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[P]
Prostitution: Who's Really Getting Screwed?

By sventhatcher in Culture
Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 10:03:30 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

The world's oldest profession is still illegal in all but one state in the U.S., but why?

A serious re-evaluation of the wisdom of outlawing prostitution is long overdue.


There are slightly wavy moral issues surrounding prostitution which has kept it in the shadows of society for a long time, but time has proven that no matter how many laws are on the book, the industry will still thrive. For every woman that walks away from the profession, another lost and confused girls on the down and out will tumble down to take her place. As a society we can never destroy the urge to copulate or the capitalistic exploitation of said desire, but we should try to reduce the agony in the lives of those who work the streets.

Criminalization has done nothing to ease their suffering, but rather it has made things worse. The vast majority of girls brought in by vice squads will be back peddling their bodies before the end of the week. If anything, they are simply forced to move their operation. Girls entering into prostitution are often the victims of incest or sexual abuse at very early ages. They tend to have low self-esteem and financial and/or drug problems. Throwing them in jail isn't going to change what drives them to the streets. If anything, it reinforces it.

The money spent on attempting to arrest johns and prostitutes (costs can go up to $2,000 for a single arrest) could be better spent on health programs (mandatory disease check-ups for instance) or counseling, as could additional funds brought in by a now taxable institution. Women in the sex industry for the most part need more help that can be offered by the police department or the vice squad.

Criminalization also helps make prostitutes targets for abuse, often by the law enforcement agents who are being paid to arrest them! Prostitutes are often reluctant to go to the police regarding any violence done against them for fear of being arrested. This fear and abuse just helps re-enforce whatever self-esteem problems a girl already has in place, especially if the responsible parties are the very police officers that are her only option for help.

Finally, to tangent slightly, we as a society tolerate the pornography industry in which men and women are paid to have sex for a viewing audience. Any moral issues attached to prostitution are just as relevant for the pornography industry yet it continues to thrive. If we want to have a consistent policy, we can either suppress pornography and generate a new hell for a new set of people or give prostitution a legal blessing even if we withhold the moral one then in turn we can do our best to rehabilitated the battered women who have been reduced to selling themselves on the streets.

I say we compromise for the benefit of bettering our society.

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Poll
Should prostitution be legal?
o Yes 84%
o No 9%
o Undecided 6%

Votes: 211
Results | Other Polls

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o Also by sventhatcher


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Prostitution: Who's Really Getting Screwed? | 101 comments (93 topical, 8 editorial, 0 hidden)
Consistent Policy (3.46 / 13) (#1)
by J'raxis on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 07:40:43 AM EST

If we want to have a consistent policy, ...
Hah. You're new to the American legal system, aren't you? ;)

-- The Raxis, in a quite sarcastic mood this morning.

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]

Good points, but it won't happen (3.77 / 9) (#5)
by MicroBerto on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 08:19:56 AM EST

A good read - but it won't happen for this very simple reason: What self-respecting politician is going to try to legalize prostitution?! You know how bad that'd make him (or HER) look???

Besides, I have a feeling that most people want it to remain illegal.

Berto
- GAIM: MicroBerto
Bertoline - My comic strip

Negative Attitude (3.71 / 7) (#6)
by sventhatcher on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 08:29:13 AM EST

The reason that a politician wouldn't take such a stance is due to the way in which the populace at large views the issues.
<p>
Obviously before the laws could possibly be repealed, it would be necessary to help educate the public of the problems inherent in trying to fight prostitution with legislation.
<p>
What's harder than that perhaps is convincing people that prostitutes deserve the same compassion and mercy that we'd show any other person. Maybe after we start seeing drug addiction as a disease instead of a crime then we can work on prostitution...

[ Parent ]
I still have a negative attitude on it... (3.16 / 6) (#33)
by MicroBerto on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 12:51:50 PM EST

Obviously before the laws could possibly be repealed, it would be necessary to help educate the public of the problems inherent in trying to fight prostitution with legislation.
This is true with any case, but no matter WHAT you do to try to "educate" others, there is going to be a vast majority of people against prostitution. I can't imagine convicing a religious person that it's better to legalize it. Nor can I imagine convincing the massive aged 60+ voterbase.
Maybe after we start seeing drug addiction as a disease instead of a crime then we can work on prostitution...
Quality point!

Berto
- GAIM: MicroBerto
Bertoline - My comic strip
[ Parent ]
Religious People (3.75 / 4) (#61)
by sventhatcher on Sat Jul 07, 2001 at 07:39:10 AM EST

This is true with any case, but no matter WHAT you do to try to "educate" others, there is going to be a vast majority of people against prostitution. I can't imagine convicing a religious person that it's better to legalize it. Nor can I imagine convincing the massive aged 60+ voterbase.
Fundamentalists would be hard to convince, but there are a surprising number of intelligent religious people out there, many of them in pastorial positions. Surely, they could be convinced that things aren't working now and change of some sort is necessary.

[ Parent ]
Who shall start it? (3.33 / 6) (#7)
by Elkor on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 08:37:03 AM EST

Well, as the article states, there is one state already that has legalized prostitution.

Any political representative from there should be able to lobby for its further legalization in other arenas.

Of course, that would reduce their state income by encouraging competition....

Favorite movie dealing with this subject: "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" starring Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton.

Regards,
Elkor
"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
doubt it (2.57 / 7) (#12)
by botono9 on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 09:58:49 AM EST

Of course, that would reduce their state income by encouraging competition....
I doubt that. I think there is plenty of human sexual desire to go around to support a rather large market (and a rather large market currently exists). Besides, Nevada legalised the profession to stem the flow of AIDS from California, and it worked. All "houses of disrepute" are registered and are required to have all the girls regularly tested and protection is required. Heavy fines and loss of license are the punishments for failing to comply.


"Guns are real. Blue uniforms are real. Cops are social fiction."
--Robert Anton Wilson
[ Parent ]

Not quite (4.28 / 7) (#35)
by jabber on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 02:16:30 PM EST

...Nevada legalised the profession to stem the flow of AIDS from California...

Prostitution was legal in Nevada as far back as 1905.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

The prostitutes are getting screwed in both senses (2.50 / 10) (#8)
by justindz on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 08:53:16 AM EST

I'm sure I'm repeating alot of what has been said, but I'm too lazy to read it. Sorry.

The biggest single reason I think prostitution needs to be legalized is so that there is a very well defined system to punish anyone who abuses a prostitute (customer or "pimp").

Religious demonization of sexuality is commonplace, but it ultimately leads only to the harm of the workers, not the people selling or buying sex. Hypocrisy. Also, if you make it legal, you can tax the hell out of it. A+


The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke


N. Carolina Taxes Unauthorized Substances (4.00 / 1) (#75)
by whippingboy on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 04:46:45 PM EST

Also, if you make it legal, you can tax the hell out of it.

Good ol' conservative North Carolina doesn't wait for something to be legal to tax it. N.C. G.S. § 105-113.105 (sorry, they don't have links to specific sections; you'll have to do some scrolling) applies specifically to taxing marijuana and other illegal substances. I was unable to find out whether prostitution is taxed, but if anyone wants to get elected around here, I'm sure it would make a popular platform.

Just in case you're interested, marijuana is taxed at $0.40 per gram for stalks and fiber, and $3.50 for other parts. Medical marijuana is exempt. The tax is payable at anytime through the purchase of little tax stamps you can purchase at your local sherriff's office and stick to your bag of schwag. Hell, I might go buy some tonight, purely as novelties.

[ Parent ]

prostitutes see red (2.41 / 12) (#15)
by magicmark on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 10:06:49 AM EST

One of the first acts of Chairman Mao during the Chinese revolution was to outlaw prostitution. It exploits the poor in the worst way! Rich women/men do not often become prostitutes. Poor people do. To avoid exploitation of the poor give everyone a guarantee of minimal food, clothing, shelter and medicine. Mark Young http://www.doubtfully.com

Did you *read* my article? (4.66 / 6) (#20)
by sventhatcher on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 10:16:15 AM EST

I'm not advocating prostitution as a good thing in society. That should be abundantly clear, but perhaps I was somewhat subtle about it.

What I'm saying, basically, is that outlawing prostitution doesn't even really put a dent in the degree to which it's practiced. Instead, it makes it harder for people who fall into that trap to get back out.

This is a "make the best out of a bad situation" thing.

[ Parent ]
Actually .. (4.00 / 3) (#56)
by dvNull on Sat Jul 07, 2001 at 01:32:11 AM EST

Well I agree with you on that ... when prostitution is illegal the ones who makes the most money are the pimps .. they exploit the women and they keep the women in poverty. Making prostitution legal first and then tackling it could be the best way to go about helping these women.




If you can see this, then the .sig fell off.
[ Parent ]
should we outlaw farming? (3.50 / 6) (#32)
by coffee17 on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 12:44:25 PM EST

If you look at china, I'm sure that a lot more of the poor are subsitance farmers than prostitutes. Sure, if they were already given minimal food shelter and clothing they would need to become this, but until the system is such that there is minimal food clothing and shelter for everyone, so long as they are not hurting others, let them do what they want/can to make their money, wether it be subsistance farming, factory work, prostitution or erotic dancing.

