PUBLIC OPINION > Prostitution Should Be Legal

Living 2012/07/26 21:00:00
The Global Commission on HIV and the Law issued a report suggesting that nations eliminate laws banning "consensual sex work" -- i.e., prostitution. It's an interesting claim coming from an organization aimed at preventing sexually transmitted disease, but their hope is that legalization would lead to regulation and safer practice. We asked the public if prostitution should be legal.

Nearly two-thirds of the population admitted that it thinks prostitution should be legal. However, it's important to understand that this doesn't necessarily reflect the public's moral opinion of the topic. The question is explicitly legal. Most people think it should be a choice. One commenter wrote, "By legalizing it, mandatory health screenings can be required for the safety of the prostitute and the buyer. Trying to keep it illegal only keeps the thing in the dark where roaches like to live. Bring it into the light of public attention and those roaches will scurry."

Men Are More Willing

Should we be surprised that men were more likely to support the legalization of prostitution? Of course, the Global Commission was not referring solely to female prostitution, but it is more often thought of as a service targeted at men. Actually, the difference wasn't that big. Men were only 11% more supportive than women. Women were still more likely to support legalization than refuse it.

Christian Resistance

Religion and politics provided the biggest defenders of criminalization -- Christians and conservatives. Both demographics were significantly less supportive than the rest. Since religion and politics are often closely related, it's probably not too much of a leap to assume that religion drives this one. Allowing the nation to embrace something that Christians consider to be immoral is a tough call to make.

Older Voters Are For It

Typically, older voters respond similarly to conservative voters. In this case, that means we would predict the older a voter got the less willing they would be to support the legalization of prostitution. Not so. Actually, most age groups were relatively similar. The only one that stood out noticeably was the 55-64 group, and they were 11% more likely to support legalization.

If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about legalizing prostitution. We'd love to hear from you!
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Top Opinion

  • Jiorgia 2012/07/26 21:30:50
    Seriously Christians, you see transactional sex between two consenting adults as worse then the rapes, abuse and murders that you are allowing to happen by keeping it illegal...

    Women in sex work cannot go to the police about rapes or abuse because of their profession and that is plain and simple WRONG.

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  • Korgull Temlako... 2012/07/26 22:12:35
    No one pays for intimacy, they pay for sex.

    Think of it like subscribing to a porn site, only you're getting real sex instead of videos of it.
  • Temlako... Korgull 2012/07/27 18:55:49
    Whom would you really rather be with:

    Someone who just goes through the motions?

    Or somebody who wants to be there just as much as you do, and money is no object because money does not change hands?
  • Korgull Temlako... 2012/07/27 19:58:47 (edited)
    Sex is for two things. Pleasure and reproduction. Nine times out of ten, you're having sex for pleasure, and that doesn't require a significant other or someone of emotional importance. Sex is sex, as long as it's clean, safe, and consensual.

    Granted, the chase can be as fun as the catch, but sometimes wooing a girl is itself "just going through the motions"
  • tesmith47 Korgull 2012/08/18 20:13:57
    that is right , because you probably are not going to have sex until you woo her with buying something, and you still may not
  • Jess 2012/07/26 21:53:39
    It's kinda impossible to legalize or criminalize completely anyway.
  • johnstamps 2012/07/26 21:52:43
    I really dont think they should ever legalize prastatution
  • RevBH johnstamps 2012/07/26 22:12:00
  • Joey 2012/07/26 21:46:10
    It is funny how people want to tell others what they can and can not do with their bodies.
  • Jess Joey 2012/07/26 21:50:56
    Basically this. It's the same as vaccines and abortion.
  • RevBH Joey 2012/07/26 22:38:56
    Yeah. They talk about "rights" all the time, but they want to deny rights to people who don't think like them. Interesting, but annoying and often dangerous.
  • Mike J. Hirak 2012/07/26 21:45:12
    Mike J. Hirak
    It would be a lot safer if it was legal
  • im right ur wrong 2012/07/26 21:44:02
    im right ur wrong
    i thought it already was!
  • Jiorgia 2012/07/26 21:30:50
    Seriously Christians, you see transactional sex between two consenting adults as worse then the rapes, abuse and murders that you are allowing to happen by keeping it illegal...

    Women in sex work cannot go to the police about rapes or abuse because of their profession and that is plain and simple WRONG.
  • Daryl Jiorgia 2012/07/26 21:34:44
    You think legal prostitution reduces rape?
  • Jiorgia Daryl 2012/07/26 21:37:14
    It's proven to where I live, the rapes of the sex workers of course.
    We have legal brothels and decriminalised street walkers/call girls.
  • ZenerSix Jiorgia 2012/07/26 22:49:22 (edited)
    If the prostitutes in your community are employed rather than self employed, it might explain why they're getting raped. While I want prostitution to be legal in the US, I don't think it should be legal for anyone to be employed as a prostitute because employers have too much power over people as it is and nobody should be entitled to a prostitute's earnings but them, otherwise is constitutes slavery. In order to ensure that prostitutes are always secure, protected, and free to make their own choices, they should always be self employed, like dentists and lawyers.
  • lee ZenerSix 2012/07/26 23:17:47
    there are dentists in co-ops and there are lawyer that are partners in law practice at big firms... what's the diff?
  • nbarton2 lee 2012/07/26 23:42:05
    The difference is intimidation and manipulation of a person into sex; which in definition is rape.
  • Jiorgia nbarton2 2012/07/27 07:59:30
    When the work is legal, that intimidation and manipulation ends, our sex workers enjoy their work and are paid very well for their services.
  • ZenerSix lee 2012/07/27 14:03:05
    They are equals in their relationships, not masters and slaves.
  • lee ZenerSix 2012/07/27 17:44:19
    so why couldn't sex workers form a co-op or a partner practice?

