Article

Ten reasons for not legalizing prostitution and a legal response to the demand for prostitution

01/2003; 2. DOI: 10.1300/J189v02n03_17

ABSTRACT Since the mid-1980s, the debate about how to address prostitution legally has become a subject of legislative action Some countries in Europe, most notably the Netherlands and Germany among others, have legalized and/or decriminalized systems of prostitution, which includes decriminalizing pimps, brothels and buyers, also known as "customers or johns." Other governments, such as Thailand, legally prohibit prostitution activities and enterprises but in reality tolerate brothels and the buying of women for commercial sexual exploitation, especially in its sex tourism industry. Sweden, has taken a different legal approach --penalizing the buyers while at the same time decriminalizing the women in prostitution. This article offers ten arguments for not legalizing prostitution. These arguments apply to all state-sponsored forms of prostitution, including but not limited to full-scale legalization of brothels and pimping, decriminalization of the sex industry, regulating prostitution by laws such as registering or mandating health checks for women in prostitution, or any system in which prostitution is recognized as "sex work" or advocated as an employment choice. This essay reviews the ways in which legitimating prostitution as work makes the harm of prostitution to women invisible, expands the sex industry, and does not empower the women in prostitution.

1 Bookmark
 · 
552 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Sex work in South Africa is poorly understood. Sex work and paying for sex are still considered illegal in South Africa. Research focus thus far has been on sex workers and their experiences. There exists a paucity of research literature on the perceptions of the client. This research focused on how South African men construct paying for sex. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore male clients’ experiences of paying for sex. Through thematic analysis various themes emerged. Three main themes were identified: justifications, motivations, and deterrents. Our findings offer insight into South African heterosexual male clients’ constructions of paying for sex. By gaining insight into the clients’ constructed perceptions of paying for sex, we begin to understand the demand factor in sex work. Further research into the demand of male clients may deepen our understanding of the nature and consequences of sex work. This has the potential to impact legislation around sex work and aid in their construction of aspects of gender and sexuality.
    Psychology Research. 01/2013; 3(12):749 - 761.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The discursive terrain of prostitution has undergone several changes with modernity/postmodernity. Various groups of feminists hold contentious, often conflicting, ideologies on this issue. Two broad groups emerge from these debates: One takes a clear abolitionist perspective, while the other takes a sex work position. Both these groups actively lobby and join forces with individuals and institutions to influence global and national policy-making. There is a great degree of variation and overlap within and across each camp. Among those taking a sex work position, some argue that selling sex is equal to using any other part of the body for making a living. This article examines the discursive terrain of prostitution in India, focusing on what it means to treat sex as any other use of the body in commerce. It concludes that prohibition is a prejudice that India must overcome to develop sound public health policies.
    Asian Politics & Policy 04/2009; 1(2):255-281.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this special issue, we note some recurrent themes in international political and discursive engagement with a moral panic concerning human trafficking, notably a conflation of forced and free prostitution, alongside calls to abolish the sex industry through a criminalisation of the purchase of sex. We here specifically examine Sweden’s sex purchase criminalisation, with Sweden being the first state globally to legislate according to this call. Proclaimed as a measure to attack demand for prostitution and trafficking alike, this law is justified by an abolitionist radical feminist understanding of prostitution as a form of patriarchal violence against women. We argue that radical feminist discourse has been used as a means by which to posture as a progressive state, putatively recognising the apparent harms of the sex industry. In reality, however, radical feminist discourse is applied selectively and circumstantially in Sweden, with sex workers seen both as passive victims of gendered violence (per radical feminist discourse), and as dishonest and immoral. These constructions are used interchangeably, to justify displacing and controlling women perceived to be deviant and disruptive to normative hegemonic masculinity.
    Dialectical Anthropology 37(2).