Friday, January 19, 2007


Legal Begal

A great article in today's Globe and Mail. Professor Alan Young outlines the reasons why prostitution should be legal. This policy change is long overdue in Canada for social and economic reasons. It is time to tax and regulate the world's oldest profession.

Young's conclusion is indefensable:

Sex-trade workers have had an enormous fall from grace in the past millennium, going from being sacred temple harlots to marginalized outcasts exposed to all manner of violence, abuse and ridicule. Even if you believe that all sex work is degrading or immoral, I cannot see how this can morally justify doing nothing about abduction and murder. With a shift in legal perspective and the removal of legal obstacles standing in the way of safe sex work, we may be able to save lives. In any moral school of thought, the sanctity of life trumps sexual morality.

The see no evil, hear no evil approach is not working - the similarities between the "war on drugs" is another classic example of this.

Hear, hear!!

I absolutely agree!
What percentage of prostitutes dating back a millennium were "sacred temple harlots"?

Sacred or not, people living in ancient times were more than aware of the diseases which could be contracted through sexual intercourse with a prostitute, even if they didn't understand the details. Syphilis and the like were common ailments among those living in such a lifestyle, and thus, societal norms were established to counteract the spread of these diseases.

Prostitution isn't illegal because our society is filled with prudes who despise the "immorality" or "degradation"; it's illegal because it is a health risk to all involved.

I need to be shown significant data which supports the increased health benefits due to the legalization of prostitution, an action which must supercede the effectiveness of the continued social stigmatization of the act in itself.

For example, if we legalize sex-for-money, we are removing the stigma for the act, and more people will get involved with it. Thus, even though workers might be better protected, a larger percentage of people would partake and be exposed to disease.

Moreover, even if prostitution is legalized, there will still be workers operating outside the legal bounds. Legalization will do nothing against the exploitation of children, for instance, nor will it take care of those prostitutes who are riddled with disease and have to work without the support of the legalized trade.

Morality does come into my own opinion on the matter, though the morality is my own. Through them, I can not force myself to contribute to a substantial increase in this risky behavior.
You don't think that regulation and required medical checkups will help with that? You dont' think that prostitution is illegal because it is generally considered immoral or degrading? You think that there is enough of a stigma that men are ~not~ using prostitutes, yet there won't be enough of a stigma if it became legal? You don't think that prostitutes (often young boys and women) won't be safer if they are legally working?

We disagree on many fundamental issues, my friend.
Since 1986, when mandatory testing began, not a single brothel prostitute has ever tested positive for HIV.[2] The mandatory condom law was passed in 1988.


There are no valid moral concerns for the prostitution to be illegal, the things that need to be addressed are human trafficking and sex slavery. Those are the real outrages here, there need to be laws that protect the prostitutes from being abused from, not laws that protect the public from the prostitutes.
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