-coffee


[ Parent ]

Mao ehh? (4.00 / 2) (#73)
by jacoplane on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 04:06:09 PM EST

Interesting, because Mao was a real sex-maniac. It is rumoured he forced thousands of girls to sleep with him.

[ Parent ]
Helpful Linkage (2.14 / 7) (#16)
by sventhatcher on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 10:07:27 AM EST

If you're really interested in decriminalization of prostitution and want some more info, <a href="http://www.bayswan.org/penet.html">The Prostitutes Education Network</a> is an excellent source of information.
<p>
There was actually a San Fransisco Task Force that determined, basically, that prostitution legislation was currently ineffective.


Helpful Linkage (4.44 / 9) (#17)
by sventhatcher on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 10:11:31 AM EST

If you're really interested in decriminalization of prostitution and want some more info, The Prostitutes Education Network is an excellent source of information.

There was actually a San Fransisco Task Force that determined, basically, that prostitution legislation was currently ineffective.

Sorry for the double post, defaulting to plain text isn't always helpful. =)

The real question was left unanswered (4.46 / 15) (#18)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 10:13:29 AM EST

First (and largest) problem. Why is prostitution illegal in the first place? This is the root question and one that is left unanswered.

Second problem: logical fallacies.

First example: [T]ime has proven that no matter how many laws are on the book, the [prostitution] industry will still thrive. And your point? Replace prostitution with any crime and this statement will still hold, so by this logic we should eliminate all criminal law. Consider the statement: [T]ime has proven that no matter how many laws are on the book, murders will still be commonplace.

Second example: Criminalization also helps make prostitutes targets for abuse. This thesis is buttressed by specific implementations of law enforcement and does not discuss how criminalization itself is what makes prostitutes targets for abuse. It seems to me that the attitude of the American populace, especially those in law enforcement, is the problem, not the criminalization of prostitution. This goes back to the first problem. Why is prostitution illegal in the first place?

Third problem: no analyses of societies where prostitution is legal. Many of the problems you point to as being the product of the criminalization of prostitution exist in societies where prostitution is legal. It is a good idea to consider whether decriminalization , in and of itself, has any discernible effect on the symptoms of the problem before offering it as a solution.

The bottom line: my brief answer to what I see as the real question lies on the view of society as a social compact. As a whole, society sees certain types of behavior as immoral, some moreso than others. Behavior seen as immoral by a society (bribes, graft, theft, vandalism, murder, battery, prostitution) are banned through force of law with varying degrees of punishment meted out to those convicted of being immoral.

Therefore, if one wants to see prostitution become legal (which I don't) the route to take is to change the attitude of society. As long as prostitution is seen as a vice in the eyes of most people, attempts at de-criminalization will be political suicide.

Learn from the prohibition movement. However misguided I might feel the prohibitionists were in their views on alcohol, they got their agenda not only written into law, but written into the highest law of the land. The lesson is this: get the people behind you first. Only then seek to change the law.

Regards,

-l

Fair Enough, One Point Though (4.42 / 7) (#21)
by sventhatcher on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 10:19:45 AM EST

"Second example: Criminalization also helps make prostitutes targets for abuse. This thesis is buttressed by specific implementations of law enforcement and does not discuss how criminalization itself is what makes prostitutes targets for abuse. It seems to me that the attitude of the American populace, especially those in law enforcement, is the problem, not the criminalization of prostitution."

The point is that the illegality of their occupation makes them reluctant to report any abuse that happens while they're acting in their status as street workers for fear of punishment. This would in fact cease to be an issue if prostitution was legal.

[ Parent ]
I kind of/sort of concede the point (3.42 / 7) (#23)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 10:28:57 AM EST

However, in the USA, the right to not incriminate one's self allows one to report crime without reporting the exact conditions under which it took place. The problem is one of attitude where prosecutors and police will treat a prostitute inequitably because of his or her profession and perhaps badger him or her until he or she gives enough information to them for an indictment of the victim on prostitution.

It all comes back to the way society at large views prostitution.

[ Parent ]

Granted (4.33 / 6) (#24)
by sventhatcher on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 10:34:06 AM EST

Admittedly, they might not always have the right to prosecute her in those situations, but your average street prostitute might not know that.. thus it might as well not be true for her.

"It all comes back to the way society at large views prostitution."

Absolutely.
If we can't get legality, I'll settle for handling it different than we do now. Some sort of rehabilitation program or something maybe.

[ Parent ]
Worse yet (4.42 / 7) (#30)
by trhurler on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 12:10:32 PM EST

In at least half the US, some holy-roller assbite prosecutor will go, pick up the john, and then offer him leniency in exchange for ratting out the prostitute. I realize people differ on the merits of religion, but I honestly think religious prosecutors are one of the greatest dangers to civil liberties the world has ever known; I've never seen or heard of one who could distinguish between doing his job and promoting his religious beliefs.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Speaking from Cincinnati, Ohio (4.28 / 7) (#31)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 12:23:04 PM EST

I agree entirely. This is the only city in the entire US that indicted an art museum on public obscenity charges for a rather popular photograph exibit.

People, ingeneral, have no clue how to be professional and seperate one's private beliefs from one's performance of a public duty. It is even worse in situation like you described where the actions are hypocritical.

regards,

-l

[ Parent ]

worse even yet (3.00 / 2) (#49)
by anonymous cowerd on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 06:15:53 PM EST

Worse even yet, when the prostitute makes the mistake of going anywhere near the police, the cop on the case will insist on fucking her (for free, of course).

A working girl who was an acquaintance (she and her girlfriend and I and some other mutual friends went out Christmas caroling once) told me about this and a bunch of other lurid tales too; according to her vice cops are the most corrupt, dishonest sons of bitches in the whole wide world.

Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

stint grits
darts file
gratis ways to fit tins
dapper angle
ill apple
-Barbara Baracks

[ Parent ]

Report a crime while "taking the 5th"? (3.75 / 4) (#38)
by DaBunny on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 03:17:18 PM EST

Sure, a prostitute could try reporting abuse while withholding critical evidence regarding the crime. But such an incomplete report is much less likely to be followed up on. And of course there ay be a gap between constitutional theory and police practice. So a prostitute reporting abuse is taking a significant risk and the report is less likely to be acted on. These are true because prostitution is illegal. That doesn't necessarilly mean that decriminalizing is a good idea, but it is a solid argument for it that you (inaccurately IMO) discarded.

[ Parent ]
purpose of laws (4.30 / 10) (#28)
by speek on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 11:34:35 AM EST

Consider the statement: [T]ime has proven that no matter how many laws are on the book, murders will still be commonplace.

It seems to me that laws against murder, theft, rape, kidnapping, and the like (ie - the really obvious stuff) don't serve the purpose of preventing the crime from happening, rather, they prevent retaliation by the victim, or the victim's family. Retaliation leads to warfare (family feuds). Having the state step in and take over the role of vengeance seeker stops the cycle of violence before it can go any further.

Laws don't stop criminal behavior - cultural change stops it (well, reduces it to a point where it's non-disruptive). Enacting laws is one strategy used to change our culture, but they are an expensive strategy, and don't work well when not backed up with supporting strategies. And sometimes, they just don't work at all, no matter what.

When a law fails badly enough, then it is time to reconsider it, because attempting to enforce the law is probably costing a lot.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

The Difference Between Murder and Prostitution (2.66 / 3) (#50)
by sventhatcher on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 06:21:42 PM EST

The legal difference between the two is the scope of the punishment.

A murderer will generally face life in prison or even death.

A prostitute (as someone mentioned in another comment) will face fines that she can't pay anyway and a couple of nights in jail.


[ Parent ]
not sure what your point is, but I'll go on anyway (2.50 / 2) (#62)
by speek on Sat Jul 07, 2001 at 02:42:44 PM EST

If you believe the punishment is a significant deterrent, punishment is an important difference. However, according to my theory, the punishment for murder needs only to satisfy the victim's need for revenge in order to prevent them from seeking their own revenge. How much punishment victims need for revenge is largely culturally based, and thus, in reality, the punishment needs to fit the culture, not the crime.

Also, in my view, laws and other social engineering methods are there to solve problems. Laws against murder do very well at solving the problem I described. Laws against prostitution don't do well at solving any problem that I can see.

All social engineering methods should be evaluated on strictly objective measures based on the goal, the total cost to society of the method, and it's level of success. No other considerations are valid, in my view. Particularly moral, or ethical, considerations.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Punishment (3.00 / 1) (#65)
by sventhatcher on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 06:00:55 AM EST

If you believe the punishment is a significant deterrent, punishment is an important difference. However, according to my theory, the punishment for murder needs only to satisfy the victim's need for revenge in order to prevent them from seeking their own revenge. How much punishment victims need for revenge is largely culturally based, and thus, in reality, the punishment needs to fit the culture, not the crime.
Obviously punishment works as a deterrent in sufficient doses. Sufficient doses being defined as having a serious impact on someone's life. If I'm broke and can't afford a ticket, I'm less likely to speed or violate other traffic laws.. not because of the validity of the law, but because punishment would cause me financial difficulty.

