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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Should prostitution be legalized?

October 28th, 2009
04:55 PM ET

It's a centuries-old business that spans continents, can offer up multi-billion-dollar rewards but has also claimed many, many victims: the sex industry.

Campaigners against the industry have often claimed that it shields a horrific variety of abuse, with victims coerced into sexual slavery. The answer, they believe, is to clamp down on the porn trade.

Their opponents counter that the answer is to legalize the porn business, allowing those who want to provide a service to consumers do so while driving out criminals.

Should prostitution be legalized? Would this reduce the exploitation of sex workers - or simply make it worse? Send us your comments and we will try to use them in Thursday's live chat on Connect The World.

The show has looked at the sex industry throughout the world this past week.

In many industrialized nations, the adult entertainment industry has been hit by the global economic downturn, with Web piracy a particularly big threat to the revenues of the business.

David McKenzie has reported on the example of child prostitutes in Kenya, where foreign tourists pay for sex that would be classified as rape in their countries. As drought and chaos engulfs Kenya, so more and more children are turning to sex for income.

In Afghanistan, correspondent Atia Abawi highlighted the case of young boys who are lured or snatched from their families and forced to become sex slaves by powerful men.

And in Hong Kong, girls as young as 13 are selling their time and often their bodies for quick cash. The practice is called "compensated dating," reported Pauline Chiou, with young girls spending time with an older man for a fee on the understanding that the "date" can involve sex.

Watch the Connect The World webcast and have your say as Becky Anderson discusses the issues and answers your questions. CNN.com Live at 2200 GMT/2300 CET with accompanying live Skype text chat from 2130 GMT/2230 CET.

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soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. Tina

    Prositution should not be legalized. It is shameful, abhorred by God and a violator of the sanctity of marriage.

    Prostitution is a crime and any person with a sound mind and with morals would naturally consider it wrong.

    Neither women or men are sexual commodities. How many prosititutes can truly say that they feel honoroble? Why is it okay to dishonor a man or woman for one's selfish sexual desires?

    October 29, 2009 at 4:34 pm | Reply
  2. Z.

    It should totally be legalized. It will go on where or not it's legal. Making it legal will give the women the legal protections they need.

    Morality is a question of 19th Century. We should focus on Reality in the 21st.

    We should stop jailing people for many non-violent offenses. Drug abuse and prostitution are so harmless to everyone else that jailing people for doing them just makes no sense.

    Remember – what I do with MY body is MY business. What you do with your own is yours. I will not tell you what to do with your life, and you don't tell me what to do with mine – as long as we stay respectful and peaceful to each other. This is a country of Freedom. Don't limit it.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  3. premnath alva

    sex workers are like a safety valve to take care of the surplus lust that
    may destroy the tranqulity of the home in our cities. Also they meet the
    need of large work force of single males in big cities. legalisation with
    strict medical supervision is desirable any day.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  4. Ron

    Off course prostition should be legalised. The piece above is a bit one sided, it seems to be describing only the excesses that sadly occur.

    In my opinion anybody over the age of eighteen can do whatever they want with their lives, bodies and minds.

    The money saved on repression could better be used to do something about those excesses.

    (Would like to add that same principle applies to drugs.)

    October 29, 2009 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  5. peter

    Prositution should not be legalized but now days is like Prositution is legalized,

    example when you go to the club in tanzania, you can find many girls age between 14 to 24 they are selling their body.

    its time to stop this all things because it is against all religion

    October 29, 2009 at 5:07 pm | Reply
  6. Ben

    Just because something is immoral doesn't mean it should be illegal. We live in a free society where church and state are separate, and in policymaking we should look at the benefits and drawbacks of particular policies, rather than whether they conform with Biblical law.

    Prostitution will always exist, and in a free country, it will always be easily accessible. The law is hardly a barrier to anyone looking for this service. Keeping prostitution illegal simply places sex workers under the control of criminal networks, causing them a great deal of unnecessary harm. Huge profits are thereby generated for violent criminals, while taxpayers are forking up millions to enforce the law and prosecute the small fraction of the guilty who are caught. Furthermore, having laws which are widely ignored lowers public respect for the law as a whole.

    October 29, 2009 at 5:09 pm | Reply
  7. Jennifer

    Tina,

    Your points are reasons why people should CHOOSE not to be prostitutes or to patronize them – not why it should be illegal. God abhors adultery and it violates the sanctity of marriage as well, but it is not illegal. What about premarital sex – again, something that is a sin for believers and violates the sanctity of marriage. Would you like to start putting people in jail or assessing fines for this behavior??? Even Jesus just told them to go and sin no more – he didn't call the cops. I'm so sick of people trying to make laws "protecting" us from ourselves. The only things that should be illegal are behaviors that harm the person or property of others – or have a very high risk of harming others and society in general (i.e. offenses related to driving, etc.) that clearly outweighs the rights of the person exhibiting this behavior (i.e. driving while intoxicated – your right to drive drunk and endanger yourself is outweighed by the proven high risk that you will harm others – so society therefore has the right to regulate this)

    October 29, 2009 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  8. Andy

    If it legalized so be it. But if it is not gonna be Legalized, then it may create an uproar as ( Pornstars ) will lose their jobs, prostitutes may not be able to seek for a job and so on.

