Legal prostitution is common sense


Recently, Nye County in the state of Nevada decided to legalize male prostitution, making it the first time in history that men have been able to sell sex legally. This is great news for men and women alike, but it shouldn’t even be news. There are no reasons to keep male and female prostitution illegal in the United States. The benefits of legalization are worthy of relieving the negative stigma that prostitution carries.

According to the TNS global research firm, 30 percent of single men aged 30-year-old and older have paid for sex at least once in their lives. We need to accept that there is a market for sex, and people are certainly buying.

Prostitution, as defined by University of Tennessee Political Science professor John M. Scheb, is the practice of selling sexual favors. This practice is currently legal in many counties of the state of Nevada, though only eight counties are actively involved in the business.

Many argue that prostitution is a matter of morality; that it’s immoral to sell sex. But, just because something is illegal does not mean it will stop. After all, illicit drugs are as easy to acquire as legal ones, prohibition created a complex, underground moonshine business and we still speed despite clearly posted signs.

Keeping the prostitution status quo in the United States only decreases transparency of the problems it perpetuates. With prostitution criminalized as it is, we see sexually transmitted infections (STIs) spread, HIV/AIDS detection rarified, and prostitutes are victimized with violence due to pimping.

Furthermore, a study by Evangelina Giobbe for the non-profit organization, Prostitution Research and Education, found that 80 percent of prostitutes become involved with pimps throughout their careers. Giobbe also found that pimps use the threat of disclosing prostitutes to the public in order to control them. If the concern is that prostitution is some sort of slavery, then it’s logical to legalize it so that pimps and their threats become obsolete.

The state of Nevada requires that prostitutes be tested weekly for chlamydia and gonorrhea and monthly for HIV/AIDS. Additionally, prostitutes are required to wear a condom for all oral sex and sexual intercourse. These are strict guidelines that should be enforced in every state by the health department if prostitution were to be legalized. Not only would this prevent rampant spread of STIs and HIV/AIDS to customers, but it would alert prostitutes of possible problems.

Additionally, prostitutes in Nevada are expected to pay income tax but not state tax. Prostitution should be treated like any other profession and be taxed just as harshly. What helps an economic depression like the one we are in more than money? Legalizing prostitution would mean more people can be charged income tax and more people can be charged sales tax.

If that wasn’t enough, the unemployment rate is 9.7 percent in the United States according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the eight counties where legal prostitution is active in Nevada, it has created around 300 jobs total. Assuming that all states create an average of 300 jobs, we could provide jobs for 15,000 people in a matter of months.

It’s obvious that there is a market for sex; need I remind us of Elliot Spitzer or maybe Charlie Sheen? There’s no doubt that we need the money. We need to decrease violence in our streets and we need to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and STIs. The solution is right in front of us but hides behind old-time laws and misconceptions. The oldest profession in the world is ready for our acceptance.