Muggers/robbers/etc. while they may carry a lethal weapon, they probably aren't likely to use it to kill not because of their respect for human life, but because they don't want to face a murder charge.

Whereas prostitution will land you a small fine. Given the hellish life that it can be, a small fine is not really a big deal. If prostitution could carry a lifetime jail sentence or even death, I bet there would be a singifigantly lower number of prostitutes. Not that I'm suggesting that as a viable option. =P

[ Parent ]

don't agree (1.00 / 1) (#67)
by speek on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 12:17:23 PM EST

If you enhance punishments on all sorts of minor crimes, such as prostitution and drug use to be death or life without parole, then you'll simply succeed in weeding out those who would do criminal acts, and thus your crime rates will go down. But, I don't believe there is much correlation between punishment and deterrence.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Quite the broad brush stroke you use here... (2.50 / 6) (#36)
by ti dave on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 02:29:29 PM EST

"Behavior seen as immoral by a society (bribes, graft, theft, vandalism, murder, battery, prostitution) are banned through force of law with varying degrees of punishment meted out to those convicted of being immoral."

Nice move though.

You call upon the "varying degrees of punishment" at the end of your statement as a distraction, yet you have placed prostitution on an equivalent level with murder and battery, things that most reasonable people wouldn't find similar.

Attitudes about prostitution won't change if persuasive writing such as yours doesn't fall by the wayside.

Cheers,

ti dave
"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
Who uses slight of hand? (3.00 / 2) (#39)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 03:18:37 PM EST

you have placed prostitution on an equivalent level with murder and battery, things that most reasonable people wouldn't find similar.
I find it interesting that in your reply you left out my mention of bribes, graft and vandalism. Or do you think that I also hold those to be equivalent in severity in terms of moral wrongness to murder and battery?
Attitudes about prostitution won't change if persuasive writing such as yours doesn't fall by the wayside.
In my short years of experience, I've found that writings such as mine are hardly pervasive.

[ Parent ]
Left out because... (2.00 / 3) (#41)
by ti dave on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 03:31:50 PM EST

I found your other examples to have about the same amount of "harm" to society, to wit, not very much.

"In my short years of experience, I've found that writings such as mine are hardly pervasive."

Did you mean persuasive or pervasive?
I'm probably older than you, and I have found your attitude about prostitution quite pervasive in the U.S. culture, particularly amongst the older set.

Other cultures? Now that's another story.

Cheers,

ti dave
"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
this doesn't make sense (3.33 / 3) (#42)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 03:52:57 PM EST

I found your other examples to have about the same amount of "harm" to society, to wit, not very much.
This was part of my point. Society, as a whole, determines what is acceptable or not. What society views as unacceptable gets banned through force of law. For the most part, violation of the law is punished proportionately to how immoral society views a given act. Hence, first degree murder is punished by life imprisonment or even death while prostitution and vandalism are often punished as misdemeanors.

Alleging that I implicitly put prostitution on the same level as murder and battery overlooks the context of prostitution among criminal offences ranging from the mundane to the severe in my prior comment.

Did you mean persuasive or pervasive?
The latter.
I'm probably older than you, and I have found your attitude about prostitution quite pervasive in the U.S. culture, particularly amongst the older set.
You very well could be older than me. What does it matter?

Given that you know very little about my attitude about prostitution, I doubt that you could find it pervasive in US culture. For starters, I don't think that prostitution is a black and white issue. That by itself, tends to put me in the minority. Second, look at the poll. . .

[ Parent ]

Here are my references (3.00 / 2) (#44)
by ti dave on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 04:43:39 PM EST

"You very well could be older than me. What does it matter?"

My comment was sparked by this:

"In my short years of experience, I've found that writings such as mine are hardly pervasive."

A reference to your "short years of experience".
Simply put, I've probably seen a broader range of situations than you. Perhaps I've seen different fallout from the trade of Prostitution?

Segue to:

"Given that you know very little about my attitude about prostitution..."

See the following:

"Therefore, if one wants to see prostitution become legal (which I don't)..."

That statement said everything I needed to form my reply to you, my friend.

Cheers,

ti dave
"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
A small, unscientific analysis (5.00 / 6) (#59)
by yigal on Sat Jul 07, 2001 at 06:37:10 AM EST

Third problem: no analyses of societies where prostitution is legal. Many of the problems you point to as being the product of the criminalization of prostitution exist in societies where prostitution is legal. It is a good idea to consider whether decriminalization , in and of itself, has any discernible effect on the symptoms of the problem before offering it as a solution.
Well, if you insist, I can give a small account of prostitution in my country, the Netherlands. Here prostitution has never been illegal, and recently it has become even more legal. The reports on the results vary though. But let's start at the beginning.

The fact that prostitution has never been illegal can best be explained by a historical point of view. The Netherlands were a seafaring nation with many ports, historically a breeding pit for brothels. However, in 1912 running brothels became illegal by the 1912 ban on brothels ('Bordeelverbod'). Here, a brothel was defined as something like a company selling sex to customers. Prostitution on an individual basis was still allowed. This resulted in the women renting a 'Window' and selling themselves in the red light district. Amsterdam is still famous for it.

At the same time, the ancient dutch practice of 'gedogen' was still active. Gedogen is the legal term for turning a blind eye on illegal activities, under the assumption that it's always better to fight big crimes, instead of small crimes that are morally acceptable by a majority of the people. Please note the emphasised part. Petty theft will never be 'gedoogd', but ignoring a red traffic light in the middle of the night while you're walking or riding a bike will be. The same went for a carefully organized euthanasia and selling small amounts of pot. But I digress.

Keeping brothels might have been forbidden since 1912, but they were still 'gedoogd'. However, since the brothel was effectively illegal, law enforcement could not act very subtle. In case of problems, the law had either to ignore the problem, or close the borthel in its entirety.

Some examples of problems that arose:

Criminal activities
Many brothel owners were actual criminals using the brothel as a cover. White slavery and laundering money are just two examples.
Illegal prosititutes
Many prostitutes resided illegaly in the country; they therefore did not pay taxes and such, and were also excluded from medical wellfare. This meant that they were completely dependend on their employer.
Minors
Basically a combination of the previous two points, it happened that minors were sold as prostitutes. And while we might be an easy-going country, this is under no circumstance morally acceptable.

The government recognized these problems and in october 2000 the ban was lifted. Brothels now require an official license, which is decided upon by the local authorities, and the legal rights of their employees are now in accordance with the rights of all employees (minimum size of work space, fire safety, hygiene, required work permit, protection of physical and mental integrity etc.) And the people rejoiced.

The effects are heavily disputed. Many say it's a good thing because it elevates prostitutes in brothels from furniture to humans. On the other hand, those brothel holders that engaged in criminal activities and had illegal women, are now untraceable. It remains to be seen who is more right.

These were the facts. Now my opinion. The fact that prostitution has never been illegal does not seem to be a problem. I do not have the impression that I live in a country made up of perverts and wanton behavior. Though others might disagree ;-)

But I do recognize that the legality of prostitution is more than a decision made by someone a long time ago. It is a result of national values and opinions that go back to the 16th century. I can therefore have no opinion on the legalizing of prostitution in any country other then the Netherlands.

Satisfied?
.sigmentationfault
[ Parent ]

Oy vey! (4.08 / 12) (#19)
by jabber on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 10:14:39 AM EST

I'm voting to section beause it would make for good discussion, but I really have a few objections..

You're taking an anti-criminalization stance, fine, but your prejudice against prostitution is clearly shown in the article. The descriptive adjectives you use, and the context in which people (women) become prostitutes that you presume, all carry very negative connotations.

This attitude shows a definite socially infused bias against prostitution. It is exactly due to this programming that prostitution remains illegal - most people are raised with a bias against it, even when they do it or partake of it, and so the rules never change.

Once, there were good reasons for prostitution to be illegal. Religion ruled and diseases went unchecked. Outlawing prostitution and penalizing it with strict punishment and social stigma was simply a matter of hygiene at a time when people knew not such things. (This is also the reason for most nutritional laws, there's nothing wrong with properly cooked pork for example, but unless you had means to consistantly cook it well, people died)

Today, there is really no good reason why prostitution should be illegal. It should be controlled, certainly, but if the Mustang Ranch is any indication, it can be done safely, sanely and responsibly - not to mention profitably.

The objections to prostitution today are purely aesthetic, except for those which stem from it's 'underground' nature. Were it legal, the health and safety issues would go away - and this is true also for the infamous War On Drugs.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

My Bias (3.71 / 7) (#22)
by sventhatcher on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 10:24:32 AM EST

I've got absolutely no problem with prostitution actually, but I was trying actively to let *that* show through in the article to avoid having 185275275 posts about the immorality/victimization of women/etc. Maybe I misjuged my target audience? =)

Although most of the facts about women in prostitution (substance abuse, low self-esttem) can be backed by statistics from the Prostitutes Education Network (link in comment below somewhere).