    I am not saying I am for Prostitution. But look at it this way, if a man / woman is interested in it. So Be It. It is for us to know between good and evil, right and wrong.

    Yes, in religion eyes it is very wrong, but how would you really know how these people who are working as prostitutes feel about this situation ?

    The only way is to hold a debate or a polling session and see the result.

    October 29, 2009 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  9. capnmike

    "Abhorred by God"? There isn't any God...wake up! Religion is a human invention. Sex is only "dishonorable" because of ridiculous mental attitudes. Prostitution is primarily illegal because married women see it as a threat...they can lose their hold and control over their husbands if better sex is available outside their home, which is very often the case.

    October 29, 2009 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  10. Heather

    Although many of us find the trade abhorrent, prostitution will exist whether it is legal or illegal. If it is legalized and there is less focus on making criminals of the prostitutes and more focus on finding them health care facilities and programs to get them off the streets, then maybe some good can come of legalization.

    October 29, 2009 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  11. RVT

    Of course it should be legal. If two strangers have sex and don't exchange money there is no issue with the law. That makes no sense.

    The fact that it is illegal has done nothing to stop it and only drives the industry underground just like with the stupid war on drugs.

    October 29, 2009 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  12. Gene

    Keeping prostitution illegal is keeping it in the hands of criminals.
    Prostitution should never be forced on anyone, but if he or she chooses this form of profession then it should be clean and honest. It´s going to happend anyway. There are countries which have legal prostitution and the indivduals are required by law for weekly checkups. Just think about it no diseases, no pimps, no crime.
    We are all humans and sex is simular to food, we need it and we will have it. Tax it and we will all profit.

    October 29, 2009 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  13. LM

    Immoral and illegal are two different things. I have nothing to do with the sex trade and I don't approve of it. I also don't approve of adultery, a behavior that victimizes one's spouse. However, these are moral choices, and for some people religious choices. Enforcing such choices by law sets a dangerous precedent, and does not work in practice since it's unenforceable. Are we willing to prosecute cheating husbands or wives, as opposed to having "no-fault" divorce laws that don't punish unfaithful spouses? Keep in mind that I despise cheaters, but should society put them in jail because they behave irreligiously? That's what the ayatollahs do. This is a slippery slope that goes right down to the Taliban: since they believe it's immoral and irreligious to listen to music, watch TV, send girls to school, not wear beards, not wear burqas etc., they make these activities illegal and force people to conform to their religious values whether they like it or not. Religious values can be promoted by example and free speech, but should never be enforced by law.
    The law should be used to prevent people from harming one another (e.g., by driving drunk). Moral harm is subjective and what's harmful for some it's not harmful for others.

    October 29, 2009 at 5:34 pm | Reply
  14. junaid

    Women are the beauty of nature and she has the greatest honor of having the truest love in the world as a mother. When the same woman with her sweetness and delicacy is being allowed to be sold in the market , how disgusting and disgraceful it is for whole gender. Even if we think apart from any religion, does anyone in favor of this practice will like that their mother or sister in such business.I don't think anyone can say yes for his own family so we shouldn't have dual standards.
    Some people come up with the point that moral values of 21st century are very different, they should understand that we human have same nature and feelings about general morality still, for example still in 21st century we don't like our kids to lie to us or our anyone get dishonest in dealing with us and it was same centuries ago. So family values are still much respected everywhere.Those families are still considered lucky where wife and husband do not deceive each other.

    October 29, 2009 at 5:53 pm | Reply
  15. gena

    Are immoral and illegal two different things?

    After all, our laws are only secondary to our moral values. Our values determine our laws, not the other way around.

    But what, or who determines our values? If we answer this question, we will understand what is legal and what isn't.

    October 29, 2009 at 6:05 pm | Reply
  16. Kragh

    I'm sorry, but when did your society completely lose our moral and ethical standards. Legalize prostitution, are you serious. It's madness, an atrocity, an outrage. Whatever happened to abstaining from sexual intercourse until marriage. Look to History and you will see that moral declines in society exponentiated their fall, and don't think that we are immune! We are treading on thin ice with the devil here

    October 29, 2009 at 6:08 pm | Reply
  17. Kingfish

    It never did make much sense that something which is legal, sex between adults, should become illegal if it is done for money.

    Some girls have sex for a drink or a dinner or just for the heck of it, and this is perfectly legal. But if she takes money in lieu of dinner, she commits a crime. This is just nonsense.

    Laws against prostitution are an invasion of a woman's right of privacy and choice. She has a right to do what she wants with her body.

