prostitutes become addicted to the drugs and use prostitution to feed this addiction. Part-time workers need the money to feed their children, pay the bills, or for extra cash. They usually practice prostitution on the side to make ends meet. Street prostitution has become one of the biggest trades for women who need easy money Shah 3 Prostitution has been criminalized for so long, but still the problems have not been solved or even slightly changed. It has been pushed underground where it has become the third most commonest way of transmission of AIDS and the closest association of drugs. The criminalization of prostitution has caused it to become unsafe, unclean, and forced it into association with criminal activity. Prostitutes are big contributors to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases because of this. Legalizing prostitution will curtail the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and keep them under control, take it off the streets to more regulated and comfortable surroundings, and make the police squads free to control real illegal acts. The laws against prostitution have never been effective because they have never been strictly enforced. They are not practiced on a regular basis. Many times the prostitutes are just fined when caught performing the illegal action. This shows signs of tolerance, not enforcement of laws. Prostitution cannot be tolerated and also made illegal simultaneously. Then prostitution will become even more corrupt and criminalized. Diseases have become a major part of prostitution in the past few years. Since prostitution has been forced underground, the criminal activity has linked itself with prostitution. Many prostitutes use intravenous drugs which is the second most common way of transmitting diseases. Some of their clients also use intravenous drugs and are contaminated with diseases. Therefore the diseases are transmitted to an entire network of people through the prostitute. Once prostitution is legalized, the prostitutes can be medically examined on a regular basis. This would improve their health and they would receive better health care. Then the diseases would be under control to a certain extent. Each prostitute would have to work at certain places and have a license. If they are licensed, then the government can regulate them and the brothels at the same time. The use of drugs would also be lessened because the prostitutes would no longer be in Shah 4 association with the real criminals. The major sources of profit for organized crime would be eliminated by the legalization of prostitution. The prostitutes are more likely to clean up themselves, if they know they are not performing illegal acts. They are more likely to seek medical care, help for their drug or alcohol abuse, and practice safe sex with condoms. This would reduce the risk of AIDS and clean up the trade. It would not be forced underground anymore where the diseases foster and develop. Eliminating the criminalization of prostitution would make the trade much cleaner and not as stigmatized. Prostitution would be off the streets and practiced in cleaner environments. Prostitution would be controlled and regulated by the government to much safer surroundings then the streets and underground. Prostitution would only be allowed in licensed brothels or designated places. This way the government can control and have surveillance over the industry and keep it clean. The women would work in much safer and comfortable places as well as be protected from violent or pathological clients, pimping, police abuse, and exploitation. More powerful males could no longer control the weaker prostitutes if decriminalized. Society would no longer unaccept prostitution as a legitimate profession. It would become a normal profession, even thought it might not be respected just yet. The women would have a consistent place to go every day and work regular hours like a regular job. The women would feel more independence and a greater sense of control over their lives. They are able to choose where, when, and how to work when they are in control of their own lives . Prostitution is not and should not be a police problem or be regulated by the police. Prostitution is illegal in forty nine states and brothel prostitution is legal in certain areas of Nevada. The negative views of prostitution cause discrimination based on sex, race, and social class. Prostitutes should not be stigmatized or discriminated against because of their line of work. Prostitution does not cause harm to others, so therefore is a Shah 5 victimless crime in the legal sense. It is an act performed by two consenting adults. These women choose to sell sexual services and men are willing to buy them. They have the basic human and civil right to practice what they wish if it is not harming society. Prostitution has been around many centuries and will not be eradicated any time in the near future. All of the legal attempts to suppress it have been conquered every time because of corruption in the legal force. If legal officers tolerate a crime, then it is not going to be stopped or fixed. The popular concept of supply and demand is the reason prostitution has sustained and overcome attempts to eradicate it. Since prostitution is not disappearing in the near future, it only makes sense to legalize it. This way it will be healthier and above ground where it can be controlled. Legalizing prostitution will turn an unhealthy and foul practice into a legitimate profession. Prostitution is in our society for good and will never be eradicated ;instead it will be improved and should be made a legitimate profession in the future.