    you seem to be saying they can only "hang thier shingle" as an individual... that seems overly limiting.

    and if they were allowed to organize, i would think even "corporate" business model would work. its not "master/slave" as long the labor side has equal footing in the negotions with mgmt.
  • ZenerSix lee 2012/07/27 17:55:21 (edited)
    I don't want to limit them economically. I just don't want any of their business relationships to compromise their financial independence and free will. For example, a co-op or partnership between more than two people at a time can give a majority power over an individual or minority. Perhaps then co-ops and partnerships should be limited to two parties at a time. Two individuals form a duo which can then form partnerships with other duos, two at a time, and so on hierarchically.
  • lee ZenerSix 2012/07/27 19:20:09
    no threesome's then?

    prude ;)

    so, i get what you are saying... i'm just not sure i'm as worried as you about there being "labor" abuse in the sex trade any more than there would be in any other business arrangement.

    once its legal and normal business transaction rules can be applied out in the open with full police and court access, then the risks go WAY down compared to what sex workers have to deal with now.
  • Jiorgia ZenerSix 2012/07/27 20:23:47 (edited)
    Brothels work on a basis that there is a door fee (which goes to the owner of the brothel) and a services fee (which goes to the sex worker).

    It is like being an independent practitioner in a law firm, you get more clients because of the firms name and reputation, they get a better name and reputation from having more good lawyers.

    Its a win win situation and our sex workers compete to get into brothels.
  • ZenerSix Jiorgia 2012/07/28 04:30:54 (edited)
    The owners of a brothel are like landlords. They can kick out anyone who doesn't follow their rules, which means they can impose the same kind of rules that an employer would impose or worse. Hence the high rape statistics of brothels.
  • Jiorgia ZenerSix 2012/07/28 05:00:07
    Maybe in America, but not here.
    Yes the brothel owners are like landlords, but our brothel rape stats are lower then that of our street walkers or even call girls.
  • ZenerSix Jiorgia 2012/07/28 05:04:41
    Well that makes sense. Indoors is more secure than outdoors.
  • Jiorgia ZenerSix 2012/07/27 04:36:03
    No, my prostitutes are not getting raped, yours are.
  • tesmith47 Jiorgia 2012/08/18 20:01:09
    can i pretty please hire a couple of yours, please??
  • nbarton2 Jiorgia 2012/07/26 23:44:09
    So no one where you live is ever forced into prostitution because people are always willing participants in the process?
  • Jiorgia nbarton2 2012/07/27 08:00:19 (edited)
    Some are, most are not.

    Edit: and the some that are can do something about it.
  • Daryl Jiorgia 2012/07/27 00:12:59
    sorry but I know you are wrong.

    How do I know? Certain regions of the US have legal prostitution and they have identical if not higher rates of rape.
  • Jiorgia Daryl 2012/07/27 04:40:24
    because the prostitutes are reporting it now.

    When they did the statistics of rape for before in my state they asked the prostitutes if they had been raped in the year before the legalisation (almost a resounding yes) and added that into their numbers.
    rape started out as more but as men realised that they weren't getting away with it anymore, the number of rapes of sex workers began to drop steadily.
  • Daryl Jiorgia 2012/07/28 23:10:14
    Sorry but you seem to undercut your own argument.

    Legal prostitution does nothing to discourage rape.

    Women with the legal right to protect themselves and a culture that honors women prevents rape.
  • Daryl Jiorgia 2012/07/28 23:12:24
    Makes no sense.

    Liberal states are soft on crime including rape.

    Women get justice in right-wing states, even hookers who are raped.
  • tesmith47 Daryl 2012/08/18 20:02:09
    you are wrong and / or lying
  • Daryl tesmith47 2012/08/18 21:09:40
    I am right and telling the truth.

    You failed.
  • closinyou Jiorgia 2012/07/30 07:25:30
    We could all play Russian roulette with a shotgun too. Then once someone blows their head off we can all go turn ourselves in for murder.
    We could be intelligent individuals and NOT play Russian roulette!

    You are orchestrating a game of Russian roulette with the women you ABUSE! YOU SHOULD BE IN JAIL FOR YOUR ACTIONS!! Every rape you oversee is a RAPE you are guilty of committing! You should be proud... you've found a way to get payed to be a serial rapist!
  • Jiorgia closinyou 2012/07/30 08:29:31
    I should be in jail for MY actions, I am advocating something that DROPS the amount of rapes they endure and also gives them justice if they do get raped.
    What have you done lately for the atrocities that keeping prostitution ilegal allows?
    about the rapes, abuse, drugs, murders and sex slavery...
    ignored them?
  • tesmith47 Jiorgia 2012/08/18 20:04:49
    you are a voice of sanity, those folks disagreeing with you have no experience and dont know what they are talking about.

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