    October 29, 2009 at 6:09 pm | Reply
  18. perrucho

    The angle of this article is (intentionally) quite biased and needs a different focus. They are talking about child sexual abuse and child pornography, not about "adult" prostitution. Second, they are giving extreme examples in countries like Kenya or Afghanistan, which are no-man's land. Why don't they talk about prostitution in other industrialized countries, or the one that takes place among adults?? Really sick of this kind of journalism...quite pathetic!

    October 29, 2009 at 6:10 pm | Reply
  19. Nwaokoru samuel

    I think prostitution shouldn't be legal. Legalizing it is a way of saying to the poor and unemployed,'here's a way to make quick money'. Also the fight against HIV and AIDS would be a lost war.

    October 29, 2009 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  20. ash

    In response to Z:

    You said "Drug abuse and prostitution are so harmless to everyone else that jailing people for doing them just makes no sense."

    It is a HUGE misconception that prostitution is a victimless crime. Yes, there are women that go into prostitution of their own volition. However, there is a very complex system of force, fraud and coercion in these networks that control women to force them into or keep them in the sex industry against their will. The majority of prostituted women are not there by choice, but have rather been completely stripped of their identity, dehumanized, or scared to a point where they don't think they have any other choice than to stay. Still think its still "so harmless." There's a term for it: human trafficking.

    Also let me remind you that prostitution is not just sex. Often these women are beaten, humiliated, psychologically abused and threatened by Johns (the men who solicit commercial sex) as well as by their pimps/traffickers/etc. You cannot argue that that just goes with the territory.

    If you haven't yet, read the article that was in the New York Times on Tuesday with a focus on homeless youth who enter in prostitution, either of their own volition or by force, to sell sex for survival. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) clearly states that ANY minor who is recruited, hrabored, transported, provided or obtained for commercial sex is a crime of human trafficking. This isn't just an issue of a woman choosing to sell her body-it is far more complicated than you realize.

    October 29, 2009 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  21. CUOSLA

    Prostitution will always exist, the problem is that if it is legalize the demand for it will rise increasing the rates of sexual diseases. However, this problem already exists and cannot be controlled because this business operates “under the table” (illegally). For this reason I believe that it can be legalize but it may operate as regular business as it is in other countries. For example, sexual workers must have a license and medical examination every three month, clients can ask for their license and medical examination before getting their services; and they can only work in authorized places that are constantly inspected. It will make easier for authorities to control it and that clandestine business will start paying taxes.

    Society has to put a side religion and ethics issues, and start being realistic that legally or illegally it will always exist. It has to be regulate and controlled.

    October 29, 2009 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  22. MichaelSC

    Of course it should be legalized if we are talking about adults.
    Forget about religion and God, because otherwise you should not start wars and fight.
    Soldiers/Mercenaries and prositution are the oldest profession in the world and will always exist.
    Make it legal and make sure that they are tested for diseases.
    That also reduces the threat by pimps or Johns.
    tax them.
    Works everywhere in Europe just like Health-care.
    Why not do the smart things and use the things that work somewhere else.
    Even politicians and priest visit the Ladies and some visit the men.

    October 29, 2009 at 6:47 pm | Reply
  23. Todd

    Tina,

    Every person is not controlled by your system of "values". Don't push them onto everyone else.

    October 29, 2009 at 6:50 pm | Reply
  24. Benn306

    In response to Ash:

    I agree, currently prostitution is a not a victimless crime. However, the entire argument you make is the reason it should be legalized.

    If prostitution becomes legalized, it brings the women, the pimps, the traffickers out from underground and into the light. They can be monitored. Weekly STD checkups etc. Tax dollars will go to educating and helping women who want to get out of the trade.

    The reason women are being abused, violated, dehumanized, beaten and threatened by Johns is because they have to sneak around in back alleys and low budget motels in secret and by themselves.

    Legalize prostitution, but monitor it closely. It's still immoral in my books, but as long as there's consent it's not our business to send someone to jail for it.

    October 29, 2009 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  25. MichaelSC

    as much as I know it is currently illegal however it is offered everywhere, right.
    so, who does it stop now? Nobody.
    soembody mentioned homeless youth: Well, does it stop them now?
    Nope.
    Hey look at the children that were and still are molested by the priest.
    whoa. Wake up and see reality.
    Forget about God because the humans behave like animals. period.
    make it legal, control it and tax it.

    October 29, 2009 at 6:58 pm | Reply
  26. Phil Patterson

    I believe consenting adults should be able buy and sell sex from one another without fear of prosecution. I'm not talking about kids, or people forced into the business by pimps. But if one consenting adult wants to perform a sex act with another person for money, whose business is it but theirs?

    October 29, 2009 at 7:01 pm | Reply
  27. Mazen

    Prostituition should never be legalized. It should be fought tooth and nail. Just becuase people are blinded by money and others by lust, it does not mean we should legalize it and tax these disgusting acts. All of the worlds major religions, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism as well as the worlds monotheistic faiths, Bahai, Judaism etc ban this type of behavior. Whether directly from God, or from those that encountered the dangers of these behaviors before us, we should look to the past and see where society has gone and learn from those mistakes. Even without a religious argument, should we let the mothers of our children sell their bodies for money? I think not.

