Prostitution
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17-09-2010, 08:04 AM
 
RE: Prostitution
(17-09-2010 07:42 AM)BnW Wrote:  That is a fair and very valid point.

However, it assumes that there are large quantities of people who want to be in the legal sex trade and make their living as prostitutes. I'm sure there are some people like that but my sense is that the overwhelming majority of people in this field are there by force or circumstances.

I confess I go back and forth on this because the position I'm advocating now definitely goes against my more libertarian grain, but there is something about allowing the exploitation of people in the name of personal freedoms or free markets that just does not sit well with me. Again, I know that definition does not fit all circumstances but I can't help but think it applies to 98%.

Exploitation. Now that's a provocative word. In a sense, prostitutes exploit their customers. Prostitutes are exploited by their pimps. You can argue it from both sides. The sex trade is a reflection of some pretty basic things, and it won't go away because it's made illegal.

If someone feels they have to make a living selling their bodies, are you saying you want to deny them even that opportunity? Where are they to turn, if not prostitution? It seems to me that addressing the conditions that force people into selling their bodies is the root of the problem, not the sex trade, per se. I'm not advocating prostitution, only that it not be criminalized for the sake of some religious fanatic's moral code.

Naturally, child prostitution should continue to be considered immoral and illegal, even if prostitution itself is legalized. No child should be put into that position, anymore than child brickmakers in India. The reasons for putting children to work, whatever the trade, also have their roots in dire financial conditions, of course.
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17-09-2010, 08:31 AM
RE: Prostitution
Quote:In a sense, prostitutes exploit their customers.[/quote

Not in any meaningful sense, though. Customers pay some money, have sex, and get on with their lives. Usually, the prostitute is not nearly so lucky at least not in general.

[quote]If someone feels they have to make a living selling their bodies, are you saying you want to deny them even that opportunity? Where are they to turn, if not prostitution? It seems to me that addressing the conditions that force people into selling their bodies is the root of the problem, not the sex trade, per se.

If someone feels they have to make a living stealing cars, should we not prosecute them for it and deny them the opportunity? There are obviously larger issues involved in why people become prostitutes, but there are larger issues involved in why people do many things that we criminalize. And, my understanding is that most enforcement efforts on prostitution focus on the pimps and the the customers.

Quote:I'm not advocating prostitution, only that it not be criminalized for the sake of some religious fanatic's moral code.

Just because a law lines up with some religious fanatic's moral code does not mean it is wrong. Sometimes a blind squirrel gets a nut. My guess is murder lines up with religious moral codes as well, but I don't see any reason to outlaw murder. I realize that this is apples and oranges but I don't think prostitution is illegal simply because religious people don't like it and feel it is immoral.

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17-09-2010, 08:31 AM
RE: Prostitution
You guys are definitely thinking in the right direction.
Like I said earlier I got to a school near the slums so I see hookers all the time -and know some on a personal level- a lot of them are pretty hopeless, they got pressured into it and either don't know how to get out or need the money for themselves or family.

Hey brother christian, with your high and mighty errand, your actions speak so loud, I can't hear a word you're saying.

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17-09-2010, 08:51 AM
 
RE: Prostitution
(17-09-2010 08:31 AM)BnW Wrote:  Not in any meaningful sense, though. Customers pay some money, have sex, and get on with their lives. Usually, the prostitute is not nearly so lucky at least not in general.

Do you have some particular insight to the view of the world from the side of a prostitute? I'm not being a smart-ass here ... I'm trying to ascertain the extent to which your view is simply your opinion versus your possession of some evidence. Prostitution can be seen as a business transaction ... the prostitute "exploits" the customer's unfulfilled sex drive to obtain money, the pimp "exploits" the prostitute to siphon off most of the money. You apparently visualize that prostitution is a form of sexual slavery, and in its current form, you may be right, but I believe I've encountered societies where prostitution was legal and it didn't necessarily match your model of the sex trade. I believe that its illegality is strongly associated with the perception that any sex outside of marriage and for any reason other than procreation is immoral. Do you agree or disagree?

