Prostitution in Nevada and United States Prostitution
Prostitution is “the act or practice of engaging in promiscuous sexual relations especially for money.”(#1). What many people do not know is that prostitution is legal in many nations.“61% of nations all over the world have legalized at least some kind of prostitution. Since 1971, it has been legal in rural counties in Nevada, where about 300 women work in brothels regulated by local ordinances.”(#2). Although some say prostitution is wrong , more than half of the world’s nations including the state of nevada have made it legal ,with restrictions of course.
“Nations differ in the kinds of regulations imposed on legal actors. Some restrict it to designated parts of the city, while others allow it to be more dispersed. Some mandate regular health examinations to check for STDs. Some require condom use, while others simply encourage it. Some require sex workers to be registered with the authorities, though is widely opposed by the workers, who fear that this information may become publicly available. Most require business owners (of brothels, escort agencies, saunas) to be licensed, and the authorities conduct periodic site visits to ensure that the regulations are being complied with.
Where such licensing exists, officials often screen applicants to make sure that they have no criminal record or connections to organized crime.” (#2). The many places that do allow prostitution differ on their way of restricting and regulating what happens and how the prostitutes are treated.“In 49 states of the United States prostitution is a crime, punishable by fines, public outing, prison time and a number of other, unpleasant things that vary from one jurisdiction to another. Nevada is the only state that has made prostitution legal, and the result? Leaps and bounds in tourism revenue, tax revenue shot through the roof and the state has attracted thousands more residents and businesses inside its borders.
If prostitution is so good for a state though, there has to be a downside somewhere, right? After all, prostitution is associated with sexually transmitted diseases, infidelity, drug use, violent crime, illegal immigration and organized syndicates just to name a few. However all of these things, except perhaps for the infidelity, go away when prostitution is made legal. Just because prostitution (which is documented as one of the world’s oldest professions, mind you) is illegal, this doesn’t make the demand for sex go away.
The same is true for the prohibition on alcohol that went on during in the early part of the twentieth century. And what did making alcohol illegal do? It made everyone who had regularly consumed it a buyer in a black market, which meant that rather than dealing out in public with reputable figures they had to deal with bathtub gin manufacturers and home brew specialist.”(#3).As seen in places where prostitution is legal one cannot deny the fact that leaps have been made towards the better.
Legalizing prostitution could be very beneficial , for example helping the United States economy, aiding the criminal justice system, stopping the spread of STD, and much more.Prostitution is not necessarily a topic people talk about when it comes to helping the U.S. economy, but what many don’t know is that it could potentially help the economy greatly.
The biggest impact that the legalization of prostitution can have on the economic sector is through the generation of revenue in the form of income taxes. Findings by Chris Ayres of The Times indicate that, “ based on the current rates of income of an employee at a Nevada brothel, the ability to generate tax revenue is bound to contribute at least $20,000 in federal income taxes per year per person. Using the current estimate of over one million women prostituted in this nation, this industry is bound to raise at least $20 billion per year . It is needless to say that money generated from this industry can go a long way towards helping the nation, as it can be used to build homeless shelters, further education, fix highways.”(#4).
Just the simple act of taxing a now legal job like prostitution would undoubtedly help the economy and the nation.Legalized prostitution can also help address the problem of unemployment in this nation, ultimately helping the economy. Among the many economic struggles, unemployment seems to be one of the biggest.”According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012), five million Americans are currently unemployed long-term. This results in the inability for many to provide a comfortable living for themselves, as well as their families.
The Prostitutes’ Education Network (2008) states that over one million Americans, which is about 1% of the population, have worked as prostitutes at one point or another in their lifetime.”(#4). This shows that people are willing to part-take in this industry if necessary. These one million , though only 1% of the population, could potentially help with the unemployment rate. There may be even more people willing to join this profession, but they stay away from it because it is illegal. All these facts backup the idea that legalizing prostitution may decrease the unemployment rate and ultimately benefiting the economy.The Criminal Justice System would also be greatly affected by the legalization of prostitution.
“According to findings by Howard N. Snyder of the Bureau of Justice Statistics (2012), the state of California alone had a total number of 11,334 people arrested for prostitution in the year 2010. Considering a significant amount of time and effort is put into fighting prostitution and keeping prostitutes from the public streets, legalized prostitution would reduce the amount of street monitoring needed, as most prostitutes would be in brothels.”(#4).
Because prostitution is illegal the law force has to monitor the streets, taking time away from officers who could focus on more important crimes. If prostitution was legalized the fines for prostitution would go away, less people would be unemployed , and the law force could help with more important things in the community. In addition, to the freedom to focus on other safety issues, the legalization of prostitution would help the Criminal Justice System to address the problem of overpopulation in correctional facilities, and help the process of prison rehabilitation. “ In the state of Texas for example, more than three hundred and fifty prostitutes occupy bunks in state prisons (Associated Press, 2012). Although this is not a significant amount, all it takes is an additional number of one hundred inmates to create overpopulation in a facility intended to house a thousand”(#4).
If prostitution was legal, the number of these people in the facilities would disappear, eliminating overcrowding. Without having to spend money to accommodate, feed, and dress the incarcerated prostitutes, not only is the state now saving money, but it’s also allowing money to be spent on the other prisoners who need it for their rehabilitation.
“The legalization of prostitution would ensure the protection of the prostitutes involved, eliminating the need for victimization cases related to the job. According to Linda Lowen of about.com (2002), a lot of prostitutes are abused by pimps, or even clients, yet fail to report the incidents to law enforcement due to fear of being arrested for prostituting in the first place.” (#4). Because prostitution is illegal , prostitutes can’t even report anything done to them to the law enforcement , their safety is at risk and no one can do anything about it. “Making prostitution legal will allow the act to be managed instead of ignored.
