Prostitution Should Be Legalized
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Politics and Activism

Prostitution Should Be Legalized

Sex Workers Operate a Legitimate Business

Prostitution Should Be Legalized

There are several reasons why prostitution is referred to as the “world’s oldest profession”, the first being that this is objectively true. According to historians, sexual relations for profit date back to the Ancient Mesopotamian culture. The need to satiate one’s sexual desire is as old as human civilization. You would think that sex work would be thought of as a necessary component of human existence. After all, the field of prostitution is merely filling a niche that will always have a demand. However, women who engage in prostitution in Massachusetts, for example, face jail time and a hefty fine as well . A common argument against the legalization of prostitution is that the sex trade both harms and demeans the women who are involved in it. Although this may be true in a certain context, I find this logic to be demeaning towards women in general.

By claiming that women need protection from males assumes two things:

1. Women are frail and emotionally vulnerable people who subsequently require a paternalistic sort of protection from the state


2. Women are not in control of their own bodies and personal choices.

After all, if one truly wants to improve the lot of women who are unwillingly trapped in the commercial sex business, criminalizing the profession they are forced to be a part of certainly doesn’t help. I also believe that there are those who advocate a continued prohibition of sex work that are inherently anti-woman. The socially conservative members of this country claim that these laws are protecting women from engaging in harmful choices. The condescending nature of this belief greatly offends me.

As someone that believes in individual liberty and the inherent autonomy of each and every person, I accept the fact that there are those who make choices that I may have no desire to engage in. However, either my or someone else’s moral outrage is not a sufficient reason for the government to get involved. It is not the job of the government to legislate morality. Period. I am also someone that generally assumes the government causes more ill than good, so I see no reason why a fully-functioning adult cannot sell a specific service on the free market.

I take issue when the government attempts to infantilize sex workers and claims that laws prohibiting prostitution are there for protection. It should also be important to ask that, if these laws are in place for ostensibly protecting women, then who exactly is harmed if an act of prostitution takes place? If the act occurs between two consenting adults, than it truly is a “victimless” crime. The libertarian economist Milton Freidman was quoted as saying that "the most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit."

In a commercial sexual transaction this is most certainly the case. It is time that we end the archaic and draconian anti-prostitution laws and fully decriminalize and deregulate this ancient institution.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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