(17-09-2010 08:31 AM)BnW Wrote:  
Quote:If someone feels they have to make a living selling their bodies, are you saying you want to deny them even that opportunity? Where are they to turn, if not prostitution? It seems to me that addressing the conditions that force people into selling their bodies is the root of the problem, not the sex trade, per se.

If someone feels they have to make a living stealing cars, should we not prosecute them for it and deny them the opportunity? There are obviously larger issues involved in why people become prostitutes, but there are larger issues involved in why people do many things that we criminalize. And, my understanding is that most enforcement efforts on prostitution focus on the pimps and the the customers.

Your argument is flawed - stealing cars is a crime and someone is a victim of that crime. If prostitution were legalized, then participating in sex outside of marriage in a brothel would not be a crime and there would be no victim. I'm not advocating we legalize car theft - that's your idea for an analogy - I'm advocating we de-criminalize prostitution.

(17-09-2010 08:31 AM)BnW Wrote:  
Quote:I'm not advocating prostitution, only that it not be criminalized for the sake of some religious fanatic's moral code.

Just because a law lines up with some religious fanatic's moral code does not mean it is wrong. Sometimes a blind squirrel gets a nut. My guess is murder lines up with religious moral codes as well, but I don't see any reason to outlaw murder. I realize that this is apples and oranges but I don't think prostitution is illegal simply because religious people don't like it and feel it is immoral.
Murder can hardly be argued to be a victimless crime. You seem to be going way out of your way to be argumentative. Fine. But your analogies are weak and not very convincing. In fact, I think prostitution is illegal mostly for the very reason that religious people believe that any sex outside of marriage should be illegal. It may not be the only reason, but I think it's the primary one. If you realize it's "apples and oranges", would you care to suggest other reasons, not based on religious morality?
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17-09-2010, 09:41 AM
RE: Prostitution
Quote:Do you have some particular insight to the view of the world from the side of a prostitute? I'm not being a smart-ass here ... I'm trying to ascertain the extent to which your view is simply your opinion versus your possession of some evidence. Prostitution can be seen as a business transaction ... the prostitute "exploits" the customer's unfulfilled sex drive to obtain money, the pimp "exploits" the prostitute to siphon off most of the money. You apparently visualize that prostitution is a form of sexual slavery, and in its current form, you may be right, but I believe I've encountered societies where prostitution was legal and it didn't necessarily match your model of the sex trade.

No, but (and I'm also not trying to be a smart ass here), I've equally never been set on fire but I've got some pretty strong opinions as to whether or not I'd like it. Yes, I visualize that prostitution is a form of sexual slavery and I suspect that is the majority of the time. I find it very difficult to believe that people from stable environments without some type of addiction issues or suffering from some type of abuse are volunteering for these jobs. And, for those who don't exactly fit that profile, I further suspect that a lot of them are still not exactly volunteers. I can't explicitly prove that but what I can point to is the overwhelming stats on the sex trade that show the numbers of people who are addicted, poor, or victims. If there are a percentage of people doing this willingly, they are either a huge minority or are doing a good job of hiding themselves.

Even in Netherlands when you walk around the red light district in Amsterdam (and it's been a long time since I've done this so maybe it has changed) a majority of the women on display were obviously not of Dutch ancestry. I'm sure that is not a coincidence.

Quote:I believe that its illegality is strongly associated with the perception that any sex outside of marriage and for any reason other than procreation is immoral. Do you agree or disagree?

I never really thought about it, to be honest. However, and this was my point about murder, just because it has a religious basis does not mean the prohibition is wrong.

Quote:Your argument is flawed - stealing cars is a crime and someone is a victim of that crime. If prostitution were legalized, then participating in sex outside of marriage in a brothel would not be a crime and there would be no victim. I'm not advocating we legalize car theft - that's your idea for an analogy - I'm advocating we de-criminalize prostitution.

Yes, I understood your position. Your comment seemed to be saying that this prostitution should be legal because legalizing it does not address the root causes of the problem (assuming it is a problem, which is something we seem to disagree on). My point is that you can make that argument about all crimes.