    October 29, 2009 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  28. mike

    Prostitution should not be subject of interest of law enforcement any longer. Currently, we have an entire industry based on the sex for compensation model, the adult movie industry. Within this industry, there are men and women that receive compensation for having sex with other men or women. What is the difference? Law enforcement does not consider this prostitution, why do we have a double standard? Every prostitute should bring a camera/video recorder, thereby they are just an actor/actress in an pornographic movie...

    Law enforcement does have a legitimate concern when minors are involved and that should result in the strictest enforcement, as well as .punishment

    October 29, 2009 at 7:06 pm | Reply
  29. ash

    There has been no evidence that legalizing prostitution makes it any safer, contributes to fewer STDs, or decreases the rate of sexual assault and violence. Even in countries that have legalized prostitution, the rate of human trafficking barely changes, if not at all. By legalizing prostitution, it makes it easier for pimps and traffickers to get away with forcing women into the industry. Even if they are monitored, there is no way for a government or law enforcement to regulate every single brothel or provide services to every single prostituted woman.

    Just because there are restrictions in place, the act still happens behind closed doors most of the time. So a) a John doesn't necessarily have to use protection, b) what's to stop him from beating a woman, and c) what incentive is there for a pimp or "boss" to report non-compliance with these regulations if he is risking having his license revoked.

    Yes, educating women is an important aspect that we need to implement. Getting women out of the trade is one thing, but how do you stem demand? As long as there is demand, there will be women being prostituted. And there is not just a demand for sex out there. There is a demand for violent sex and minor sex. By legalizing prostitution, we are only perpetuating the occurrence of these crimes. Say we do legalize prostitution, the violent forms are still going to go underground and not be visible.

    Also, do you know how many women will lie to the police that they aren't under a pimp's control? How would law enforcement regulate those women who are in prostitution out of choice and those by force?

    October 29, 2009 at 7:17 pm | Reply
  30. Travis

    Unless this country decides that it's going to introduce morality or religion into reasoning behind legislation, prostitution should definitely be legalized.

    The best example of legalization of an illegal commodity is still prohibition. When it became illegal it was the source of many criminal activities and illegal financial gain. Once it was legalized again it could be regulated and taxed and the black market for it disappeared.

    Certain actions and desires by humans have been around as far back as we can trace and will always be around no matter what. Prostitution is one of those. Legalize it and protect those involved.

    October 29, 2009 at 7:22 pm | Reply
  31. Karl

    Look, you gotta make a buck. Most of us get up every morning and spend a whole day doing something we don't really want to do, in a place we really don't want to be. Those to whom this doesn't apply are the lucky few. Sex is just sex. Separate it from holy-than-thou ideas of religion and morality. At the end of the day many of these women go home with enough money to feed their children.

    October 29, 2009 at 7:30 pm | Reply
  32. Neal Kelley

    Ok.. if i have sex with another lady out side of marriage.. it is immoral.. but not illegal.. Also.. if I eat unwoven bread on a friday should that be illegal also.. or if i get a tatoo against what the bible suggest should that be illegal also... I we living in a islamic driven government or is this AMERICA!. Where we as individuals can decide for ourself what we and will not participate in.

    October 29, 2009 at 7:32 pm | Reply
  33. Deidre

    Crimes committed under the umbrella of the sex trade would surely be minimized if the trade were legalized and regulated. Both sides would be protected.
    Prohibition didn't work either, so unless of course, people are going to stop having sex, we should rid ourselves of the costly and ineffective waste of law enforcement.

    October 29, 2009 at 7:34 pm | Reply
  34. Emma

    It is a terrible thing to buy or sell another human being for the purposes of sex be it male, female, or child. Unfortunately, many people are in situations so desperate or they have such a dehumanized view of themselves that they are able to be sexually exploited. Even if it were legalized or regulated, there will always be those who will find a way to victimize sex-workers for financial gain or self-gratification. Those who like to pay for sex see nothing wrong with-those who engage it do not often see themselves as victims. Good luck answering the question of legalization of prostitution.

    October 29, 2009 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  35. ash

    The major difference between prohibition and prostitution is that one has a victim. Other than those few that plan on drinking themselves to death, no one was necessarily being harmed by the underground alcohol trade and speak-easys. You can't compare the two examples.

    October 29, 2009 at 8:12 pm | Reply
  36. Michelle

    To All Those Saying "No" for Religious Reasons:

    Please keep in mind:

    The ONLY reason you are able to even voice your opinion about what is morally and ethically correct in the eyes of the Lord is BECAUSE the religious FREEDOM this country has embraced. We have, as Americans, fought and bled for these and other freedoms that are taken now as self-evident, and given no thought otherwise. The no thought otherwise is the real danger.

