Prostitution is the practice of engaging in sexual activity with someone who is not related to each other in exchange for payment in money or other valuables, the person who offers the sexual activity is said to be a prostitute. Generally, prostitutes would be females, but it can be any gender and the clients are usually men.
In a few societies, prostitution is considered a profession but, in some societies, prostitution is considered taboo and if the person is found selling their body, then it could lead to imprisonment, discrimination, or sometimes death.
Prostitution in the United States
Sex work “is the exchange of sexual services, either regularly or occasionally, for money or goods. Though sex work is considered the world’s oldest profession, it remains illegal in most countries. In the United States, it is up to the states, rather than the federal government, to prohibit or permit and regulate sex work. Currently, Nevada is the only state to have legalized sex work, recognizing brothels as its only permittable form. The widespread criminalization and social stigma of the occupation has led to sex workers being one of the most marginalized and vulnerable populations, especially regarding HIV and AIDS. Criminalization and the resulting stigma put sex workers in a position where they have lesser authority to insist on safe sex practices, face increased violence in all aspects of their lives, and cannot make proper healthcare decisions due to heightened discrimination and lack of access. As a result, female sex workers are both thirteen times more likely to be living with HIV and thirteen times more at risk of acquiring HIV than the general population. While sex work is seen as risky because of the workers’ increased number of sexual encounters, the risks are more closely related to the policies, practices, and stigma that limit sexual and health-related decisions than they are to the act of sex itself. Therefore, legalization is imperative. Legalization of sex work in the U.S. will have the greatest impact on reducing HIV risk among people who exchange sex, because it will lessen the negative consequences of criminalization that increase HIV risk and allow for implementation of regulations that decrease HIV risk.”
THE NEED FOR DECRIMINALIZATION
Many argue that criminalization of sex work is based in the enforcement of moral norms. The government, on the other hand, typically justifies criminal penalties against sex work as a way to preserve public health. Criminalization of sex, however, actually perpetuates these issues by driving sex work underground, leading to unsafe sex practices, increased violence, and inadequate healthcare, all of which increase the risk of HIV transmission and acquisition.
Indian laws related to prostitution: “According to the Indian Penal Code, prostitution in it’s broader sense is not really illegal per se but there are certain activities which constitute a major part of prostitution are punishable under certain provisions of the act:
- Soliciting services of prostitution at public places,
- Carrying out prostitution activities in hotels,
- Being the owner of a brothel,
- Indulge in prostitution by arranging a sex worker,
- Arrangement of a sexual act with a customer.
Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (ITPA) defines prostitution as sexual exploitation or abuse of a female for monetary purposes and a prostitute is the person who gains that commercial benefit. This act was passed in 1956 and is also referred as SITA. This law essentially states that prostitutes are allowed to commence their trade in private, but they cannot carry their business in public. As per the act, the clients can be arrested if found guilty of engaging in a sexual act in public.
A woman cannot indulge in commercial sex within 200 yards of a public place. Sex workers cannot be put under the ambit of the existent labour laws considering how distinguished their profession is, but they have all the rights of any given Indian citizen and are entitled to be rescued and rehabilitated if they want.” It is important to note that in India, irrespective of the fact that laws exist that prohibit prostitution. West Bengal, India is also Asia’s biggest brothel places and home to a growing sex workers.
John schools “are programs whose mission is the rehabilitation of purchasers of prostitution. A mandated program that is used as treatment for men who have been detained for soliciting sex from prostitutes. this program consists of several therapy sessions and informational meetings regarding legal actions, the dangers, and lasting outcomes that may take place as a result of soliciting sex from a prostitute. In the first 12 years of the ongoing program, now denominated the “First Offender Prostitution Program”, the recidivism rate of offenders was reduced from 8% to less than 5%. Since 1995, similar programs have been implemented in more than 40 communities in the US, including Washington, D.C.; West Palm Beach, Florida; Buffalo and Brooklyn, New York; and Los Angeles, California. An audit in 2009 of the first john school in San Francisco, California by the budget analysts of the City faulted the program with poorly defined objectives and absence of a method to determine its efficacy. Despite being touted as a national model for which taxpayers pay nothing, the audit stated that the program did not fully cover its expenses in each of the preceding 5 years, which resulted in a deficit of $270,000.”
“Earlier this month in Portland, Oregon, a group of people spoke at a public hearing about the dignity of their jobs as sex workers.
One person at the hearing, organized by the Oregon Sex Workers Human Rights Commission, said that as a single parent, sex work had provided a level of financial stability that other jobs did not. Other fields offered low wages that made it difficult to provide the bare minimum in terms of food and housing.
“I’m able to buy food, my kids’ school supplies, give them presents on Christmas morning and not have the fear of being homeless,” said Brandi, who only provided a first name. Brandi began to cry: “Law enforcement says I should get a real job, as if I don’t have a real job.””
Why do people oppose prostitution?
Many cultures and societies feel that prostitution is immoral, and they are usually linked with human trafficking and sex trafficking which is a crime. Prostitution can increase the STDs (Sexually transmitted diseases) and STIs (Sexually transmitted infections) which is a huge problem to deal with as some of them can be incurable.
The clients are usually abusive and violent towards the women which could be very traumatic to them, this can affect their mental health and physical health so many women complain about this problem. There are cases where prostitutes have been murdered, women are exploited in many ways this is the way society is against the idea of prostitution.
Prostitution can also lead to change in the view of men which is objectifying women and treating them as sex objects. This might encourage the idea of prostitution in a wider range and could create multiple problems in society. Women are forced to work as a prostitute to earn a living and meet the daily expenses as they lack any skills and training to support themselves and they are not even given proper care for their health.
 Legalization of Sex Work in the United States: An HIV Reduction Strategy (georgetown.edu)  See generally Sylvia A. Law, Commercial Sex: Beyond Decriminalization, 73 S. CAL. L. REV. 542–45 (2002).  Id. at 545–46.  404 (who.int)  Legalization of Prostitution In India (legalserviceindia.com)  Prostitution in the United States - Britannica  Two states preview diverging paths on future of prostitution and sex work (19thnews.org)
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