[ Parent ]
Fair enough (3.50 / 4) (#25)
by jabber on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 10:43:48 AM EST

Ok, I didn't look at it that way. It is a good article, but it's point seems squelched a bit since it seems to cater to the 'popular opinion' a bit. But you're right, there would have been many knee-jerk posts if you had been more direct and outright supportive.

As for the stats, wouldn't you agree that they are strictly a function of prostitution being illegal in the first place? Seems to me that if prostitution were legal and regulated, prostitutes would not feel the need to escape from themselves.. Would not need to hide, and would not be subject to abuse, since they would have clear and available legal protection..

The whole argument that prostitution being illegal, to prevent the side-effects of it, is backwards, since the illegality of it is what makes for the side-effects, for the most part. IMO at least.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

To Some Degree (4.00 / 6) (#26)
by sventhatcher on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 10:50:49 AM EST

While some people who are in the biz of prostitution may be perfectly reasonable and mentally/emotionally stable, I think most prostitutes probably do have some serious self-esteem issues which are reinforced by the job itself.

If day in and day out, you're used like a plaything, I imagine that it's hard not to begin to think of yourself in that way.

I might be wrong though.

I don't suppose any K5 readers are professional escorts? =)



[ Parent ]
Again, functino of perception (4.50 / 4) (#27)
by jabber on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 11:25:57 AM EST

Sure, few 'self-respecting' women would take on something illegal and looked down upon by society as a career. I suppose that people tend to position themselves in life to match their image of themselves, so someone who feels to be of little worth will tend to contexts in which other's perception of them matched their own.

Would you conjecture that, if prostitution were to be legal and socially acceptable, then the 'sort' of woman to be a prostitute would be more 'normal'? Would the job attract women who are just very passionate about sex?

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Quality of Life (3.66 / 3) (#60)
by sventhatcher on Sat Jul 07, 2001 at 07:36:35 AM EST

Would you conjecture that, if prostitution were to be legal and socially acceptable, then the 'sort' of woman to be a prostitute would be more 'normal'? Would the job attract women who are just very passionate about sex?
I don't really try and hold that legalization will change the type of person drawn to the sex industry. What I'm saying is that it can improve their quality of life.

[ Parent ]
Poll Results (3.50 / 6) (#29)
by keenan on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 11:44:54 AM EST

I just answered the poll and was amazed at the results -- at the moment I write this, 88% support the legalization of prostitution with a sample size of 48. I haven't been on kuro5hin that long, but is this site as liberal as this poll makes it look, or is it simply that people interested enough to read about this issue will have a tendency to be more liberal? I couldn't imagine taking a random sampling of people and getting this response on such a controversial issue -- I'm going by the assumption that the majority of kuro5hin'ers are American; correct me if I'm wrong.

Keenan

Note (3.25 / 4) (#34)
by _cbj on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 01:10:21 PM EST

Rough estimate: about 50% of K5 are USian.

[ Parent ]
Which makes the poll results (5.00 / 1) (#80)
by aphrael on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 11:14:46 AM EST

even more surprising; US' culture is notoriously puritan about things like sex.

[ Parent ]
liberalism vs libertarianism (3.75 / 4) (#45)
by alprazolam on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 05:01:56 PM EST

i'd say this site is maybe 2/3 USian. i'd say that the majority of those americans are either liberal in the typical meaning or are libertarian and don't think that government should legislate behavior. the poll results are entirely unsurprising.

[ Parent ]
lib.so (none / 0) (#86)
by axxeman on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 08:41:46 AM EST

The people on this site use far too many words starting with lib.

It kind of reminds me of all the different names for what's essentially "we're christian, but ..."

lec·tur·er (lkchr-r) n. Abbr. lectr: graduate unemployable outside the faculty.
[ Parent ]

decriminalization is not support (4.33 / 3) (#57)
by darkonc on Sat Jul 07, 2001 at 03:32:52 AM EST

This is rather like my stance on the drugs issue. I don't support Prostitution. On the other hand, I strongly feel that criminalizing prostitution causes far more problems than it solves -- from the difficulty that Vancouver prostitutes had getting the police to investigate a serial killer who preyed on prostitutes to health issues among both prostitutes and their customers.

What shifted my thoughts on prostitution was a girlfriend I had many years ago. As we went by a prostitute stroll, she said, as an aside, "I feel sorry for them." When I asked for elucidation, she said "I feel sorry for someone who feels like they have to do something like that".

Up until that point, I had not really thought of prostitutes as real people. Up to that points, I guess that I had considered them as almost props... things that populated the streets, but nad no real relevance to my life... at best decoration, at worst an annoyance. Once I started viewing them as people, I found the treatment we hand them as a society was nothing less than problematic.

Yes, I agree that we also need to regulate the industry. This would include things like mandatory health exams and optional (but free) counselling. Taxes would more than pay for such things. The cost savings from the results of such actions would probably more than cover the costs, in any case.

If nothing else, just think of these as real people. At that point giving support to prostitutes becomes completely worth doing on it's own.
Killing a person is hard. Killing a dream is murder. : : : ($3.75 hosting)
[ Parent ]

Simpler explanation (2.00 / 1) (#63)
by dennis on Sat Jul 07, 2001 at 03:44:53 PM EST

It's just that the computer geeks on K5 never get laid.....juuust kidding....

[ Parent ]
Liberal? I don't think so... (2.00 / 1) (#76)
by John Thompson on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 05:27:15 PM EST

Keenan wrote:

> I just answered the poll and was amazed at the
> results -- at the moment I write this, 88%
> support the legalization of prostitution with a
> sample size of 48. I haven't been on kuro5hin
> that long, but is this site as liberal as this
> poll makes it look, or is it simply that people
> interested enough to read about this issue will
> have a tendency to be more liberal? I couldn't
> imagine taking a random sampling of people and
> getting this response on such a controversial
> issue -- I'm going by the assumption that the
> majority of kuro5hin'ers are American; correct
> me if I'm wrong.

I don't see anything "liberal" about the poll results. The sample (I am guessing) is predominately male, while prostitutes are predominately female. That 88% of the sample favors legalization of prostitution may only demonstrate a traditional male view of women as sex objects. Nothing "liberal" about that at all. I'd be interested to see how females feeel on this issue.

-John

[ Parent ]
Not Necessarily All Men (5.00 / 4) (#77)
by maveness on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 06:27:20 PM EST

As a card-carrying woman, I favor the legalization of prostitution. Legal commerce which is sensibly regulated has built-in protections for both vendors and consumers.

There was an article in the Washington Post yesterday about the ongoing legalization of prostitution in the Netherlands. The prostitute's biggest complaint: the likely increased attention from the tax man. On the upside, the prostitutes can now count the police on their side, when they need them -- and the licensing requires regular health inspections and basic minimums in terms of safety of location (fire exits, running water available).

Would the world be a lovelier place if no one felt inclined to sell or purchase intimate services divorced from emotional or at least meaningful personal connection. Sure. But don't be holding your breath. And trust me, there are definitely some folks who just would never have a consensual sexual experience of any kind with purchasing it -- and if there's a willing, uncoerced seller, why impede the transaction?

...I suppose that would be the remaining tattered fragments of my libertarianism showing. <g>

[ Parent ]

A few thoughts (3.36 / 11) (#37)
by jd on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 03:02:59 PM EST

Let's start with this first claim, that it's the world's oldest profession. This is nothing more than pure speculation, based on urban legends, derived on the dubious conclusions that questionable archaeologists have reached, from negligable evidence.

On the basis of that, I'd say that this claim has very little basis, and exists purely and simply to bolster the argument by throwing pseudo-scientific claims around.

Let's look at the reality, for a moment. Early humans were hunter/gatherers. You hunted, or you starved. Those were the choices. These early nomadic "groups" (they were no more "tribes" at this point than a pack of wolves) would have had no serious gender distinctions. There wouldn't have been enough of them. The same is seen today. You don't see one group of apes staying home to do the dishes. They ALL gather food. However, you're going to collect much less food in winter than in summer, so they will also ALL horde food.

The conclusion from this? The world's oldest profession is hunting, the second-oldest is warehousing. Since, by the end of winter, supplies will be unevenly diminished, the third-oldest profession is probably bartering, which would lead naturally to brokering.

So, we get back to the original statement, that prostitution is the world's oldest profession. Sounds significant! The imperitive declaration of antiquity is awe-inspiring. Let's all save this piece of ultra-ancient heritage! (yeah, whatever.)

Now, let's replace that with (IMHO) the more probable one of "prostitution may have evolved out of one of the first few hundred professions, once civilization really got started". Not quite so dramatic, is it? Nothing unique, nothing particularly special, nothing any different from any of a hundred other forms of exchange, most of which humanity has long-since out-grown.

Let's now move on to the aspect of criminalization. Is it effective? Well, not really, but neither is it applied in any meaningful way. You arrest a bunch of people, fine them money they don't have, release them back onto the streets, wash, rince, repeat. It's not stopping the problem, it's merely whitewashing it.

What about legalizing it, then? If you were to do this, you might as well legalize murder. After all, arresting people has never stopped that, either. You can justify anything you damn well please, if you work from that argument. It's still baloney.

