Legalizing prostitution could help clean up the streets, lower taxes, lower the rate of rape and the rate of organized crime.
From one of the world’s oldest professions comes one of the oldest legal debates. There is no denying that the sex industry has taken international dimensions and is recognized as an economic motor for many countries. As countries around the world debate the merits of legalizing, or at least decriminalizing prostitution, the following questions should be addressed. Would legalization reduce some of the inequalities and abuse suffered by the women involved? On the other hand, by legitimizing prostitution, would society reverse decades of work to promote human rights and improve the status of women?
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There is a good deal of evidence to show that the amount of victimization prostitutes experience in the course of their work is very high. For example, according to The International Handbook on Trends, Problems and Policies, “Mimi Silbert’s survey of 200 prostitutes in the San Francisco area indicates 70 percent of her sample were victimized by customers” who raped them or who went beyond the work contract. The majority of women have been victims of robbery, physical and verbal violence, and theft of service; “two–thirds of them claimed to have been beaten regularly by their pimps”. “Seventy-eight percent reported being victimized by perversion an average of seventeen times each” (Davis 320). Prostitutes can also be abused in similar ways by police officers and other officers of the court. In all these cases, prostitutes find it almost impossible to press their cases because of their vulnerability to prosecution and because of their lack of resources. If they do press their case, it is doubtful that they will be believed. For instance, it is often said a prostitute cannot be raped. Legalization would also allow officials to give up the farce of upholding anti-prostitution laws. According to a counsel person in New York, quoted in Whores in History: Prostitution in Western Society, “The actual situation in this city is that prostitution is accepted by everyone – police, judges, clerks, and lawyers. Arrest and prosecution are purely