>Should prostitution be legalised?

>

You can see this as either the ancient question: “is prostitution a vice and are those involved evil or somehow lacking in judgment?”

Or you can see it in a more modern light: “is prostitution a form of exploitation to be abolished or an occupation that cannot be detroyed and therefore must be regulated?”

P.S. The map correlates to the existing legal status throughout Europe:

  • Green – Prostitution legal and regulated
  • Blue – Prostitution legal but organized procuring illegal
  • Red – Prostitution illegal
  • Grey – No data

12 comments

  • >If you're a bit confused as to how it works in the blue countries this is an example: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/feb/22/suffolkmurders.ukcrime5

  • >Why should it be considered a vice ?Why should someone who chooses to make money using a skill that pays better than the other skills they have to offer be considered "lacking in judgement" ?If the prostitutes are given all the same legal rights as other workers, and are self employed, how are tehy being exploited ?Basically, you've started the question on the wrong side. The real question should have been "Are the people who judge and discriminate against prostitutes religious fundamentalists or are they just lacking in judgement".

  • >Simple question, really. What's the safest place to work: down some grotty alleyway, late at night, vulnerable to all manner of scumbags or in a clean, licensed brothel with security on hand in case anyone starts smashing your face in? Yeah, it's a pity that some people – women and men – find they need to sell themselves and it'd be great if it never happened. But it does, always has done and always will do – so let's try to prevent any more prostitutes being beaten or killed.Joseph

  • >I'm surprised that we're so far all on the liberal side of this debate. I also think it should be legal and regulated i.e. like the green countries.However I do think it needs to be minimised wherever possible. Sean I agree that prostitution should not be considered a moral vice. Yet I don't think there are many prostitutes who really want to do what they do, especially not in the developing world where the problem is biggest. So I think that legalisation and regulation is, as Joseph says, a step towards ensuring safety (both from organised, including sex slavery, and unorganised crime). But the next step should be ensuring that other economic opportunities are available for those who want out. And there also needs to be non-economic help e.g. psychological, for people who at the end of the day are statiscally likely to have led very poor lives and therefore find it difficult to 'fit in' elsewhere. Simply put, where the demand exists the supply will too, and some people really do need it as a source of income. Many people think rich Western European states are largely free from prostitution, yet France only last month had a leading politician propose full legalisation and regulation for the reasons we discuss above. And the UK has thousands of sex slaves imported every year. And yes I do mean slaves. There are likely to be hundreds of thousands of sex slaves in Europe today, and are definitely more than have ever existed in human history in the world (there are 27 million slaves in the world today, and that's just who we know of!).

  • >Slavery is illegal in all civilised countries, no matter what industry the slaves are put to work in, e.g. making shoes or providing sex.All slavery is wrong and yes there should be much greater efforts to stamp it out within the sex industry.Did you know that the human trafficking trade was partly fuelled by the UN involvement in the Balkans ? (The Natashas by Victor Malarek).Sex slavery/human trafficking deserves it's own post so people can propose ideas on how to combat it.But back to the prostitution question.Rob, I don't think that you can make the statement that there aren't many prostitutes who choose this work.Do you think the girl who was in the news last week for sleeping with Ribéry for a few thousand pounds, did so against her will ?Or the ladies from Heidi Fleiss' stable who slept with hollywood stars, most notably Charlie Sheen, for thousands of dollars ?Or the lady who slept with the Governer of NY, Elliot Spitzer, for supposedly $8000 per night.I would say these ladies happily enjoyed their work.Obviously some ladies have less well-groomed clientele, and their job must be far less enjoyable, but can't you say this about any industry ? Jamie Oliver vs the guy who works at the chip shop in a council estate ? Mark knofler vs the guy who busks in the cold for a few bucks ?Next, I agree with you and Joseph that more regulation is needed in this industry to ensure safety, and the mental and physical welfare, of those who work within it.Finally I disagree with your statement that more slaves exist now than at any other time in human history. Did you know Africa has been reported as providing over 500 million slaves during its documented history ? And that the majority of these slaves were not sent to the U.s. or the U.K., but were sent to Eygpt or used by the dominant tribes in Africa.

  • >"Rob, I don't think that you can make the statement that there aren't many prostitutes who choose this work." Wrong. You can't contradict it. Dr Gabor Mate has vast experience working with prostitutes and other poverty stricken people in Vancouver's downtown Eastside. In his latest book "In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts" Mate says that throughout his whole life he has never met a prostitute without serious background problems. In fact there were remarkable similarities, he said, between most prostitute's histories with child abuse almost universal.Those cases you give are firstly extreme cases, and secondly complete guesses on your behalf. Would you take thousands of pounds to sleep with some of the hottest stars? But would you become a full time prostitute? There is a difference between prostituting and being a prostitute. I'm sure many prostitutes have 'good' clients. It does not mean they want that life!Your comparison of prostitutes to people like Jamie Oliver is quite frankly a joke. As is your disputation of the fact I gave about slavery. You can't dispute facts, only opinion. The figure you give about 500 million refers to an extensive time period. The 27 million slaves that exist today is a higher number than existed at the height of the slave trade. Slavery is simply cheaper today.You could disagree about the definition of slavery but there would be few who agree with you:A few links for you: http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0901/p16s01-wogi.htmlhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slaveryhttp://matadorchange.com/10-shocking-facts-about-global-slavery-in-2008/http://www.antislavery.org/english/slavery_today/what_is_modern_slavery.aspxhttp://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/modern-slavery-united-kingdomhttp://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/slavery-worse-now-than-under-roman-empireslaves-are-cheaper-and-more-plentiful-than-ever-626493.html