Money is an important issue, too. People are much more willing to spend money, if it's someone else's. When it's their own, THAT is a different matter. Especially if it's visible.

Genuine assistance isn't cheap, and we're talking about groups of people who aren't rich, and who need a LOT of help. Councelling, to be effective, needs to be daily. An hour a day, each day, would be in the order of $1,400 a week, per person.

More to the point, that $1,400 would be a seperate budget item from maintaining the police force. What =was= all just munged together, becomes stated and very obvious. Taxpayers who are willing to fork out $2,000 p/w for something obscure and unknown, won't even consider $1,400 p/w for someone else's therapy.

Ok, so what's the alternative?

Actually, there are several alternatives I can see:

  • The Government could pay ALL expenses that relate to ANY education at ALL levels, regardless of the school, the person, the background, whatever. After all, it'll get the money back through income tax, anyway. It's not like it's pixie dust that just vanishes into thin air. Since parents are not obliged to respect equal oportunities, girls are powerless to get any kind of education, beyond the legal minimum. And not all get that. Families resent forking out cash to educate women. So, if women are going to GET education, the cash has to come from somewhere. Looks like you're it.
  • The Government could offer all existing prostitutes a simple deal. The women get the same level of income, guaranteed, with 100% job security, benefits, etc, any job training they need (all expenses paid), in any profession they choose. If the women like their current career so bloody much, they'll turn this deal down flat. BUT, if they really, fundamentally, hate what they do, but just can't get out of the trap, then they'll jump at the offer. ANYONE who advocates legalizing the profession should first ask if anyone really wants it. If the answer is a definite "NO", then who are you to tell these women that they have to stay in their job? If you're into true freedom, are you willing to pay for it?
  • The Government could create "community prisons" for both the prostitutes and their clients, with councelling and sexual addiction programs. After all, nobody is going to go to such programs in the "outside world". Image means a lot to people, sometimes even at the expense of their own lives. By running a program away from staring eyes, you've an even chance that some of these people will actually GET help.

How are these alternatives? Well, in the long-term, they're all self-supporting. They pay for themselves, by what they are and what they achieve.

As a result, tax-payers wouldn't be being asked to be involved in someone else's care. And as a result of that, they'd be more likely to be favourable. Given the choice of taxes or treatment, they'd go for treatment every time.

Also, such schemes would DEMAND quality of service. Most "schemes" that have ever been attempted have no reason to do well. If anything, they become defunct, if too efficient, and the people running them would be out of a job.

To genuinely work, a scheme would need to meet the criteria that failure of ANY kind would cost, and that success to ANY degree would benefit. Now, there's incentive to succeed. Even in "hopeless cases", they'd have a reason to go that extra mile. Because to not do so would be much, much worse for them.

The scheme would also need to be flexible, so that it doesn't make itself defunct. That way, you don't get people going after that little bit of job security. The job security would be guaranteed. So long as they did their job.

A therapist who gets paid $200-$1000 per hour, with the certain knowledge that someone -will- pay them, no matter what, has no reason to do well. Put that same therapist in the position that failure WILL hurt, and they're going to avoid failing.

This gets back to the heart of why there's a problem in the first place. Parents have no incentive to do well. They can abuse their children as much as they like (provided it's within legal limits, or just very well hidden) and there's not a whole lot that will happen to them.

One result is girls who have negative self-image, no usable education, and no serious way out except by marrying someone rich or by selling themselves.

The other result is boys who have negative self-image, no usable social skills, and no serious hope of any kind of real relationship, so they go out and buy a fake one for an hour or so. Their world isn't real, anyway, so a bit more delusion doesn't make any difference.

Getting out of the delusion trap is expensive. But if humanity (as a whole) doesn't do so, the cost of staying -in- the delusion trap is going to become a whole lot worse. If it already hasn't.

Sadly, the number of people seriously interested in tackling the CORE issues is relatively small. It's much easier to wave banners, burn some effigies, or demand that their favourite crime be legitamized so that they can stop feeling like such loosers.

There is an alternative. Double the national debt, rip absolute privacy & power from parents, and invest in an educational program and a mental health-care program so massive, so overwhelming, that society has no alternative but to grow up.

P.S. Something like 1% of New York's population are "homeless" people who live in abandoned tunnels in the subway system, and who live off rats and spilled food. The day the "legalizers" advocate councelling, health-care, education, food and water to these people is the day I'll take them seriously. The test of moral character is not one of whether you campaign for the rights of those who give you pleasure (however dubious). It's one of whether you campaign for the rights of those who you will never know and never see.

"Oldest profession" is idiom, not argume (3.66 / 3) (#40)
by DaBunny on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 03:27:00 PM EST

Sventhatcher's argument certainly doesn't rely prostitution actually being the oldest profession. I must admit I hit MEGO after reading through 5 paragraphs of arguments against that straw man, but I'm not quite sure how your point about government-funded education relates to decriminalizing/legalizing prostitution.

[ Parent ]
Quick summary of argument (3.40 / 5) (#43)
by jd on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 04:06:59 PM EST

Most professions that are paid a livable salary require a BSc or higher. Unfortunately, to get to a BSc, you need to have a substantial amount of money -and- a substantial amount of time.

There are still many families in America who believe that a woman's only functions in life are to cook, clean and provide a few offspring at the husband's convenience.

Such attitudes are not condusive to women getting a degree. Therefore, those women who are in such a situation have got really three choices:

  • They can find someone rich (handsome, kind and/or considerate are bonuses for the very lucky)
  • They can go into fast-food, get endless abuse and sexual harassment, and end up with just enough money to either buy rice-a-roni, OR their rent
  • They can go into the sex industry, earn enough to eat AND live, and get some degree of protection from harassment.

On the face of it, that's really not much of a choice. Any woman who has to spend more than five seconds thinking about the options is probably gambling on the first.

Government-funded education that can propell a woman into a BSc, MSc or a PhD, regardless of their family's value & opinions, would definitely help in these kinds of situations. If you're likely to earn $750,000 as a programmer, risk-free and disease-free, you've a realistic, feasable alternative.

Another side of education is that men are less likely to believe that women are "dumb" and "available", if the number entering higher education is much greater, and the number entering "alternative industries" is much lower. If the bars start closing, because the women are all in NASA, working as rocket scientists, some of the cultural stereotypes are going to start crumbling.

The last part that the education would have is that it would destroy the patriach view of society, from within families. When mothers and fathers respect women, they will respect their female children. And, through being respected and loved, those children will have one less brick wall to smash down, on their road through life.

[ Parent ]

Marry Rich, Fast Food, or Prostitution?! (3.50 / 2) (#54)
by Ixokai on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 10:04:45 PM EST

Rather obviousely, you have never lived in the 'poor' side of the world, because your opinions of it are just about utterly absurd. I don't even know where to start in pointing out the utter falsehoods that you're spouting here.

I was raised in a poor family. I'm not a woman, but I work with them -- a LOT of them, in fact -- who were in similar situations, and they're doing fine now. They're making decent money, have their own apartments or an apartment with a roommate, and still have money left over at the end of the month. How? No, they're not selling their bodies. Nor are they marrying rich. What are they doing? One of the /many/ other jobs in our economy.

We work retail. Not Fast food -- but retail sales in department stores. Our 'dress' code for women is so lax that the requirements are less then what a prostitute would generally wear, the environment is free from sexual harassment, and the money is EASILY livable. When things get tighter-- transfer into a commission department. No BS/MS/PhD required, and our local woman can easily be making +$12/hr. That's livable. Then there are oppertunites to advance from there; into management, or into Customer Service with other companies, which end up being easier work for more money.

[ Parent ]
figure of speech (4.66 / 6) (#47)
by kubalaa on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 05:31:47 PM EST

As I always read it, "oldest profession" is sort of a joke, not meant to be taken literally in the modern sense. Prostitution is barter, the only difference being that sex is the currency. And, as we know from economics, there must be a balance of supply and demand. As long as men have a higher demand for sex than women, we will have prostitution. Men have always had a higher sex drive, ergo prostitution has always existed.

The "joke" is that of course most of the time it's more subtle: a cavewoman might be more likely to sleep with a caveman who hunts better. Or a modern woman might be more likely to sleep with a wealthy guy (and this is perfectly okay?). So by calling it "the oldest profession" we recognize its inevitability and the ironically limited use of the label today.

As for your other points. You mix up the purpose of punishment. Punishment does not define morality, it is the other way around. If something is viewed as immoral, it will demand punishment, but the punishment isn't the deterrent. Conversely, if something is commonly viewed as acceptable (such as prostitution, or Napster), then punishment is ineffective as a deterrent.

I have trouble following your points or seeing how they apply to the argument until your postscript. You suggest that those lobbying for legalized prostitution do so to make things easier on "those who give [them] pleasure." You can't be serious.

[ Parent ]

The Flaws.. Ahh The Flaws (4.00 / 2) (#52)
by sventhatcher on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 06:41:43 PM EST

First off.. "the world's oldest profession" is just a figure of speech, not a statement of fact. Not to mention none of my arguements actually rest on the idea that prostitution existed before huting and gathering.

