The Legality and Morality of Prostitution
Within a society every man lives under a rule of law. Without laws injustice can occur, therefore, the purpose of a rule of law is to influence what we do through the use of authoritative fgures such as police or the government. Rules of law are made to protect the rights of every individual while aiming to maintain public order and control (Hart 263). If a law is violated the authorities see that it is punishable by law. Morality is an ethical issue that is structured to enhance survivability among society, and is subjective, never absolute.
According to Immanuel Kant, morality deals with what we ought to do; something is good if it attains positive value to help us survive – having moral instrumental value (Kant 112). Kant further states that a rule for actions to be morally acceptable is for it to treat humanity as an end in itself, and never as a mere means (102).
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If an action (such as prostitution) satisfies all the conditions described above, the said action has proven to be both moral and capable of being a law, therefore, legal.
Prostitution – the business of engaging in sexual relations in exchange for payment in money or other things of value (Merriam – Webster). Prostitution is currently unregulated and according to Cecilia Hoffman that violates the right to physical and moral integrity and violates the prohibition of torture and cruel degrading treatment (Hoffman 97). Prostitution is currently one of the leading vectors for AIDS infection and prostitutes tend to increase risk exposure to HIV due to their many partners.
It is impossible to talk about prostitution as a whole because every situation varies but, Just in America 80,000 citizens are arrested yearly for soliciting sex. Prostitution is currently legal and regulated within 22 countries, but, once egalized has lead to the expansion of the prostitution market; increasing human trafficking (Neuymayer 61). Human trafficking is the biggest issue faced with the legalization of prostitution and also a reason as to why certain states have held back on adding prostitution to their legislative agenda.
Although the human trafficking issue is an important factor to take into account, it should not be an issue in deciding the concerning matter that is; the legality and morality of the act of prostitution. A law, as previously stated serves to protect the rights of individuals and to aintain public order and control. If said law is violated it can be punishable to various degrees as seen fit to each case. Prostitution then, can be proven to fall into the capacity of being a law therefore, legal.
The men and women that solicit this activity tend to more than often have their rights violated the most among any other individual. Currently the murder rate for an American prostitute is 204 for every 100k making prostitution, the oldest profession in America, as well as the most dangerous job in America. To prevent the danger that comes along with this activity and to rotect prostitutes human rights, a rule of law seems necessary to ensure that order and control is maintained throughout this business.
Along with regulation and control through the rule ot law would come protection trom abuse tor these individuals. Authorities would aid in the regulation and see to punish those who violate the rights and dehumanize prostitution workers. On the issue of morality; morality is a code that is used to guide what we ought to do. For an action to be moral one must ask themselves what they ought to do. If the morality of an action is being questioned, the answer to what is acceptable to do can e answered through testing the action to see if it satisfies 2 conditions.
If said action has an end result that attains positive value as well as ensuring the treatment of others as an end and not mere means, the action is then said to be morally correct. For several people morality is a code used to guide what is acceptable or not, as well as a factor that helps influence or dictate what should be legalized. Prostitution when examined falls under the morality code and can be argued to be morally acceptable. Most prostitutes that partake or solicit this activity do so for monetary payment. A payment earned then used for survival in the world or to help maintain a standard of living for themselves and/or loved ones.
The act of prostitution then attains a positive value because it is an action that helps a group of people survive and reduces suffering. If one were to simply use the prostitute for their lust or need without pay which occurs often (abuse) it can be said that the person has treated the prostitute as a means and not as an actual person violating a condition for morality. Monetary payment is viewed as a form of gratitude or “gift” to the prostitute treating the rostitute as an end in itself, satisfying the 2 conditions to make prositution morally correct in this case.
Prostitution then, has satisfied the conditions for it to be morally and legally acceptable because it protects and allows the prostitute’s actions to be considered morally correct. The objection that it is wrong to pay someone for sexual activity because it treats them as an object or means rather than an end to serve our needs is invalid. If this were true then there would be several other transactions that could be considered immoral such as paying others to cook, or clean for us. No one eems to find anything immoral or disturbing about these services so why is sex forbidden to sell or considered immoral?