    Please do not take for granted your right to practice your religion freely, to erect temples and places of worship in your community, to live out your daily eyes in the grace of your own actions, and to openly teach your moral values to your children, and to the children of other like minded community memebers. If you are right in your stance with the Lord, no demons and devils on earth will stray you. Teach your children well, and believe what you believe. Let the "damned" be, or help them if that is the way for you.

    Making something illegal that has a clearly, observable demand prevalent throughout every society mankind has ever known will keep it dirtier, darker, and more harmful as has been proven in our past (e.g. prohibition, women's right to vote, mandanted segregation...). It is much more difficult to fight that which is unseen; and burying your head offers no protection.

    Legalize it. Tax it. Build a bakery, or a school, or a park...hey, build a church...that'll teach 'em!!

    We can make cancer illegal, but somehow I don't think it would help.....

    October 29, 2009 at 8:13 pm | Reply
  37. mona

    Moral?Ethical?? these are hoaxes people. Its not about morals, ethics, its about the reality. Do we realize that legalizing it would many make child sex trade on a rise? Many unwilling souls will be pushed into this, and now it will be done openly, as it has become legal, nobody can raise their voice against it? Legalizing prostitution would mean legalizing sexual slavery. The argument many have put forward that " its a free world we can decide what we want to do, we use our body or minds to earn money, is our choice" , sounds nice to hear, it maybe in a free thinking and liberal country where you can write about this in a nice comfortable room with your laptop. In reality, most ppl are pushed into it. If given a chance to lead a better life, many of the sex workers would love to. Do we realise, rape against such ppl will not even qualify as a complaint?
    One of cases like girls having sex for beer, are just SOME CASES, we cannot generalize. Think about it rationally, we should NOT say "YES" in order to sound "modern" and "forward thinking".

    October 29, 2009 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  38. Keira

    When it comes to minors, it should DEFINITELY be abolished. There's no gray area here. Children should not be forced to get married, have sex or be sold as sex slaves, regardless of country or beliefs. That's just sick and VERY wrong!

    If we're talking about people of legal age, I'm personally on the fence about this. I wouldn't consider it bad if a country/state decided to legalize prostitution. There's a certain control level that would come out of it - in terms of security for the people who engage in prostitution & healthwise too. On the other hand, no one should feel like prostitution is the only way to make 'good' money or the only way to get ahead. I wouldn't do it, at least I don't think I would, but I can't judge without having walked in those shoes (literally & figuratively).

    October 29, 2009 at 8:29 pm | Reply
  39. solomon benjamin

    Aside from the religious ramification stated above, the issue is not whether it is or is not morally correct, the question is whether it will help fix the problem of sexual slavery, the answer is yes and no.

    yes, because many traders and owners will no longer have to steal people to create a profitable business, and people will be licensed and processed to be in the business,

    and no, because it will make it extremely hard to differentiate between those being forced and those doing it willingly. because if someone can force you to be a sex slave illegally, imagine how much easier it will be to force them to get a license and then use them permanently and legally.

    the choice is obvious, we would putting every current sex slave in jeopardy of being permanently put in a new form of slavery that is supported by the government... it would be impossible to tell the difference between those who have chosen freely and those forced.

    fear is the name of the game and if the traders and owners can do it illegally, imagine when its legal, you don't pay your workers, you force them to be slaves, and you reap the benifits.

    no, it cannot be allowed to happen...
    the price is too high

    October 29, 2009 at 8:29 pm | Reply
  40. Ryan

    I go to the bar and I see women willing to go have a one night stand with someone who just bought 3 or 4 drinks. That works out to about $20. Downtown, a prostitute wouldn't even look at you for that money. Whether it's legal to stand on the street and offer your wares or not doesn't matter. Sex for money or services or power or anything else has always been a part of human society and always will be. So long as all parties involved are consenting adults, I don't see a problem with it at all.

    Think about it this way – chiropracters, massage thereapists, physiotherapists, they all use their bodies (hands) to rub and manipulate your body to make you feel better and you pay them to do it. Should we ban them? The difference is an ambiguous moral one that does not belong in a court room!

    October 29, 2009 at 8:36 pm | Reply
  41. Johnny G

    Legalization is only half of a step. If you legalize prostitution, this will mean that prostitutes can then go to court to sue for things like breach of contract. But of course if you legalize prostitution there is a risk that criminal elements will benefit IF there is no accompanying regulation of the industry. For instance, making pimps illegal would allow the prostitute to operate her business without being exploited, BUT we need to make sure the police resources are then employed to actually go after pimps. This is the missing link. As it currently stands, police resources don't even care about prostitution because aside from street walkers, it is a crime that goes unnoticed. If you start to crackdown on unregulated prostitution, you will need more police resources. This would make everyone safer, but only if it is done correctly.

    October 29, 2009 at 8:41 pm | Reply
  42. Dave

    We need a third way. While it's important to recognize that prostitution will continue to be a major industry regardless of legality, it is also worth remembering that legalization does not make it a clean industry. In Amsterdam, for instance, the women who are involved in prostitution continue to be at risk of disease and abuse, and often are forced into the field, whether by sale or by poverty.