How are these alternatives? Well, in the long-term, they're all self-supporting. They pay for themselves, by what they are and what they achieve.

As a result, tax-payers wouldn't be being asked to be involved in someone else's care. And as a result of that, they'd be more likely to be favourable. Given the choice of taxes or treatment, they'd go for treatment every time.

Uhh. Even a program that is "self-supporting" in the long-run, which yours only are if they succeed in bringing prostitutes to the general job market such that they pay enough taxes in their lifetime to compensate for the cost of their rehabilitation, still depend on tax payer dollars to get the ball rolling unless you've left some source of government funds unmentioned besides tax dollars that would pay for these programs.

Moreover, with legalization the funds to offer help to sex-addicts/prostitutes could come *directly* from taxation of prostitution thus never costing the tax payers who don't use their services a dime.

[ Parent ]

It's supposed to be an idiom, but maybe. . . (4.00 / 2) (#55)
by Anonymous 242 on Sat Jul 07, 2001 at 12:23:05 AM EST

Let's look at the reality, for a moment. Early humans were hunter/gatherers. You hunted, or you starved. Those were the choices. These early nomadic "groups" (they were no more "tribes" at this point than a pack of wolves) would have had no serious gender distinctions. There wouldn't have been enough of them. The same is seen today. You don't see one group of apes staying home to do the dishes. They ALL gather food. However, you're going to collect much less food in winter than in summer, so they will also ALL horde food.
And it is quite conceivable that some of these primitive women would get it on with some of the men during times of hording in exchange for some of the food, no? Such would make prostitution the world's oldest profession because, hunting and gathering -strictly speaking- are not professions. Professionals get paid. Subsistance living doesn't qualify as a profession.

But I'm just being pedantic here. Feel free to shoot me down. ;)

[ Parent ]

not a profession... (none / 0) (#82)
by naught on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 03:16:01 PM EST

strictly speaking, hunting and gathering aren't professions. fucking isn't strictly a profession either. any time we fuck we're trading something, even it it's only pleasure.


--
"extension of knowledge is the root of all virtue" -- confucius.
[ Parent ]

YHBT (none / 0) (#87)
by axxeman on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 08:53:49 AM EST

You should write manifestos.

lec·tur·er (lkchr-r) n. Abbr. lectr: graduate unemployable outside the faculty.
[ Parent ]

Just to pick one (5.00 / 1) (#97)
by weirdling on Fri Jul 13, 2001 at 02:40:43 PM EST

There are a lot more women in college in the US now than men. There goes your idiotic inequality idea...

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Don't Just Legalize - Regulate! (3.75 / 8) (#46)
by raven on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 05:22:31 PM EST

It shouldn't be just about legalization - it should be regulated as well, just like any other public health situation. Safe sex should be required and sex workers should require a license and regular health screening to maintain that license. Make the brothels file tax forms for their workers, etc. Hell, I'd love to be able to go down to a nice, clean, safe, affordable brothel and get some action. And I'd prefer to know that the sex workers I encountered were treated professionally and with respect, like anyone else in the service industry.

Not a probable scenario (3.60 / 5) (#48)
by xdroop on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 06:13:03 PM EST

People in the service industry? Treated professionally? By both their employers and their customers? Out of a sincere respect and desire for their best interests?

I'm not refering merely to your proposed sanctioned prostitutes, I discuss the service industry at large here.

Can I have some of whatever you are smoking?
---
xhost +
[ Parent ]

Eh? (3.33 / 3) (#51)
by sventhatcher on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 06:29:42 PM EST

I really thought that this went without saying.

Most institutions in the US are regulated for the safety and well-being of their patrons and/or employee's. I don't know why the sex industry would be any different.

[ Parent ]
There's never any freedom some coercion won't cure (3.00 / 2) (#53)
by Robert Hutchinson on Fri Jul 06, 2001 at 08:44:56 PM EST

It shouldn't be just about legalization - it should be regulated as well, just like any other public health situation. Safe sex should be required and sex workers should require a license and regular health screening to maintain that license. Make the brothels file tax forms for their workers, etc. Hell, I'd love to be able to go down to a nice, clean, safe, affordable brothel and get some action. And I'd prefer to know that the sex workers I encountered were treated professionally and with respect, like anyone else in the service industry.
Yes, because if they're not regulated, you'll be unable to find any sex workers at all who undergo health screenings. After all, what incentive would they have? Their customers dying? Ha! That would never work ... let's regulate! We can't have people choosing to take risks like having unsafe sex, either ... this is America </US-centric>, where you'll be safe or else.

Robert Hutchinson
No bomb-throwing required.

[ Parent ]

Legalize, DONT regulate (2.50 / 2) (#66)
by Gothmolly on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 09:37:24 AM EST

No, the last thing that the U.S. needs is another facet of society placed under regulation. Prostitutes (and all) should be able to place their goods, as free traders, on a free, open market. They should be able to seek police protection when rival prostitutes and/or organized groups FORCE them into service/action (the bitchslapping pimp). They should not be immune to market forces, where a group of prostitutes agrees to lower prices in order to acquire clients. In short, they should stand or fall by the dictates of their consumers' purchasing tastes, not by the whims of a small group of representatives elected by less than the majority of the voting age population of the country.

[ Parent ]
I disagree ... (none / 0) (#79)
by aphrael on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 11:12:02 AM EST

if only for public health reasons: legal prostitutes should be required to get tested for STDs, etc, and should be barred from working in that trade if they have something which is communicable and can't be treated.

[ Parent ]
Big difference (none / 0) (#84)
by nurglich on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 04:55:22 PM EST

Your definitions of "regulation" are entirely different. Yes, prostitution should be regulated in the realm of public health. (e.g. required testing and safety) But no, it should not be regulated economically (e.g. pricing). Most industries have this type of regulation in order to allow the business to operate on freely on the market, while ensuring the costomer isn't unknowingly screwed over. :)

------------------------------------------
"There are no bad guys or innocent guys. There's just a bunch of guys!" --Ben Stiller, Zero Effect

[ Parent ]
please reread the two posts parent to mine (none / 0) (#85)
by aphrael on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 05:18:46 PM EST

and you'll see why i thought GothMolly was objecting to health regulations.

[ Parent ]
some thoughts (4.50 / 4) (#58)
by chale on Sat Jul 07, 2001 at 04:53:01 AM EST

there was a discussion on this subject back in january where i joined the discussion. seems that k5 discusses this on a regular basis.

it's ironic that when some opponents of prostitution discuss it, they call it a profession. as if anyone who takes money for performing sex is a professional without any background or training. sort of like calling anyone who can turn on a computer and type a programmer.

while it would perhaps be better to simply legalise prostitution without limit, there is too much rabid and vocal opposition to do so in society today. so legalisation with regulation is what would happen, if society is sane enough to allow it to happen.

prostitution should be regulated just as any other small business. health and safety concerns (workers and customers) should be adressed as business considerations not moral concerns.

there are larger concerns that need to be worked out with regard to the treatment of all people, whatever their role in life. if society can make significant progress toward a more equitable and tolerant world, prostitution would no longer be seen as a problem.


When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -John Muir

A Prostitution Resource (4.00 / 2) (#64)
by mejake on Sat Jul 07, 2001 at 07:12:55 PM EST

A resource some readers of this discussion might be interested in is the ASP-2 Mailing List (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/asp-2). ASP-2 is a derivative of the alt.sex.prostitution newsgroup, with a lot of the same community that once flourished there, but none of the spam and flamewars. One interesting thing about ASP-2 for many K5ers in this discussion is that it's read by prostitutes (providers) and their clients.

Unfortunately, the list isn't very active lately, but you can read the archives, and the list is still alive -- you can get a provider's viewpoint on these issues, or speak with people active in the sexwork community.



gripes (none / 0) (#88)
by axxeman on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 09:14:52 AM EST

Your link is borked, but for a funny reason.

Oh and when going to the site, I get greeted with

Warning

This group contains adult content.

We're sorry, you have reached an age-restricted area of Yahoo! Groups.

Return to the home page

I guess I'm too old or something.

lec·tur·er (lkchr-r) n. Abbr. lectr: graduate unemployable outside the faculty.
[ Parent ]

what's in the future of a prostitute? (4.66 / 6) (#68)
by nobody00 on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 05:34:56 PM EST

what about the effect of legalization on the futures of the prostitutes?

i'm going to make a couple of assumptions here.

  • most of the prostitutes do what they do due to circumstances beyond their control, not because they grew up wanting to be prostitutes.
  • currently they have very few ways of getting out of the mire of pimps, drugs and the police.
legalization may not prevent the first assumption but it will certainly help them get out of it once they are in. regulation would prevent their exploitation and give hope/means of getting out of it.

IMO, that in itself is a valid reason to legalize it.

what's in the future of a prostitute? (5.00 / 2) (#69)
by mejake on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 01:12:52 PM EST

You said:
i'm going to make a couple of assumptions here. most of the prostitutes do what they do due to circumstances beyond their control, not because they grew up wanting to be prostitutes. currently they have very few ways of getting out of the mire of pimps, drugs and the police.

