Legalization Prostitution (Sweden) Debate Paper

9 September 2016

Sweden Prostitution is the exchange of sexual relations for economic gain. Most commonly, currency is used for transactions- being the most fluid of assets. Prostitution is a branch from the Sex Industry and is illegal in many countries. Prostitutes may be of either sexual orientation, but historically have been predominantly female. Brothels are specifically dedicated establishments where prostitution occurs. More countries are adopting the notion of ‘decriminalizing’ prostitution, whereby criminal penalties are often lifted.

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Prostitute- Latin: prostituta “to offer up for sale” Sweden – In 1999 the Swedish government passed a law criminalizing those who purchase sexual intercourse but have decriminalized prostitution (those who perform commercial sex work. ) Pimping, procuring and operating a brothel are also illegal. In 2009, both Norway and Iceland adopted similar legislation. Within the public, it is generally seen as a problem and a form of male violence towards women and that the customer is the ‘criminal. ’ – The earliest law on prostitution appears to be in 1734, which outlawed sexual relations outside marriage.

The rationale was partly religious and partly hygienic. -An attempt was made to ban prostitution in 1836, but within a year a state run brothel was established – “Between 1983 and 1993 (particularly 1984–1987 and 1990–1992) some 50 bills were presented dealing with prostitution, many of which included the criminalization of purchase, and there was a major lobby within and without the Riksdag (national legislation assembly) from women’s movements and calls for more commissions” -Wikipedia – In 2004 there were approximately 2,500 prostitutes working in Sweden.

Roughly 75% of workers work in a ‘non-visible’ market – indoors/home, brothels, and escort services. – 12% of Swedish men have admitted to purchasing sexual services. “In Sweden, prostitution is officially acknowledged as a form of male sexual violence against women and children. One of the cornerstones of Swedish policies against prostitution and trafficking in human beings is the focus on the root cause, the recognition that without men’s demand for and use of women and girls for sexual exploitation, the global prostitution industry would not be able flourish and expand.

The buying and selling of sexual services are legal. Solicitation in public is not permitted. The act of exchanging sexual services for money has never been illegal. This is a situation that has caused much controversy within Parliament. The current Conservative government is in favor of stronger sanctions on the matter, but no changes are apparent in the near future of the existing legislation. USA- Prostitution is illegal, except for 11 counties within Nevada. These counties have certain registration and mandatory health checks.

It is illegal for pimping, owning/operating a brothel. “Indoor prostitution became legal in Rhode Island in 1980 due to an unintentional legal loophole created by legislators. The state enacted new legislation closing the loophole on Nov. 3, 2009. ” -Every year, roughly 80,000 citizens are arrested for soliciting -prostitution. procon. org Germany- Prostitution was legalized in Germany in 1927. Pimping and brothel ownership are also legal. There are an estimated 400,000 prostitutes which work in Germany, with roughly 1.2 million patrons- daily. Annual revenues equate to roughly 6 billion euro (same as Adidas and Porsche. ) Netherlands- Officially legal in 2000. Prostitutes are required to register and pay taxes. Required age of at least 18 years old and a minimum customer age of 16 years old. Brothel ownership is legal with certain zoning and licensing requirements. Pimping is also legal, as long as there is no coercion. United Kingdom (incl. Scotland)- Presently it is legal to pay for sex. It is legal soliciting one’s body as well.

New legislation which is said to come into effect later this year will protect women forced into the trade, by making it illegal to purchase sex from a prostitute who is controlled by a pimp. It is illegal to own a brothel and to pimp. China (incl. Taiwan)- It is completely illegal in China, though the Province of Taiwan legalized prostitution on June 24, 2009. A Taipei based advocacy group estimated that there are 600,000 workers in the sex trade. Key Terms: Rape- People who ‘sell their bodies’ putting themselves in risk of potential abuse.

Although, in countries where prostitution is regulated, ex: The Netherlands, rape rates have gone down. In Holland, prostitution is legal as well as licensing a brothel. Economy- If regulated, it could be financially beneficial for the economy. It could be taxed (see Netherlands. ) If legalized and regulated, it could result in a safer work place for both prostitutes and customers. In 2006, Greece’s economy was up 25% due to the aid of prostitutes. Abuse- There seems to be a staggering correlation between prostitutes and child abuse.

In San Francisco, out of 147 prostitutes surveyed, 57% said they were sexually assaulted as children. As adults, 82% have been assaulted while conducting their sex-work. Pimps lower the risk of a prostitute from being assaulted from their customer, but there are many cases whereby the pimp assaults ‘his women’. Sexually transmitted diseases (STD)- Only 3-5% of STD’s are prostitution related, compared to the 30-35% teen rate. It is believed that the percentile for prostitute conveyed STD’s is so low is due to their knowledge of safe sex. In countries where prostitution is legal, it is seen as safersex, for the government regulates it. Main Clashes: * A woman’s right over her body vs. Negative impact on society The view of many on the propositioning side of the legalization of prostitution believe it’s the females right to do whatever she/he deems fit with his/her own body. To limit someone from this right may be seen as ‘un constitutional’ in certain countries. On the other hand, many people view this as an ugly profession, which taints society and its image. Not just the image, but also the negative impact on the youth, which will be inflicted with a ‘skewed’ perception of what, is acceptable.

This, in turn may lead to other promiscuous activities within society. * Objectification and demeaning vs. Right to work Many believe that since the vast majority of sex-workers are female, it makes the female seem ‘cheap’ and that she can be ‘bought. ’ On the other hand, lower class citizens often feel like they have no choice but to do what they can for money. Making prostitution illegal would be viewed as discriminating against the lower classed, impoverished people in society. This also makes the working environment very poor for sex providers and their customers.

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