    Perhaps the answer would be legalization (to regulate the industry, to ensure disease tests, and to tax), with an emphasis on bringing women out of the field and into a healthier, safer mainstream. How this would happen, I'm not sure. But keeping prostitution in the dark is harmful, and treating it as another open field is dangerous.

    October 29, 2009 at 8:42 pm | Reply
  43. Mike

    There will always be poor people and rich people and the poor will always get abused by the rich no matter what. its been like that for centuries. 3rd world countries that dont have food or water, they are just wanting to survive get a extra meal for it. some people are traded though they didnt want to, but in the end who is the one to blame, If people didnt go there and lie to them telling that they would get a wonderful job have a better life if they move to western europe, us, canada, or any developed country, if you are in the same position you`d also want to have a better life. If you wanna ban prostitution start banning porn industry first. because of them the younger generation now are having problems, raping cases has been on a rise in recent years.

    October 29, 2009 at 8:51 pm | Reply
  44. Stefano

    I always find it amusing how Americans forgot to mention the fact that in almost all of Western Europe, many well developed Asian Nations and Brazil for instance, Prostitution is legal. If people want to sell their bodies for a profit it is their own issue. Obviously, pandering is what is usually looked down upon and seen as illegal, but independent sex workers should be given the right to do as they please. A well organized and vigilant infrastructure can do a lot more for people who choose this way of life then just trying to stop the unstoppable.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:06 pm | Reply
  45. Dee

    Absolutely not!! For the under 18 is child abuse and exploitation. In kenya not only tourist who are abusing and exploiting young girls and boys but also staff members of reputable international organisations. Law enforcement agencies are turning a blind eye because of rampant corruption in the country. This is absolutely unacceptable given the presence of hundreds of international organizations with resources and the capacity to combat this.

    Save our children!!

    October 29, 2009 at 9:24 pm | Reply
  46. Sandy

    When something is legel it can then be taxed and regulated. This works well in several European countries for that very fact. You must be licensed, you must go to regular STD prevention appointments, and most of all, when it is in the open it is then much easier to prevent the unfortunate event of sex slaves.

    Why would a wealthy businessman go to a dirty illegal pimp who utilizes sex slaves when he can get it legally as well as safer out in the open. This would put the illegal sex nearly out of business.

    Look at countries where it is already legal. Many of the women are independent business owners who are proud of their choices. With regulation there would be laws protecting them, and pimps wouldn't be needed to prevent those women from getting hurt. When it is illegal and must be hidden, prostitutes can't count on the police to help them when they are in danger, so they have no choice but to go to a pimp for that protection.

    If government legalizes, we can add the sin tax and then everyone can benefit from what is already going on in secret. This becomes a win win situation. It is sad that so many people look down on a woman for choosing to sell her body. I would never glorify what they do, but I certainly believe that it is an honest living, a choice, and by no means should she be looked down upon for her choices of having a profession instead of living off of welfare and the system.

    I don't feel that it should be allowed everywhere– like European citiies, there are always districts where it is allowed– away from any schools etc.

    I definitely feel that it would be a win win situation for everyone– this is the oldest profession in the book, it isn't going anywhere– it will always be there. We just simply need to make it safer and more beneficial to the communitieis (i.e taxing it).

    October 29, 2009 at 9:28 pm | Reply
  47. Jay

    Having sex is a essential part of life to overcome the urge that body needs.
    There are certain restricsions in our society to have sex.;You can have sex in public,; below 18s are not allowed; sex outside the marraige is not allowed; gay is not accepted and so on.
    There are certain catagories in our society, widows, elderly people, youngsters who can afford to get married or find a partener. these people also need sex.
    The society needs to think about these people.
    So, the prostitution is for this type of people and needs to to be recognized as normal; i.e. legalized.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:29 pm | Reply
  48. Evangelist

    Deutoronomy 30:19
    "Today I have given you the choice between life and death,between blessings and curses.Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make.Oh that you would choose life,so that you and your descendants might live!
    God does not cause anyone to sin but he does allow sinners to reveal the sinfulness of their hearts by their actions.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  49. Chukuweike

    Wow What is the world turning into, throwing morality and caution to the wind. What legacy do we leave for coming generations.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:42 pm | Reply
  50. Abe

    This question is no different from sucide. If you fail in your attempt you are guilty as charged! If you suceed well, you are dead. Seriously I don't think any woman would like to be a prostitute of her own free will. But life has a way of handing down very tough choices. In the end some decide to use what they have to get what they need.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:42 pm | Reply
  51. Amsterdamprostitutes

    Prostitution is the oldest profession in the world. Why don't you check out Germany. There are brothels with doors next to doctors offices. The fact is people have vices and Americans are in denial. If they would only legalize brothels and marijuana...there would be no need for cash injections to the economy. Forget the Puritans!