And, I do not necessarily agree there is no "victim" in prostitution.

Quote:Murder can hardly be argued to be a victimless crime. You seem to be going way out of your way to be argumentative. Fine. But your analogies are weak and not very convincing. In fact, I think prostitution is illegal mostly for the very reason that religious people believe that any sex outside of marriage should be illegal. It may not be the only reason, but I think it's the primary one. If you realize it's "apples and oranges", would you care to suggest other reasons, not based on religious morality?

Well, the whole point of debate is to make an argument so I'm not sure what to make of the argumentative comment. As for my analogies, they may not persuade you but you are coming at this form the concept that prostitution does not have any victims. I don't know any prostitutes but I know something about the statistics of who becomes prostitutes. I'd be curious to know about their average lifespans, % living in poverty, % with drug problems, etc. I'd be willing to bet the results would show a trend. I could be wrong on this, but I doubt it.

So, my point here is that just because a law has its basis in religious dogma does not automatically mean its wrong. If you want to discuss, for example, the US prohibition on on-line gambling sites, then I'm with you. I think that is based largely on religious squeamishness and it makes no sense at all.

I understand your point here and, as a general rule, I agree with your line of thinking. I'm not a fan of nanny state policies and I think they often do far more harm than good. I also agree that a lot of "don't do this because it's bad" type of laws are the direct result of historical irrational religious dogma enacted as law.

However, I also believe that sometimes in a society you need to stand up for those who are not in a position to stand up for themselves. I may be off base in my assumptions on who ends up working as prostitutes a majority of the time, but I would be very, very surprised. I realize that you will never fully stop it, and that criminalization pushes it further into the shadows, but I also think that if you de-criminalize it and regulate it you will still see a black-market trade in it, just like you see in Netherlands where prostitution is legal.

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17-09-2010, 11:20 AM
RE: Prostitution
By regulating it then pimps will more than likely go away, and prostitutes wont feel forced as much. Nevada has a very good system for regulation, and so do the places in Europe that have it legalized. Also, they can be checked for STD's. Another fact is that there are women and men that would rather do this then flipping hamburgers or picking up trash cans. Also, every job demands your body. When I was working for the grounds department for my college over the summer, i was sunburnt badly, and was infected by poison ivy. So who is to say my body wasnt done wrong? Furthermore, has for the feminist thing I have had women tell me that they really don't mind this, and they don't like it how people say they are trying to "rescue them" and tell them what they should or shouldn't be doing.
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17-09-2010, 11:27 AM
RE: Prostitution
(17-09-2010 11:20 AM)omega21 Wrote:  By regulating it then pimps will more than likely go away, and prostitutes wont feel forced as much. Nevada has a very good system for regulation, and so do the places in Europe that have it legalized. Also, they can be checked for STD's. Another fact is that there are women and men that would rather do this then flipping hamburgers or picking up trash cans. Also, every job demands your body. When I was working for the grounds department for my college over the summer, i was sunburnt badly, and was infected by poison ivy. So who is to say my body wasnt done wrong? Furthermore, has for the feminist thing I have had women tell me that they really don't mind this, and they don't like it how people say they are trying to "rescue them" and tell them what they should or shouldn't be doing.

What omega said.

I'm all for the legalization of prostitution. I don't see it as different from any other business, really. If someone has a service they want to sell, and someone has the cash and desire for that service, why not let them do business?
Yeah, you can say that pimps exploit the prostitutes, but you can really say that about every business on some level. And a large part of the pimps being able to control the prostitutes so totally is the illegality of the trade.
You can say that someone may be "forced" into prostitution. Well, some people are forced into flipping burgers. Maybe they don't have the skill to do anything else. Maybe they're just lazy. Maybe they don't feel like doing anything else. Whatever the case, I don't really see that as a substantive objection.

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17-09-2010, 11:49 PM
RE: Prostitution
(17-09-2010 08:02 AM)BnW Wrote:  
Quote:Legalization would not encourage exploitation.

It may not encourage it but it certainly does nothing to dissuade it either. Legal sales of alcohol don't encourage alcoholism but without the legal sale of alcohol it would be more difficult to be an alcoholic.

