In the dictionaries, prostitution is defined as an ‘act or practice of engaging in sexual intercourse for money’, but a prostitute can’t be simply a woman who sells her body (money plays a subtle part in all sorts of sexual relationships), since that is done everyday by myriad women who become wives in order to gain a home and livelihood. There are several women in the world who engage in flings with their husbands so as not to be rendered homeless, not to get victimized by domestic violence in negation to their husbands and so on. So for me, prostitution is the act of rendering, non-reproductive sex against payment to the desired clients.
The dangers people vociferate while voicing their discomfort in the legalization of prostitution are that of increase in sexually transmitted diseases, global human trafficking, violent crimes like rapes and homicides. Prostitution is coveted as inherently immoral, commercially exploitative, empowerment of the underworld criminals and it also promotes the repression of women by men. Scientists claim that sex work and psychiatric morbidity are closely associated.
So to wipe off such fears of ‘dangers’, I would love to highlight the title of my write-up. The legitimate prostitution will construct a socially safety valve for single men/women or unhappy married men/women, at a low risk of sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS. This will be ensured because after legalization the government will take appropriate measures towards the health of prostitutes and preventive measures against the diseases as well. The unavailability of registeries/rosters of prostitutes hampers scientific research (that could have been handy to introspect further) and this is because it is considered illicit.
Legalization would suffice with ‘no middlemen, no pimps’ approach and will hence, reduce crime. In the current modern day scenario, slavery, exploitation of vulnerable people and child prostitution are also practiced. These all malpractices can be swayed away from the society by the legalization. When brothels will get legalized then it will tackle with the above mentioned worst aspects of the sex trade; in addition it will also provide access to social and health care.
The regulation of prostitution will increase the tax revenue, help people out of poverty, get prostitutes off the streets, and allow adults to make their own choices, will clear the path for victimless crime and legitimate business just as the institutionalized sex industry does. Strip shows, nude juice bars, massage parlors and saunas, brothels, adult book and video stores, peep shows, live sex shows, sex rings, escort services, mail order brides, street walking and pornography are to name some.
The regulation of prostitution by zoning is a physical manifestation of the same social/psychological stigma that decriminalization advocates allegedly want to avoid. Reflecting the social isolation of those in it, prostitution is often removed from the mainstream. Whether in Turkish genelevs (walled-off multiunit brothel complexes) or in Nevada brothels (ringed with barbed wire or electric fencing), women in state-zoned prostitution are physically isolated and socially rejected by the rest of society.
Last but not the least, I sincerely want to brush away the thoughts people have for prostitution as a threat to the holy knot of matrimony. Sex within a committed relationship is superior to casual sexual contact and the two people start feeling emotionally secure with each other, and this emotional bonding costs no money. These beauties of a committed relationship will appeal to even those who have access to prostitutes. Sex workers provide committed couples a way to gratify needs for sexual variety without risking the emotional attachments arising from sexual affairs.
At the end of the day, let’s accept it: a profession that contributes a whopping 60% towards the economy of Asia can’t be corroded away from the society briskly. So let’s do our bit to at least get prostitution regulated so as to better off the lives of a section of society, who do the hardest job in the world. Let us strive to get them their dues.