Pimps and organized crime figures, who regularly treat their workers on subhuman levels, would no longer control women. In some countries, prostitute rings buy and sell women on the black market, force their women to comply through violence and create unhealthy working conditions. When prostitutes operate independently and in secret, many times they become abused by their own customers”.(#5). Legalizing prostitution would make way for communication between law enforcement and the prostitutes themselves. With legalization, the danger of having to go somewhere discreet and dangerous is eliminated , due to the fact that the prostituting would be done primarily at a brothel.Both the customer and the prostitute would be at little to no risk of any danger, benefiting the criminal justice system and the nation as a whole.
A very important subject that is brought up when talking about legalization of prostitution is health and STDs. “Prostitutes overwhelmingly work outside the law. This has implications for their health that are hard to quantify. In one Australian study carried out in 1998, the prevalence of sexually transmitted bacterial infections was 80 times greater in 63 illegal street prostitutes than in 753 of their legal brothel counterparts….
Legally sanctioned encouragement of prostitutes to use condoms or access screening services, both major determinants of the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases, is impossible because of their illegal status. Occupational health and safety law is applied to prostitutes in lawful brothels but not to their counterparts on the street.” (#6). When someone thinks about prostitution, usually what comes to mind is STD infestation, which is not the case. Because illegal prostitutes aren’t forced by anyone to get checked up they are usually unaware if they have STDs. and will spread them without even knowing,increasing the STD rate in that region.
In Australia, where sex for money is legal, the rate of HIV infection among female prostitutes is so low that prostitution has been removed from the list of known risk factors in HIV surveillance. In the U.S., reliable information is more difficult to come by, but a 1987 Centers for Disease Control study found very low infection rates among prostitutes. At a brothel, condoms would be necessary each and every time during the engagement of sexual activity. Which would greatly reduce the spread of STDs. Not only condoms, but weekly checkups for every prostitute in the brothel would be necessary. Prostitutes would also most likely have to be on a birth control pill, so if the condom doesn’t work they still wont get unwanted pregnancies.
With weekly check ups, birth control pills, and condoms being necessary the spread of STDs and unwanted pregnancies would be nearly eliminated. “…Prostitution is perhaps the ultimate victimless crime: a consensual transaction in which both parties are supposedly committing a crime, and the person most likely to be charged—the one selling sex—is also the one most likely to be viewed as the victim…It’s the criminalization of prostitution that does take actual victims…As with other victimless crimes, the criminalization of prostitution creates a vast breeding ground for corruption, hypocrisy, and morally dubious law enforcement tactics.”.”(#7). Prostitution is illegal in the U.S. ,because most people see it as a crime.
If prostitution was any kind of crime it would be a victimless one. It’s considered a victimless crime due to the fact that the act is happening between two consenting adults that agreed to have sex because they both want to gain something. To disagree with the legalization of prostitution morally makes sense, but the facts show that it could be very beneficial to the economy, and because of so, it should be legal.“Prostitutes are not committing an inherently harmful act.
While the spread of disease and other detriments are possible in the practice of prostitution, criminalization is a sure way of exacerbating rather than addressing such effects. We saw this quite clearly in the time of alcohol prohibition in this country.”(#7). Legalizing Prostitution is comparable to the legalization of alcohol back in 1933. During the alcohol prohibition gangs and small groups of people would sell alcohol illegally, because it was a good way to make money and gain power.
Later the twenty first amendment was passed legalizing alcohol, which allowed the government to control the distribution and tax it. Legalizing alcoholstimulated the economy and provided the government with much-needed tax revenue and stopped gangs from gaining power through illegal sales, ultimately lowering organized crime associated with alcohol. Legalizing prostitution would be like ratifying the 21st amendment.
As history shows ,by legalizing something illegal and taxing it, the government is able to control it, help the economy, and potentially lower crime.Personally I see prostitution as a job that could help a majority of the unemployed in the U.S. It’s not moral to have sex for money, but sometimes people just don’t have any other way of making the money they need, to maintain; a roof over their head, clothes on their back, and food in their stomach. The fact that the industry is bound to raise at least $20 billion per year is ridiculous and it surprises me that the nation, as a whole, hasn’t decided to legalize a potential job the many unemployed Americans could take on.
About 1 million U.S. citizens have admitted to have worked as a prostitute at one point or another in their lifetime, which is crazy because they could have done it and kept doing it as a proper job if it was legal. Because prostitution is not legal the law force is required to watch the streets for prostitutes when the law force could be out stopping more important matters. Not to mention, by legalizing prostitution, correction facilities would most likely cease to be overcrowded, saving taxpayer’s money for more important things. With prostitution being legal, there would be no need for a “pimp”.
Gangs would lose power and pimps would eventually disappear. Prostitutes are forced to work in dangerous areas due to the fact of not wanting to be caught doing something illegal, putting their life at risk. At a brothel , violence towards the prostitute would be very unlikely. As for STDs ,they would be very rare and unlikely to spread among prostitutes working in a brothel that has checkups and certain requirements. One of the most important things to remember is that prostitution is not a harmful act, but a victimless crime. There’s no reason to fine or arrest a prostitute, sure it may seem gross, but they’re not hurting anyone.It is the most victemless crime a victimless crime could get, considering what’s happening is between two consenting adults. Prostitution should be legal across the U.S. and not frowned upon, like so many do. People need to realize it’s just another job; just another way for one to make money and provide for themselves and/or their family.