Legalization of Prostitution: More Fear than Harm?

by sabrinam on Septembre 16, 2016 - 9:21am

People’s opinion regarding the legalization of prostitution differs a lot according to their culture, their views, and their experiences. For some, prostitution is something we should totally not allow. For others, its legalization would bring more good than evil. As Ronald Weitzer discusses in his article “Prostitution: Facts and Fictions”, a popular perspective of prostitution is the “oppression model” which associates abuse, young teens of 13 and 14 years old, violence, drug addicts, and sex traffickers to the subject. According to this model, legalizing prostitution would only regulate abuse and exploitation. Thus, it values non-interference by wanting the abolition of prostitution and not the amelioration of it. The author Rachel Moran also suggests in her article that legalizing prostitution would be as if we decriminalize violations of human rights. Therefore, the respect of human rights and justice are also valued by this perspective.

On the other hand, the legalization of prostitution has many advantages. As Weitzer’s article discusses, the common objective of people wanting its legalization is harm reduction. By regulating it, brothels have to get a license by the government, and the government can control their size, their quality, and their safety for both workers and clients. The legalization of prostitution would make prostitution safer with safety measures such as panic buttons, guardians, health controls and much more. This perspective values the security of workers, empowers workers, and encourages the respect of human rights. It also allows prostitutes to practice their job, which values the equality of opportunity.

For sure, prostitution can’t be totally removed from the society. Despite laws, it will always remain. I believe that the government should make prostitution legal and make laws to make it safer and better for the prostitutes and the clients. I am aware that even though the government regulates it, there will still be young teenagers and illegal pimps in the field of prostitution. However, I think the legalization can’t worsen the situation. It would help part of the prostitutes by making their job safer (security), improving their conditions (equality of conditions), limiting the size and quantity of brothels by requiring licenses by the government, and prevent some teens to enter in the field of prostitution.

At last, prostitution and its legalization is a debatable subject. People’s perspectives differ according to places and values. Is there a middle that could please everyone? Do we have to fear its legalization?


Moran, Rachel. "Buying Sex Should Not Be Legal." The New York Times (2015).

Weitzer, Ronald. "Prostitution: Facts and Fictions." Contexts 6.4 (2007): 28-33.ProQuest. Web. 8 Sep. 2016.