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Legal Prostitution Home
Should Prostitution Be Legal?
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Decriminalization vs. Legalization
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Rhode Island Outlaws Indoor Prostitution, Closing Legal Loophole
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Last updated on: 7/2/2009 2:13:00 PM PST
Did You Know?
Prostitution dates back to at least
when it appeared on an ancient Sumerian list of professions along with doctor, scribe, barber and cook. Although very old, prostitution is not literally considered to be the "world's oldest profession."
Prostitution is illegal in the United States except in
11 rural counties in Nevada
Indoor prostitution became legal in Rhode Island in 1980 due to an unintentional legal loophole created by legislators. The state
enacted new legislation nearly thirty years later to close the loophole on Nov. 3, 2009
On Nov. 2, 2004 two prostitution referendums went to the voters in the United States with 63.51% of
voters in Berkeley, California
wanting to keep prostitution a crime and 62.78% of
voters in Churchill County, Nevada
wanting to keep prostitution legal.
The same brothel in Nevada could cost an owner a
$200 fee in Lander County
$150,000 fee in Nye County
up to 6 months in jail and/or $1,000 fine in Las Vegas
In 1751, Holy Roman
Empress Maria Theresa
banned short dresses and replaced waitresses with waiters to suppress prostitution.
Researchers have identified at least
25 types of prostitution
by location (street, brothel, etc.), solicitation (CB radio, newspaper ad, etc.) and/or sexual practice (bondage, lap dance, etc.).
selling sex is legal, but buying sex is illegal.
prostitution is illegal, but selling non-
acts is legal.
depending on the state.
In 2004 the number of US prostitution-related arrests ranged from
Proponents of legal prostitution have included
while opponents have included
Susan B. Anthony
Medieval canon lawyer Johannes Teutonicus, when defining prostitution, suggested that a woman who had sex
with more than 23,000 men should be classified as a prostitute
, although 40 to 60 would also do.
1% of American women, or over one million people in the United States, have worked as prostitutes
A sex laws chart from 1996
lists, for example, nine states and the District of Columbia as prohibiting fornication (sex outside of marriage), and fourteen states as prohibiting hetero oral sex.
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