Prostitution Synthesis Essay
The U. S. ’s economy is a scapegoat for so many of its other problems these days. People are constantly attributing their own hardships as a direct result of the economy. Now what if there was a way that the economy could be improved? The majority of society would be open to anything if it helped this cause. However, what if the variable that could improve this economy was the legalization of prostitution? Would the potential economical benefits outweigh the immoral perceptions of prostitution?
While it seems that all of society would agree on keeping prostitution an illegal profession, clearly there are a handful of people who strongly support the opposite. According to Dennis Hof, the owner of Moonlight Bunny Ranch (one of Nevada’s largest brothels), if other states were to legalize prostitution, the economy would reap immediate benefits due to taxation on the sex trade. He elaborates, “The federal government receives $6 billion a year now, off of liquor… the prostitution industry in America is about an $18 billion business, and none of that money goes into the federal coffers or goes to pay taxes.
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” Based off of those projections, the government would receive triple the amount of money or a thirty-three percent increase (Kennedy, 2012). Now take the Netherlands as an example. Prostitution is not only a legal practice in their country but it is also a booming part of the tourism trade making up to one hundred million dollars annually. It works like this. The majority of the cities in this European country have red-light districts.
Miriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines a red-light district as “a part of an urban area where there is a concentration of prostitution and sex-oriented businesses, such as sex shops, strip clubs, and adult theatres. ” To summarize, the women who work in these areas are, in essence, owning and controlling their very own business. It is not like the sex workers are walking around suburban neighborhoods catering to families; they are off in their own domain and will not be encountered unless someone approaches them.
An argument could also be made that it improves the safety of the women because now they do not have to hide in vehicles and deserted street corners when they are working with a customer. Petter Holme (2012) discussed how women in the sex practice conduct their work in a “business” building so the chances of getting attacked are lower. The government then concludes the operation by verifying the health and safety of the women and collecting taxes from each red-light district. On the contrary, would the economical strides be beneficial enough to look past the possible deteriorating that the legalization of prostitution could have on society?
Kamala Kempadoo (2012), the author of the book Trafficking and Prostitution Reconsidered, detailed that of the former prostitutes she interviewed, all of them agreed that their jobs could be classified as “paid slavery” and “voluntary rape. ” She followed that up with some other grim statistics: seventy percent of them confirmed that they had been threatened with physical violence at least once and sixty percent of them had actually experienced an instance of physical assault (Kempadoo, 2012). Physical violence was not the extent of the trauma and damage though.
According to Lyn Stankiewicz Murphy (2010), who writes in the Issues in Mental Health Nursing journal, 68 percent of the women who were involved in prostitution suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder once they attempted to move on from their previous professions and put the past behind them. That statistic includes women from areas where prostitution is legal and where it is not legal too. Horrifically, that number is significantly higher that the percent of soldiers returning home from overseas (Stankiewicz Murphy, 2010).
Martha Irvine (2013) of the Spartanburg Herald reported that the former Mayor of Amsterdam, Job Cohen, admitted that while the legalization of prostitution did help out economically it also led to a rapid increase in crime highlighted by the expansion of sex trafficking. Sex trafficking is defined as the sale or trade of humans for sex. Irvine revealed that following the legalization of prostitution an astronomical eighty percent of women involved in the business had been a part of trafficking.
There is really no way to find out whether or not the legalization of prostitution would indeed be beneficial for the U. S. ’s economy without actually legalizing it. As one can infer from the previous paragraphs there are experts who believe that it would and there are those who have their doubts. It seems evident that it would without a doubt present some form of financial gain. The question remains though: would the economy be improved enough to justify the possible negative effects that prostitution could have on society?