Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Why is prostitution illegal? asks a post on Slate.com.
Interesting question... I am not against prostitution. Rather, I think criminalizing prostitution is actually more damaging to women than allowing it to happen. After all, it unfairly targets women as criminals. (What's interesting: it's really, really hard to find crime statistics on prostitution.) I will bet you: the grand majority of female felons have "prostitution" and/or some other form of it on their files.
Men? Doubt it even appears on 10%. In fact, I'd be surprised if it appears on 5%.
I like Sweden's law: decriminalize the sale, criminalize the purchase. There, it's hugely cut into prostitution and allowed for the creation of safer streets. (Note, this is opposite of what I believe should be done about drugs: criminalize the sale, decriminalize the purchase.)
Regardless, there is an excellent website -- ProstitutionProCon.org -- that goes over in detail the pro's and con's of legalization and/or decriminalization. (It's where the pictures to the left and at the bottom come from, btw). The website also has some crime statistics, but no info on the sex of the offendee.
What is the value, ultimately? Nevada seems to be doing fine, as does Amsterdam. *shrug* I say protect the victims -- if, indeed, prostitution is mostly the result of drug use and poverty (not the high class whores that Eliot Spitzer were purchasing), then we are protecting them by decriminalizing them.
...I wonder if Swedish gals have found the loophole: purchasing a ticket INTO a brothel or INTO a room, rather than paying for the sex, you're paying for the right to be in the building, not for the sex.