  • >Regarding Dr. Mate's study of prostitutes in Vancouvers downtown Eastside, this is to be expected in what the below link calls "Canadas poorest postal code".http://www.dominionpaper.ca/articles/909It is full of people who are in the area because they have no other choice, homeless people, drug addicts, etc,.Prostitution, theft, crime, and violence are often the only means for people who find themselves in this neighbourhood to acquire money.In essence the sample population you quoted him working with is a biased population. If you read the same article above you will see it mentions that the place is also renowned for police violence.Applying the logic you used would entail coming to the conclusion that Canada's law enforcement officials are all thugs.Next comes your accusation that these are "Complete guesses on my behalf". You are talking about my statement "the ladies are not sleeping with them against there will" right?Please see the link below where Ribéry's lady says "I loved them all" in regards to the 3 footballers she slept with.http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1267805/Franck-Riberys-underage-prostitute-Zahia-Dehar-breaks-silence.htmlSo please tell me how it is a guess, and further, how it is inaccurate.Next, why is my comparison with Jamie Oliver a joke ? Please explain.Finally, I did read some of the links you posted, particularly the Wikipedia one. I was interested to see that you had quoted directly from Wiki "there are approximately 27 million slaves in the world today, more than at any point in history".It's funny how you refuse to accept the veracity of Wikipedia when others quote from it, but you are more than happy to use it to support your own arguments -"How many professors have you heard telling you not to use Wikipedia?" (Rob's comment at http://blog.thebigqs.co.uk/2009/12/european-appointments.html#comments).

  • >"In essence the sample population you quoted him working with is a biased population." Yes you're right. However most prostitutes do abide in socially deprived areas. So this is actually the majority. For another example see http://www.springerlink.com/content/p52453t83r2w66l2/Here you can read that Dr Allen concludes very few male prostitutes have a "reasonable expectation of an eventually stable social adjustment." And this small proportion is that proportion of men who prostitute themselves part time and temporarily to get through education or particularly difficult times."Applying the logic you used would entail coming to the conclusion that Canada's law enforcement officials are all thugs." Huh? Can you explain that to me?"You are talking about my statement "the ladies are not sleeping with them against there will" right?" No. I was talking about your extrapolation to apply this to all other prostitutes."Next, why is my comparison with Jamie Oliver a joke ? Please explain." Because it's completely different. Jamie Oliver's career is nothing alike other than that both careers work inside the markets and abide by the laws of supply and demand. Jamie Oliver's character, background, target market, level of wealth, social circle etc etc are all different.Next, you said I quoted from Wiki. Let's compare. My quote: "there are 27 million slaves in the world today, and that's just who we know of!"Wiki's quote, given by you: "there are approximately 27 million slaves in the world today, more than at any point in history". A little bit different wouldn't you think? I found the wiki link when you doubted the number. It took me 30 seconds to find that list of links referring to the number and I copied and pasted them in to show you. I believe I originally found the fact last year from Anti-Slavery International (you can check some of the documents on this site for past references). And when I spoke against Wiki before I was not saying that it's a bad site. It's very good for general background information. It should simply never be trusted alone (I admitt it shouldn't be quoted in academic literature at all though). It gives a simple view that needs verification, as I provided with other links.

  • >* Where I said "No. I was talking about your extrapolation to apply this to all other prostitutes." I should have said 'No. I was talking about your extrapolation to apply this to 'many' other prostitutes.'

  • >I am a prostitute and would not describe myself or most of the other girls I have worked with as "evil". Alot of girls who choose prostitution as a career have a history of childhood abuse, both emotional and physical as well as sexual.I have also met a few girls who do the job because they enjoy it, however, they are in the minority.The act of prostitution is not illegal in this country. However, soliciting and living off immoral earnings is.I certainly feel that driving the business further underground by imposing stricter penalties is not the answer. This will only result in isolating the girls further from society and thus adding to their vulnerability.After 15 years of working in massage parlours and for escort agencies mainly in the UK, I am now attempting to exit sex work.I write a blog which is a combination of reflection and memoirs from the last 15 years.http://theactressinme.blogspot.com

  • >Thanks for your comments Christina. Your site is very good; I'm now following. I admire you very much for both your ability to leave, and also in how you are telling the world your story. Keep up the good work. All of us need to know more about the profession of prostitution, which is too often categorised simply as something that is 'bad' and not worthy of discussion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s