Should Prostitution Be Legal?

Proponents of legalizing prostitution believe it would reduce crime, improve public health, increase tax revenue, help people out of poverty, get prostitutes off the streets, and allow consenting adults to make their own choices. They contend that prostitution is a victimless crime, especially in the 11 Nevada counties where it remains legal.

Opponents believe that legalizing prostitution would lead to increases in sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS, global human trafficking, and violent crime including rape and homicide. They contend that prostitution is inherently immoral, commercially exploitative, empowers the criminal underworld, and promotes the repression of women by men.


PROS & CONS BY CATEGORY
CORE QUESTION

Prostitution Defined

Brothels

Crime

Decriminalization vs. Legalization

Economics







Notices for Legal Prostitution and Other ProCon.org Information (archived after 30 days)
Updated: How Many Prostitutes Are in the United States and the Rest of the World?
1/11/2018 - As many as 42 million men, women, and children are working as prostitutes worldwide, with one to two million of those based in the United States.

Updated: Would Legal Prostitution Better Protect Prostitutes from Violence?
1/4/2018 - Examine updated pro and con quotes from the Sex Workers Outreach Project-USA (Pro), President of FEMEN International Association Inna Shevchenko (Con), Assistant Professor of Journalism at West Virginia University Alison Bass (Pro), and Norma Ramos, Executive Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (Con), among many other experts.

Updated: Is Prostitution Immoral and Demeaning?
1/4/2018 - Explore pro and con quotes on this controversial topic including from former Captain of the Anaheim Police Department Joe Vargas (Pro), escort, writer, and sex worker advocate Laura Lee (Con), and physicians Theodore Dalrymple (Pro) and Alexa Albert (Con).

Updated: Would Legal Prostitution Decrease Sexually Transmitted Diseases?
1/4/2018 - Consider both sides of this debate with quotes from academics Drs. Steffanie Strathdee and Teela Sanders (Pro), politician and lawyer Cheryl Edwardes (Con), UK charity Avert (Pro), and Canadian nonprofit REAL Women of Canada (Con).

Updated: Is Legal Prostitution a Legitimate Business?
1/4/2018 - Read our updated question with pro and con quotes from experts and organizations including the UK-based Global Network of Sex Work Projects (Pro), US-based Demand Abolition (Con), United Nations Development Programme (Pro), and journalist and cofounder of Justice for Women Julie Bindel (Con).

Archived Notices

Last updated on 1/11/2018 3:04:08 PM PST

Proponents of legalizing prostitution believe it would reduce crime, improve public health, increase tax revenue, help people out of poverty, get prostitutes off the streets, and allow consenting adults to make their own choices. They contend that prostitution is a victimless crime, especially in the 11 Nevada counties where it remains legal.

Opponents believe that legalizing prostitution would lead to increases in sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS, global human trafficking, and violent crime including rape and homicide. They contend that prostitution is inherently immoral, commercially exploitative, empowers the criminal underworld, and promotes the repression of women by men.

PROS & CONS BY CATEGORY
CORE QUESTION

Prostitution Defined

Brothels

Crime

Decriminalization vs. Legalization

Economics

Health

Human Trafficking

Marriage and Prostitution

Morality

Personal Freedom and Liberty

Pornography

Red-Light Districts


100 Countries and Their Prostitution Policies


Percentage of Men (by Country) Who Paid For Sex at Least Once: The Johns Chart


State Medical Marijuana Laws











Notices for Legal Prostitution and Other ProCon.org Information (archived after 30 days)
Updated: How Many Prostitutes Are in the United States and the Rest of the World?
1/11/2018 - As many as 42 million men, women, and children are working as prostitutes worldwide, with one to two million of those based in the United States.

Updated: Would Legal Prostitution Better Protect Prostitutes from Violence?
1/4/2018 - Examine updated pro and con quotes from the Sex Workers Outreach Project-USA (Pro), President of FEMEN International Association Inna Shevchenko (Con), Assistant Professor of Journalism at West Virginia University Alison Bass (Pro), and Norma Ramos, Executive Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (Con), among many other experts.

Updated: Is Prostitution Immoral and Demeaning?
1/4/2018 - Explore pro and con quotes on this controversial topic including from former Captain of the Anaheim Police Department Joe Vargas (Pro), escort, writer, and sex worker advocate Laura Lee (Con), and physicians Theodore Dalrymple (Pro) and Alexa Albert (Con).

Updated: Would Legal Prostitution Decrease Sexually Transmitted Diseases?
1/4/2018 - Consider both sides of this debate with quotes from academics Drs. Steffanie Strathdee and Teela Sanders (Pro), politician and lawyer Cheryl Edwardes (Con), UK charity Avert (Pro), and Canadian nonprofit REAL Women of Canada (Con).

Updated: Is Legal Prostitution a Legitimate Business?
1/4/2018 - Read our updated question with pro and con quotes from experts and organizations including the UK-based Global Network of Sex Work Projects (Pro), US-based Demand Abolition (Con), United Nations Development Programme (Pro), and journalist and cofounder of Justice for Women Julie Bindel (Con).

Archived Notices

Last updated on 1/11/2018 3:04:08 PM PST