Your generalizations are probably true for streetwalkers. (But I have to admit, I don't have a lot of experience with streetwalkers.) One of the interesting things I've discovered through moderating the ASP-2 mailing list on egroups/yahoo groups is how many women *like* being prostitutes. They like the money, they like men, and they like the sex.

There's no intrinsic reason why prostitution has to be any more degrading than any other highly personal service, like giving massages or psychotherapy. (And come to think of it, prostitution is pretty close to a combination of those two.) As long as she's cautious and smart, your average higher-level provider will have little or no exposure to the police, and probably doesn't have a pimp. (It's amazing how liberating the Internet has been in helping providers find clients without an agency or a pimp.)

However, most prostitutes don't have the advantages of the more educated, more articulate providers I deal with on ASP-2. (I doubt many streetwalkers have computers.) And for any provider who is in thrall to a pimp, or is forced into unsafe sex practices, or is vulnerable to assault on the street, legalization would be a great boon.

ASP-2 is at this link and at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/asp-2/



[ Parent ]
Anti-prostitution is pro-communism IMHO (4.20 / 5) (#70)
by gbd on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 01:58:12 PM EST

The basic ingredient of a successful capitalist society is a free market that is unburdened by heavy-handed government intervention. It is at best disingenuous to suggest that prostitution (and, more generally, sex) is not a legitimate industry. Look at the revenue streams for men's (and women's!) magazines, adult Web sites, gentlemen's clubs, etc. Sex is one of our country's most thriving industries, and those who suggest that oppressive government intervention is fine in that industry so long as it stays out of other industries have not thought things through very clearly.

You can't have it both ways; either you are opposed to government regulation of industry or you are in favor of it. History has shown, however, that one of these approaches works much better than the other. In fact, I'm looking at a reminder of that fact as I'm typing this (I have a piece of the Berlin Wall sitting on the top of my bookshelf.) To espouse the interventionist philosophy is to put out a death warrant on our own heads; these methods do not work, and history has demonstrated this quite conclusively.

Note that none of this says anything about whether sex is moral or not. The moralilty is a separate issue. For example, I find tobacco to be exceedingly immoral, but I choose to express this sentiment by not supporting the tobacco companies financially. Others would express it by attempting to punish the tobacco companies legally or subject them to totalitarian regulations and oversight. This is the wrong road to go down. You don't have to like an industry to recognize that the best thing for freedom and global stability is to allow it to operate nonetheless. You cannot police the actions of another individual or group of individuals without hijacking their personal freedoms in the name of a collectivist, leftist ideal that has never worked, and will never work.

--
Gunter glieben glauchen globen.

Funny that... (4.00 / 1) (#71)
by SIGFPE on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 02:25:05 PM EST

You cannot police the actions of another individual or group of individuals without hijacking their personal freedoms in the name of a collectivist ideal.
That's funny. To me capitalism looks remarkably like hijacking the freedoms of lots of individuals in the name of a collectivist ideal. Hijacking because property rights entail an obvious sacrifice of freedom and collectivist because people make this sacrifice in order to maximise GDP.
SIGFPE
[ Parent ]
I don't follow (3.00 / 1) (#72)
by gbd on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 03:47:44 PM EST

How is it obvious that property rights entail a sacrifice of freedom?

I own a home, along with the land that it occupies. How does this negatively harm anybody's freedom? I suppose you could say that my owning that particular piece of property prevents you from owning it, but that is hardly "hijacking" freedom from you (or anybody else.) If anything, it is promoting freedom because it embraces a society where people have a right to own things and do with them as they wish without being ordered what to do with them by a leftivist parasitic government.

--
Gunter glieben glauchen globen.
[ Parent ]

No such word as ''leftivist'. Anyway... (4.00 / 1) (#74)
by SIGFPE on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 04:18:51 PM EST

I suppose you could say that my owning that particular piece of property prevents you from owning it
Well I have to agree with you that that'd be a silly claim. But property rights entail the giving up of far more basic freedoms - for example the right to go anywhere I please. The day the first person put up a fence they denied someone else the right to cross it.
If anything, it is promoting freedom
Quite possible. Giving up some freedoms can sometimes result in us gaining other more numerous freedoms. Society is a non-zero sum system.

a society where people have a right to own things
'Owning', of course, doesn't exist in its own right. You can only 'own' stuff if there's a force somewhere prepared to order everyone else not to touch your goods.

There are many differences between the right and left in politics but as far as I can see everything that you point out as a difference between right and left seems to be common to both sides.
SIGFPE
[ Parent ]

Okay .. ("Leftivist" explained) (none / 0) (#78)
by gbd on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 10:52:14 PM EST

Well I have to agree with you that that'd be a silly claim. But property rights entail the giving up of far more basic freedoms - for example the right to go anywhere I please. The day the first person put up a fence they denied someone else the right to cross it.

Okay, but there's another way to look at that. By putting that fence up, I have protected my freedom from trespassers, thieves, and (in general) threats to my family. In other words, some freedoms will most assuredly come at the expense of others. The question is which freedom is more fundamental? The right of a person to walk anywhere and everywhere that he or she chooses, or the right of a family to protect itself from harm? In this case, I think that the latter is the overriding principle.

By the way, "leftivist" is a real world; though it is not widely used world-wide, it is pretty popular in these parts. It refers to the fact that people can be leftist in certain parts of their thinking, but center-right or libertarian in others. (In fact, it is a combination of the words "leftist" and "collectivist.") A person can have far-left social views, but still hold on to more acceptable fiscal (meaning financial) views. For example, a person might condone (say) lesbianism but at the same time be fiercely committed to capitalism. They would then be a leftist (because of their radical social views) but not a leftivist because of their rejection of collectivism. On the other hand, a pro-abortion Marxist would most definitely be a leftivist because of their extremist views on both social and fiscal matters.

In other words, all leftivists are leftists, but not all leftists are leftivists. Confusing enough? :-)

--
Gunter glieben glauchen globen.
[ Parent ]

radical? (4.00 / 1) (#83)
by flimflam on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 03:49:23 PM EST

First of all, I think that the words "left" and "right" are pretty meaningless these days in any sort of discussion or broad social issues. What's left anyway -- any sort of collectivism? A civil libertarian? A communist? An Anarchist? Certainly the Nazi's wouldn't be considered leftists, despite the fact that they were collectivists (to a degree)? The fact is that there are a lot of different ways of seeing the world, and it's simply not possible to categorize them all on a one (or even two) dimensional graph.

Secondly, supporting gay rights or access to abortion makes me a radical and an extremist? I knew I was a radical, but please -- those are pretty main-stream views these days. If, on the other hand, you want to call me a radical and an extremist for advocating the disolution of the state, go right ahead ;-)
-- I am always optimistic, but frankly there is no hope. --Hosni Mubarek
[ Parent ]
Just to make sure (4.00 / 1) (#96)
by weirdling on Fri Jul 13, 2001 at 02:37:07 PM EST

You aren't assuming the government is needed to enforce this idea; it is not. The majority of people, if allowed to, would defend their property *by themselves*, an idea enshrined into the US constitution. Defense of property is something people assume a natural right, and, indeed, every species of animal engages in it. It is one of the most common constructs, appearing continuously throughout history. The idea that there is no property is relatively recent, being the true interloper.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
It *seems* reasonable, at first (5.00 / 1) (#81)
by wnight on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 01:31:36 PM EST

The problem with this "natural right to property" is that it assumes that everyone plays fair.

When people move into a new area, they each take enough land to feed themselves and live comfortable, and then leave the rest for other people. They don't have to claim all the river land because they know their neighbors will leave them fresh clear water.

But, in the real world...

Someone moves in, fences off whole valleys, and denies access to everyone else. Spoils the water, sometimes intentionally to prevent competition, and then hires the landless people to work for him, at slave wages...

Nobody can object to "feed myself and protect my family"... It's the Libertarian equivalent of "Think of the children!" In a perfect world, when someone said "Think of the children" it wouldn't be to justify some draconian restriction on everyone. Similarly, when someone said "feed myself and protect my family" it would be nice if they didn't mean that they'd claim as much of the world as their firepower would allow.


As I see it, the Libertarian "right to property" means some jerk can fence off all the land, and it'd be an "initiation of force" for you to take some of it for yourself. But he can then offer you work at slave wages, or force you to starve, and that's not an initiation of force.


If we all started out with an equal share of property, I'd agree that people would have the right to do whatever they wanted with theirs. But our world was divided hundreds of years ago by people murdering whoever happened to be on it at the time.

Now, the world isn't fair. Yes, I'll agree with that. But I don't see why it's expected that the people who lost out in the "being born rich" contest are expected to "play fair" and not take what they see as a fair chunk of property...