    October 29, 2009 at 9:54 pm | Reply
  52. Butters

    For a good view on this topic, I refer to the episode of Southpark, "Butters' Bottom B*tch"

    Protect the supply side
    Protect the demand side

    It has ALWAYS been there and ALWAYS will be.

    Set aside the morality aspect and protect the women (from abuse), control it, and protect the men (from diesese).

    Many good points already raised. Nice discussion people It needs to take place. After all, that is the beauty of our country, WE CAN debate without blowing each other up.

    Live strong, free, and respectful.

    October 29, 2009 at 9:59 pm | Reply
  53. ak

    It should be legalized, rapes would be decreased in %.
    It will happen whether it is legal or illegal.
    People should seperate there religious views, and whats wrong or right. We live in 2009 not in 1809!!!!!!

    October 29, 2009 at 10:03 pm | Reply
  54. Alex

    Of course it should be legal. We need, as a society, good options when it comes to.....if people want to have sex they should be free to do so.

    However, I think paying someone for sex is wrong, I don´t think thats a viable solution, I just don´t like it.
    And women sleeping with so many different partners during a short period of time.....I can´t even think about that....it´s not nice.

    I think we need a different system, maybe if you approched a girl and just asked her if she wants to have sex with you? That seems resonable to me. She could say no, but there would never be any money involved, perhaps a present.

    We could have some type of government-draw that pairs people together that are willing to have sex or what not. But there are already sites like match.com, that site could be seen as a data base for paring people together, right?

    Well, the point is, we should try to work around the problem.......far around........really far......but I can´t stand for the things that I see in prostitution. I just can´t.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:10 pm | Reply
  55. Hussein

    This is an argument between two parties – Believers & Unbelievers. It is neither an issue between morality and immorality nor legality and illegality.

    Do you agree? Let me simplify it. Prostitution is like robbery, every human society is witnessing and will continue to witness robbery despite the fact that it is illegal and immoral. If robbery is being legalise today, it will increase the number of people engage in it.

    Likewise, legalising or illegalising prostitution will never stop this shameful act. It can only reduces the number of people patronizing this demonic business and also determine whether they will be transacting their satanic business secretly or openly.

    NOW, back to my main point. The Believers starting from the first man that was created up to the last man to be created know that their existence on the surface of the earth is never by chance but by the will of their CREATOR. Life to these set of people is full of Dos & Don'ts, life is never a free world but rather, a cell or prison yard where they are not free to do anything desirable to their mind. Because they undoubtedly knew that one day, they will be held accountable for all that they have done while living.

    To the other sets of people – The unbelievers, among whom is Mr Capnmike who stated categorically that there is no God anywhere and that religions are human inventions. These are the inhabitants of free world. Sky is their limit, they are ready to do anything whether moral or immoral, legal or illegal, shameful or respectful, Godly or ungodly.

    BEHOLD! These two categories of people existed from the time of Prophet Noah till the last Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon them) and they will always be till the very last hour.

    Conclusively, Allah say in the Glorious Qur'an that: "indeed we have shown man two ways – the good and the bad". Thus, He promised to duly reward anyone who do an atom-weigh of either good or bad.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:15 pm | Reply
  56. Sami

    I am for the legalization of prostitution. I share the view with many here that there should be a distinction between what may seem immoral to us and what is illegal. Moral values are subjective and may differ between one person and another. Everyone is free to live by their moral choices but they cannot force them onto others. The law however is there to protect our society. In my view what is illegal is acts that are harmful to others or to society. However, personal choices women make about their profession and future is their freedom. I am against limited freedom. Adults should be free to make any choices relative to themselves. Freedom should only be stopped when it undermines other’s liberty or well being, or causes harm to others or society. But if two adults want to have consensual sex for money, it should be their right to do so, because it is simply their business.

    Now speaking from the practical point of view, I think legalizing prostitution is rather positive. Most of us agree that prostitution is there and will be there whether it is legalized or not. Legalizing prostitution will actually protect sex workers. It will provide them protection and medical care. So they no longer need to go underground and be part of dangerous criminal networks where they can be abused and dehumanized. Also, legal commercial sex is safer sex it terms of transmission of disease. Finally, like all workers out there, sex workers should also be paying their taxes.

    Having said all that I may add that I am personally against prostitution. I think it is a demoralizing and non-constructive business. I think it is wrong, but I don’t think it should be illegal.

    October 29, 2009 at 11:01 pm | Reply
  57. Jay Griffin

    Who has the right to say what someone choose to do, religion? WOW, they have a good track record on being humane. I fear a law that is passed on a moral/religous basis rather than on individual rights, if someone wants to sale their body, maybe even if I think it's wrong they should have the right to do that, keep god out of it, what do you moralist think about all the death and dying in the middle east is over, GOD?

