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Why Is Prostitution Illegal?


Guest ncm2169
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Interesting article. It doesn't touch on the question which most of us are interested in though -- what about male prostitution? It seems to me that there are even fewer arguments for male prostitution to be illegal. Illegally imported sex workers who are abused or enslaved -- does this exist for men? I'm not sure, but never read about it. I know that there are problems with male children being used as sex workers in poor countries, but I never heard of it existing in the US.

In any case the male sex workers we talk about on this site are, as far as I know, completely willing participants, most of whom are self employed.

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Funny how these same people thought that what Larry Craig did was some major criminal offense and this is somehow different.

 

It's different alright. I think it's ridiculous that Larry Craig was arrested for tapping his foot in a restroom. What Mr. Spitzer did was far worse. He broke so many major laws here involving not just prostitution but financial laws that this is real crime. Plus, the hypocrisy is far worse here than in Mr. Craig's case. This was a guy who went after prostitutes and put them in a jail.

 

Spitzer is toast and so many are so gleeful because, let's face it, he's an arrogant and odious man (paging phillyguy).

 

Mark

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What Larry Craig did involved conduct in a public place into which minors have access and where members of the public could be offended. What Spitzer did was private and consensual. To me the more serious issues are the violation of his marriage contract (those who buy into the institution of marriage are pledging monogamy, after all) and the possible violations of federal currency regulations in his manipulation of bank accounts to hide these expenditures.

 

As to why prostitution is illegal... this is "morals" legislation in large part, deriving from religious disapproval of extra-marital sex, especially when it has a commercial context, which the moralists would deride as a total misuse of the organs of procreation.

 

Many modern civilized countries have legalized it and provide regulation of the health of prostitutes. For example, the Netherlands, the UK, Canada...

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I used to teach a research paper course in which one of the controversial topics I often used was, "Should prostitution be legalized?" Even though the majority of the reputable research which the students uncovered pointed logically toward legalization, most of the students still concluded that it should be illegal. This doesn't seem to be a subject that yields easily to reason.

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Guest zipperzone

>Many modern civilized countries have legalized it and provide

>regulation of the health of prostitutes. For example, the

>Netherlands, the UK, Canada...

 

I'm not sure your inclusion of Canada is valid. I could be wrong, but if my memory serves me correctly the actual act is legal but it is illegal to solicit for it. So.... as it can't occur without some form of "solicitation" or arranging, it is a moot point.

 

We may be progresive - but we're not THAT progresive!

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You can't entirely put the blame on Puritanism for prostitution being illegal. In much of the ancient world, Greece, Rome, Egypt, it was not only legal but considered a necessity. Rome even had a Guild of Prostitutes that acted as a union. However, upper class women continued to look down on it for much the same reasons they do today. It was the rise of Christianity that helped to bring about many of the attitudes we have today.

 

But what if prostitution in the US were legal? How would things be different? Would there be more of it or less of it? What if the government taxed it and required licensing along with regular medical certification for male and female escorts? Would we see a wholesale increase of professional sex workers or fewer? If prostitution were legal, would rates fall due to an increase in ...ahem... career opportunities for young people? A few points to ponder.

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I think the reason everyone is laughing so hard at both Sen. Craig and Gov. Spitzer is the massive hypocrisy. Sen. Craig, the big-time homophobe getting caught soliciting gay sex. And Gov. Spitzer, the hooker-hunter, getting caught with his dick in the snatch. It isn't their crimes per se, but their hypocrisy.

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I think the reason everyone is laughing so hard at both Sen. Craig and Gov. Spitzer is the massive hypocrisy. Sen. Craig, the big-time homophobe getting caught soliciting gay sex. And Gov. Spitzer, the hooker-hunter, getting caught with his dick in the snatch. It isn't their crimes per se, but their hypocrisy.

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RE: Anthropologist for decriminalization

 

This morning's newspaper, the Houston Chronicle, which they only get to my door on time half the time, had a nice, large editorial by Patty Kelly, a professor at Georgre Washington University, in favor or decriminalizing prostitution. The article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times. LA guys - Have their been any good letter to the editor about the article?

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RE: Anthropologist for decriminalization

 

This morning's newspaper, the Houston Chronicle, which they only get to my door on time half the time, had a nice, large editorial by Patty Kelly, a professor at Georgre Washington University, in favor or decriminalizing prostitution. The article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times. LA guys - Have their been any good letter to the editor about the article?

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voices for decriminalization

 

The Chicago Tribune had an editorial piece yesterday also questioning why prostitution should be illegal.

 

After the Supreme Court decided in Lawrence v. Texas (2003) that states could not make consensual gay sex a crime, some folks thought the same constitutional principles could be used to invalidate prostitution laws. But so far courts have rejected that application. There was a big opinion by the Hawai'i Supreme Court in 2007 on this topic, with the vote 4-1 to uphold the prostitution law. (The dissenter would have struck down criminal penalties for private, consensual acts of prostitution.)

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voices for decriminalization

 

The Chicago Tribune had an editorial piece yesterday also questioning why prostitution should be illegal.

 

After the Supreme Court decided in Lawrence v. Texas (2003) that states could not make consensual gay sex a crime, some folks thought the same constitutional principles could be used to invalidate prostitution laws. But so far courts have rejected that application. There was a big opinion by the Hawai'i Supreme Court in 2007 on this topic, with the vote 4-1 to uphold the prostitution law. (The dissenter would have struck down criminal penalties for private, consensual acts of prostitution.)

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>I think the reason everyone is laughing so hard at both Sen.

>Craig and Gov. Spitzer is (because of) their massive hypocrisy.

 

I agree! It's hypocritical to act as a homphobe in your government life and then do differently behind closed doors.

 

However the real problem starts with the hypocracy in our givernment & laws. If we truly believed in the separation of church and state we'd have very different laws in this area. Course we'd also have to stop printing "In God We Trust" on our money...

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>I think the reason everyone is laughing so hard at both Sen.

>Craig and Gov. Spitzer is (because of) their massive hypocrisy.

 

I agree! It's hypocritical to act as a homphobe in your government life and then do differently behind closed doors.

 

However the real problem starts with the hypocracy in our givernment & laws. If we truly believed in the separation of church and state we'd have very different laws in this area. Course we'd also have to stop printing "In God We Trust" on our money...

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Guest Merlin

This is one of those areas where it is difficult to get old laws off the books, simply because the topig is not respectable and no legislator wants to go on record as favoring change. If a legislator introduced a bill to legalize prostitution, it would look like he was in favor of it, or wanted to practice it. What would his wife, his friends, his voters think?

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RE: Female legislators

 

Don't say "no" to yourself. That may be someone's else's job, or it might not. But it's not yours.

 

If you can't get a man who agrees with you and is courageous statesman enough to do it despite the problems, well, then, how about a female legislator? And if neither one of those, take the time to get your own politician elected, perhaps even yourself.

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