1) Multiple types of victimless crimes can be committed. One of those crimes is prostitution. Prostitution can be defined as offering or receiving sexual intercourse for hire (Schmalleger & Hall, 2017). Prostitution is known as the world’s oldest profession and is still, to this day, one of the primary sources of income for some women in the United States (Carrasquillo, 2014).
Some jurisdictions have begun to legalize prostitution under specific guidelines, such as having the participants being tested for STD’s before the transaction takes place (Schmalleger & Hall, 2017). This is a proper precaution that these jurisdictions are taking; however, the legalization of all prostitution could be detrimental to the country. Most picture prostitution being like something out of a movie where you see someone on a street corner waiting for a customer, but that is not the case.
Prostitution is as defined, offering or receiving of sexual intercourse. It is not just intercourse in exchange for money. Unfortunately, prostitution and drug abuse go hand in hand. Sex workers will often take illegal drugs to perform better and eventually develop a dependence on these drugs (Van Nunen et al., 2014). It is also common for a drug addict to resort to prostitution to supply their addiction. Through my law enforcement experience, I have noticed a growing trend in females trading sex for methamphetamine. I have seen this happen with females as young as 16 years old.
With the increased chances of drug abuse comes the increased chances of sexually transmitted diseases. One of the main factors of the spread of HIV in the United States is the drug and alcohol misuse in prostitution. Due to their intoxicated state of mind, prostitutes will not use condoms while performing sex acts (Bhunu et al., 2014). During the rise of HIV, newborns were being infected daily with HIV from their mothers (Staneková et al., 2006). With the lack of protection being used by prostitutes due to their intoxication, women run the chance of being infected with a disease. They also run the risk of becoming pregnant and transmitting the infection to their baby. Not only are children affected by this, but a spouse of a person participating in prostitution could be affected.
Legalizing prostitution would not only cause an increase in diseases and drug activity, but it would potentially open the door for more opportunities in child sex trafficking. Child sex trafficking victims are often trafficked by a family member. This usually consists of a family member trading the child for drugs or money (Sprang & Cole, 2018).
Bhunu, C. P., Mhlanga, A. N., & Mushayabasa, S. (2014). Exploring the impact of prostitution on HIV/AIDS transmission. ISRN Otolaryngology, 1–10. https://doi-org.bethelu.idm.oclc.org/10.1155/2014/651025
Carrasquillo, T. (2014). Understanding prostitution and the need for reform. Touro Law Review, 30(3), 697–721.
Schmalleger, F. & Hall, D. E. (2017). Criminal law today. (6th ed.). Prentice Hall/Pearson. https://betheluniversityonline.net/grad360/default.aspx?SectionID=827&tabid=155#/unit/1/Read
Sprang, G., & Cole, J. (2018). Familial sex trafficking of minors: trafficking conditions, clinical presentation, and system involvement. Journal of Family Violence, 33(3), 185–195. https://doi-org.bethelu.idm.oclc.org/10.1007/s10896-018-9950-y
Staneková, D., Adamáková, J., Kopilcová, T., Kotuliak, J., Vaculiková, E., Hábeková, M., & Mokráš, M. (2006). Serological markers of selected sexually and blood transmitted infections in pregnant women and in newborns of Hiv-positive mothers in the Slovak Republic. Central European Journal of Public Health, 14(3), 104–108.
Van Nunen, K., Leuridan, E., Van Hal, G., Van Damme, P., & Decorte, T. (2014). Legal and illegal drug use among female sex workers in bar and club prostitution in Belgium: A quantitative and qualitative study. Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy, 21(1), 56–64. https://doi-org.bethelu.idm.oclc.org/10.3109/09687637.2013.806432
2) Prostitution, often times called the oldest profession, is the exchange of sexual acts for hire. Prostitution is many times considered a victimless crime, due to both parties being willing participants in the act (Schmalleger & Hall, 2017). Prostitution should be legalized and taxed, similar to the states that have legalized marijuana. According to Selmi (2019), many of the lawmakers who make and keep prostitution illegal do not fully understand prostitution. More so, these lawmakers believe that those who are involved in prostitution are only participating under slavery-like conditions. Watson (2019) states the argument that if a person chooses to perform an act, such as sex, for free, why should it be any different than performing the same act with the expectation of a payment? Besides personal opinion of the general public, how is selling sex any different than selling other goods and services? If consenting adults agree to an activity, even at a price, why is there so much judgment against it? Just because people feel that such an act could be considered against their moral code, why require others to follow?
Statistically, legalizing prostitution could cut rape statistics by 30% and female gonorrhoea by 40% (Cunningham & Shah, 2018). States could look to Nevada, where brothels are legal in some areas of the state. These brothels require monthly STI checks and the use of a condom each time a service is rendered (Schmalleger & Hall, 2017). By promoting a safe, legal environment, more precautions could be taken to protect all parties.
As long as all parties are consenting, and there is no violence or threats to keep people performing prostitution, this could be truly a victimless crime that could actually bring states revenue from the taxes collected.
Cunningham, S., & Shah, M. (2018). Decriminalizing indoor prostitution: Implications for sexual violence and public health. Review of Economic Studies, 85(3), 1683–1715. https://doi-org.bethelu.idm.oclc.org/10.1093/restud/rdx065
Schmalleger, F. & Hall, D.E. (2017). Criminal law today (6th ed.). NY: Prentice Hall/Pearson.
Selmi, G. (2019). Prostitution research in context: methodology, representation and power. Gender, Work & Organization, 26(7), 1053–1055. https://doi-org.bethelu.idm.oclc.org/ 10.1111/gwao.12305
Watson, L. (2019). Philosophical debates about prostitution: State of the question. Southern Journal of Philosophy, 57(2), 165–193. https://doi-org.bethelu.idm.oclc.org/10.1111/ sjp.12320
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