You forget that during prohibition, in the U.S.A., illegally made alcohol (moonshine) was everywhere. Some of the moonshine was poorly made and caused death and blindness, to not only alcoholics, but social drinkers and curious teens alike. Legallizing alcohol sales under federal controls gave people the chance to buy properly made alcohol. The standard does not stop people from hurting themselves, but at least they are not victims of careless, money grabbing, still owners.

Legallized prostitution would greatly reduce the amount of street prostitution that is controlled by pimps and gangs by reducing the customer load. When prohibition was aborted, people chose legal alcohol partly because it was a lot safer. A lot of people would chose legal prostitutes for the same reason.
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18-09-2010, 08:38 AM
RE: Prostitution
Quote:You forget that during prohibition, in the U.S.A., illegally made alcohol (moonshine) was everywhere. Some of the moonshine was poorly made and caused death and blindness, to not only alcoholics, but social drinkers and curious teens alike. Legallizing alcohol sales under federal controls gave people the chance to buy properly made alcohol. The standard does not stop people from hurting themselves, but at least they are not victims of careless, money grabbing, still owners.

I did not bring it up, but I certainly did not forget it. I'm aware of the history of prohibition. There are two things you ignore, though. The first is that there is STILL illegal moonshine manufactured and sold in the US today. And, I mean literally today: September 17, 2010. Why would anyone buy moonshine when there is cheap whiskey available? The answer is because the taxes on that cheap whiskey raise the price enough that poor people are willing to pay for the cheaper stuff, and I guess take the risk on safety (which they may not fully understand). The second is that despite the availability of legal liquor people are still doing illegal drugs to get their high. So, the legal substance hasn't solved all the problems.

I'm less worried about that, to be honest, because I see that is a situation where people are really just making choices and sometimes bad ones. Protecting people against making bad choices is a futile battle and one governments are spending billions on.

Quote:Legallized prostitution would greatly reduce the amount of street prostitution that is controlled by pimps and gangs by reducing the customer load. When prohibition was aborted, people chose legal alcohol partly because it was a lot safer. A lot of people would chose legal prostitutes for the same reason.

That is probably true but it completely ignores my point. My point is that I find it hard to believe that, except for maybe a few exceptions, people are willingly becoming prostitutes and find it impossible to fathom that you are not simply legalizing sex slaves. I can't help but see these people as victims in the sense that they are making a living this way due to circumstances, due to addictions, due to abuse, etc., but not due to choice.

I suppose I could be wrong about that, or maybe it's just an irrelevant argument, but I don't think so. I'm against the nanny state and I'm against futile attempts to regulate behavior but I do believe we have an obligation to protect the weakest members in our society and I just associate that with prostitutes.

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18-09-2010, 01:09 PM
RE: Prostitution
I think i will give this argument some flavor be sharing with you the recent development on this subject in my country Norway.

For as long as anyone still alive can remember, prostitution has been legal in Norway. This changed 1.1.2009. It is now illegal to pay for sexual services, but not illegal to be receive payment for them. In other words the costumer is now the criminal.

The official reason for this is to get rid of the growing trafficking problem we are having with (mostly Nigerian) women being sent to Norway to make money for their pimps back home.

Even though the police says little, and the politicians nothing about the results of this law, the reports from the organizations who work to help these women are a depressing read. The number off prostitutes, they say, has not changed at all in any direction. The law has simply forced the "industry" into hiding, or underground if you will. This is making it more difficult to control. It has made it more difficult for the women to seek help or for help to seek them. The women are making less money, and worst of all violent treatment of the women are escalating in at a frightening rate.

The problem has now become almost impossible to deal with. The rivaling (and little voiced) solution to this problem, government run brothels, is something we don't even bother talking about anymore. It was a controversial alternative to begin with. To turn it about now would not only require someone with the spine to suggest it. It would also require more than half of our governing body to admit they made a mistake.

And that´s the news from my neck of the woods. Cool

I want to rip off your superstitions and make passionate sense to you
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