[ Parent ]
Hmmm (4.00 / 1) (#95)
by weirdling on Fri Jul 13, 2001 at 02:32:50 PM EST

Yup, envy is a serious monster. Anyway, the basic problem with your argument is one of lack of numbers. You assert that all property owners are assholes and cause people to work for slave wages. Perhaps where you live, but here in the States, owning property is an easy thing to do. I can't get a credit card due to bad credit, but I just was pre-approved for a mortgage that would allow me to buy a house. Can you believe that?
The fact is that things are nowhere near as bad as you claim.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Prostitution and "Religion". (1.00 / 1) (#89)
by patrick hutton on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 10:16:05 AM EST

I've only had a brief look at comments made about this here so I apologise for any unoriginality. Anyway here is my opinion on it all. Firstly I need to explain where "I'm coming from". I am male, English, 30 years old and a Christian (in the born-again /pentocostal mould). I think it is wrong for the following reasons which are all essentially equal in value. 1) I believe that we are all made in the Image of God therefore prostitution is a denigration of that image. 2) It's forbidden explicitly several times in the Bible. 3) We can see the validity of the above two statements from looking at the consequences and who actually become prostitutes. a. Sexually Transmitted Diseases are more frequent among regular clients, and prostitutes (despite protection) than the general population. b. a large proportion of prostitutes are from "damaged backgrounds" regardless of whether they are "legal" or not. c. money spent by clients on prostitutes is money that often should have been spent on family expenses. d. even where regulated trade occurs the many abuses by pimps, clients and STD continue regardless. e. finally people who get involved in prostitution are next to allways from econcomically deprived backgrounds. Strongly suggesting that this is not a career choice but necissity. A good point regarding legalising it due to it's continuing despite illegality is that this is defeatist. After all murder and rape are occuring every year despite being illegal and punishable by death in some countries. This argument would not be used in these contexts (or at least I hope not.) It would be better to target the pimps and clients and treat the workers as victims unless it can be shown that they aren't. There is a moral dimension as well by legalising and/or turning a blind eye implicitly encourage the activity concerned.

Religion & Law (5.00 / 1) (#90)
by der on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 10:49:39 AM EST

Many of your points are valid, but the ones relating to your religion (while valid for yourself of course) don't apply in a discussion of law. While I respect your religious values, they are not everybody's, and laws should not be set because of a particular religion's belief system.

Basically, Just because you don't like it doesn't mean that everyone should be forbidden from doing it.

[ Parent ]
religion and law (none / 0) (#92)
by patrick hutton on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 11:53:40 AM EST

der, Thanks for your reply. It has however deviated from the title p:who's really get'ing sc'd? my reply to u is going even further off track ;-) so I'll be brief. ""but the ones relating to your religion (while valid for yourself of course) don't apply in a discussion of law."" ""laws should not be set because of a particular religion's belief system."" In that case no opinions apply to law nor any laws set as all opinions are "religious" wether theistic through to atheistic. ie all opinions and answers on laws are effected by a individual's belief (religious or otherwise). ""Basically, Just because you don't like it doesn't mean that everyone should be forbidden from doing it."" It's not a case of what I do or don't like it's a case of what's right or wrong. The above quotation could just as easily be applied to what you think should or shouldn't be forbidden regardless of your spiritual beliefs. To sumarise a individual's opinions, beliefs, and politics all will influence one's opinion. A "religious" opinion is equally valid in any debate as much (or little) as a "non religious" one. Any way this reply is totaly offtopic.

[ Parent ]
Briefly.. (5.00 / 1) (#93)
by der on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 02:39:14 PM EST

... Because yes, the off-topic-ness is getting quite bad, but:

Just so you know where I'm coming from, I think that people should have the freedom to do what they want, as long as they aren't harming others (the argument about whether or not the prostitute is harmed aside). Whether or not you like it (or whether it's "right or wrong" in your opinion - same thing), some guy going off and having sex with a prostitute doesn't harm you or I in any way, so I don't have a problem with it being legal.

There's a lot of things I don't like (or think are "wrong") as well, but I don't think they should be illegal.

[ Parent ]
Back it up man... (5.00 / 1) (#94)
by weirdling on Fri Jul 13, 2001 at 02:28:44 PM EST

You've made a lot of assumptions and assertions without data. Besides, any one of the arguments so far can apply pretty much with minor modifications to any 'sin' law, such as smoking, alcohol, fast cars, etc.
The principle of freedom requires much stronger proof than 'it's morally wrong', as it could be morally wrong to me for everyone to wear red, so I will immediately disallow any argument based on morality.
What I'm looking for are hard numbers to show that pimps continue to mistreat prostitutes where it is legal. Hint: it's legal in Nevada outside Las Vegas, and this is not true there. I also want numbers that show the incidence of people using money better spent on their families to go to legal prostitutes is a) any higher than used to go to illegal prostitutes, and b) any higher than any other social problem, ie, sin, etc. Next, you'll have to demonstrate how come higher incidence of STD is even germaine to the discussion, as it was argued originally that the incidence of STD would decrease were prostitution legalized, so essentially you're arguing that we shouldn't legalize because STD would decrease? Further, the argument that prostitutes are from damaged backgrounds has absolutely no impact on the argument, as a lot of secretaries, are, too...
As to economic necessity, the economic position of a person who has to do something that is illegal can only improve once it becomes legal, as it can be regulated. Once again, this is a reason to legalise it.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Equal value: 0 == 0 == 0 (none / 0) (#101)
by gimbo on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 06:00:31 AM EST

You're correct that your three reasons are equal in value. That value is zero.

-Andy

[ Parent ]
Female Point of View (5.00 / 7) (#91)
by catseye on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 10:59:55 AM EST

I've seen several comments asking how women felt about this, so here's my 2 cents.

I believe that prostitution should be legalized and regulated by the Health Department, for the safety of the prostitute and the customer.

Legalization would eliminate the need for pimps, and prostitutes would be able to go to the police for protection from pimps. Without pimps, the street prostitutes could actually keep their earnings and would not be enslaved.

Legalization would help many of the current streetwalkers (as opposed to escorts) get a bit of their self-esteem back, since they would no longer be criminals. While what they do may not be respected by the general public, at least it will be legal.

Prostitutes would be protected from abusive customers, as they would be able to go to the police to report any attacks. Customers would also be protected from prostitutes, as they would be able to go to the police and file a report that they were robbed or attacked.

Prostitutes would need to have licenses. Before you get up in arms about this, in the USA, the girl that shampoos your hair at the salon needs a license, and they aren't exchanging bodily fluids with you. ;) In order to keep the license to practice, prostitutes should undergo regular screenings for STDs.

Here's where I differ with most. I believe that if a prositute has a treatable STD, they should be prohibited from working until they're cured. If the prostitute has an untreatable disease such as herpes, HIV, etc., they should still be allowed to work, but their license should list the diseases they have and they should be required to disclose that before accepting any money or having any physical contact with the customer. I think it's important to have prostitutes with certain conditions (HIV, herpes, etc.) available because there will always be customers with these conditions. Better they should go to someone who's already infected than attempt to infect someone who's clean.

As well, while it should not be required by law that customers disclose their medical conditions, a prostitute or a brothel could certainly make it policy to have their customers undergo STD screening before providing services.

Personally, I would never go to a prostitute, nor would I become one, but there are many tangible benefits to making it legal and NO tangible benefits to keeping it illegal.



the title (1.00 / 2) (#98)
by strlen on Fri Jul 13, 2001 at 07:47:41 PM EST

is the title supposed to be a pun?

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
Doing it right (5.00 / 1) (#99)
by myschae on Thu Jul 19, 2001 at 08:55:14 PM EST

I think that 'prostitution' should not only be legalized, it should be enhanced. Let me just say up front that I am a woman. And, yes, I consider myself quite liberated.

Throughout history, there have been many cultures who have offered a place for women in their societies to fill those roles. Look at Japanese culture - they had Geisha's. Check out the movie Dangerous Beauty some time, it's about the Italian courteasans.

Perhaps we should think more in terms of Odalisks, Courtesans, or Geisha's rather than prostitutes or whores. Those professions offered more than just fleeting sexual satisfaction and required, in some cases, significant training.

Ofcourse, the significant draw back in ancient days was that, in many cases, poor girls were sold by their families into bondage to serve these roles. I am not advocating this behavior. However, leaving the occupation open to those who wish to pursue it, and enhancing it might benefit all concerned.

Oh, and just to head off any comments about regulation, health, taxation, etc. Yes. I'm all for it. If you're going to do it, do it right.

Prostitution (1.33 / 3) (#100)
by sexyblonde on Thu Jul 19, 2001 at 11:54:23 PM EST

I'm totally against prostitution. I think it's wrong and I don't think the ladies who are working the streets enjoy what they are doing. Instead of throwing these women in jail we need to take that money and educate them so that they can get a better job. Counsel them so that they will have self esteem. Put them in drug treatment programs NOT jail. If MEN would stop paying them for their services maybe we could get a hold on this problem. Also, I don't understand why a man would want to have sex with a woman who has been with thousands of men. Yes, I'm sure she says she uses a condum but I bet if the guy before the current guy gave her an additional $100.00 not to use a condum that she would. It surprises me on how many married men go to prostitutes.

Prostitution: Who's Really Getting Screwed? | 101 comments (93 topical, 8 editorial, 0 hidden)
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