    October 30, 2009 at 1:25 am | Reply
  58. ted409

    . psychologically i think the amount of men using the services would decline.
    scientifically proven that "man is not a monoagamous creature"
    men have their workshops, sports activities for the kids of school age that are into sports,etc
    women have there committees of all sorts
    prostitution seems to have many laws laws passed against despite the statement above.
    instead of of getting into a debate i as you this
    "is your sex life as stimulating as it was after 10 15 years as it was when you got married?
    legalized it could be regulated and making sure the prostitutes are healthy and free of stds. nothing that is not being done today.
    thing is
    what does the ingored spouse do after the other engages themselves in hobbies,committees, sports activites.
    i saw on tv the other 2 showing the top activites of the polled women and sex was did last in the 7 item and 13 item activity quiz
    so there seems to be a mulititude of activitives that would seem to leagalize.
    then again as the song sayz"whatever gets you thru the nite

    October 30, 2009 at 3:25 am | Reply
  59. Jecho

    May it not be legalized, prostitution would still be the oldest profession in the World.

    It would be better to legalized it so that we are able to protect the ones who are into it and regulate the rules about prostitution.

    Example:

    For the prostitutes side :

    1. The prostitute should be of legal age and must be verified with I.D.
    2.The prostitute should have a hygiene / health check-up in a weekly basis.
    3. No legal papers / No prostitution law should be applied.
    4. The customer/s have the right to report the prostitute/s who are not abiding the rules.

    For the customer side:

    1. The customer must be of legal age and should present an ID to the prostitute
    2. The customer should be in physical condition without sickness
    3. The prostitutes have the right to report the customers who are not abiding the rules and regulations .

    If both the customer and the prostitutes have violated the laws, they must be imprisoned ( that needs to be defined well according to the laws ).

    In this manner, things will be regulated well. These are just few of my wildest thoughts about the legalization of prostitution !

    November 2, 2009 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  60. sp

    Unbelievable that in this day and age folks like Tina still trying to act as Gods mouth piece and preaching about something that has been with us forever. Legalize it and control it so that those who are vulnerable are protected by law and therefore have choices in the trade or not

    November 3, 2009 at 3:03 pm | Reply
  61. Nick Cummings

    Prostituion should not be leaglized. There are many reasons as to why it should not be legalized. One reason is becuase it is extremly unsafe. Another reason reason is because it is unhealthy. I dont know about prostitutes anywhere else, but in Montgomery,AL, we have a bunch of them located on Mobil Highway as well as Troy Highway. Not to mention they are very very nasty in their appearance as well as their hygine. To wrap things up NO prostitution should be legalized.

    November 4, 2009 at 4:57 am | Reply
  62. Ticho

    Its no good mixing prostitution and religion. Religion always deceive most of us.

    Prostitution should be legalized because most men would tell you that to get a very much satisfactory sex is to pay for it. Legalizing it would made us get the best services with benifits to both parties.

    November 4, 2009 at 9:54 am | Reply
  63. avery

    Prostitution should not be made legal. Prostitutes carry a wide variety of diseases and they always have. Throughout history prostitutes have lead to syphilis, gonorrhea, and ect. The have children and don't take care of them. Prostitution just isn't safe, for the health of America.

    November 4, 2009 at 6:53 pm | Reply
  64. Jehuty

    People always bring up religion. Give it a rest. Don't tell someone else how to live their lives.

    November 5, 2009 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  65. Barnarby

    Absolutely.

    Legalize it and tax it heavily ... then lower some of our taxes with the surplus!

    November 5, 2009 at 9:53 pm | Reply
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    November 12, 2009 at 10:13 pm | Reply
  67. Carlos Avila

    Yes, prostitution should be legalized. It is a situation where some persons simply don't have no choice. It is also a way of living and surviving. No-one forces other to have sex. Prostitutes doesn't force others to have sex with them ,it is voluntary. And sooner or later it have to be legelized, 'cause it can't be erradicated. Prostitution exists since Adam and Eve, and I know about a store that sells adult materials, with this name, and most of the time is full of people 18 and olders. So, people who're against prostitution, are wasting their time punishing it, 'cause others like it. Today, even in the privacy of certain married couples, prostitution is a practice, 'cause of three-somes activities. So, leave prostitution alone and in peace as long as it doesn't bother you.

    January 21, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Reply
  68. Carlos Avila

    YES, it should be LEGALIZED and will be, It have the same rights to be as well as gays marriages were already. We live in a free world where everythings should be respected un-less it doesn't affect the oppositions or others securities and rights. Let's remember that no everyone born as lucky as others, and those who live in the poorness, have the right to survive in life as well as "religious" ones. I heard the other day that some catholic priests used to have sex with noones, and when they got pregnants, they forced them to abort the creature in secret. A common cementery was found underground of a church structure, and several babies fetuses were found. For this reason this practice should be legalized. Besides, every person is responsible of his/her decitions. And sexual illnesses are transmmitted with or without prostitution. Prostitutes use to be cleaner(hygenicaly speaking), than some married womens, and AIDS is found everywhere, not only in prostitution practices. So, let's do something to request for its legalization.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Reply

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