Last updated on: 9/13/2010 | Author:

Should Prostitution Be Legal in Licensed Places like Brothels?

PRO (yes)


Fiona Godlee, MB, Editor of the BMJ (British Medical Journal), wrote the Jan. 28, 2006 BMJ article “Vice Versa” that stated:

“[P]roperly licensed premises would mean that the worst aspects of the sex trade – child prostitution, trafficking, and slavery and the exploitation of vulnerable people – could be tackled. Licensing premises would encourage sex workers’ access to health and social care.”

Jan. 28, 2006


Jessi Winchester, former legal prostitute and political candidate, wrote in From Bordello to Ballot Box (2000) that:

“If prostitution were legalized outright, in addition to current legal brothels in Nevada, zoned areas of communities could be designated for the industry. Privately owned and licensed establishments where security would be mandatory could rent licensed prostitutes a workplace. Taking a lesson from Europe, these districts would not be near homes, schools, or churches. Expanded legal options would offer those currently working in illegal avenues an alternative workplace.”



George Flint, Senior Lobbyist for the Nevada Brothel Owners Association, wrote on its website (accessed Feb. 22, 2007) that:

“I’m a big fan and supporter of the brothels based largely on the fact that legal and regulated works so much better than the obvious alternative. Making prostitution illegal does not make it go away. Our only choice as relating to prostitution is legal and successfully controlled or sadly, what happens without the benefit of what we do have in ten counties of rural Nevada: uncontrolled sex for sale activity with all the crime, drugs, and exploitation that is rampant in the illegal environment.”



Wade Lieseke, former Sheriff of Nye County, Nevada, was quoted in the July 20, 1998 Washington Times article “‘Go To Vegas,’ Chief Tells Johns Seeking Hookers” as having said:

“In my county, I don’t have a prostitution problem because it’s legalized. Why would anyone go to a street hooker if they can go to a brothel where it’s regulated? They would have to be crazy.”

July 20, 1998

CON (no)


Melissa Farley, PhD, Founding Director of the Prostitution Research and Education, wrote in the Oct. 2004 Violence Against Women journal article “‘Bad for the Body, Bad for the Heart:’ Prostitution Harms Women Even If Legalized or Decriminalized” that:

“The regulation of prostitution by zoning is a physical manifestation of the same social/psychological stigma that decriminalization advocates allegedly want to avoid. Reflecting the social isolation of those in it, prostitution is often removed from the mainstream. Whether in Turkish genelevs (walled-off multiunit brothel complexes) or in Nevada brothels (ringed with barbed wire or electric fencing), women in state-zoned prostitution are physically isolated and socially rejected by the rest of society.”

Oct. 2004


Veronica Monet, prostitute and author, in a Mar. 26, 2006 interview on the Suicide Girls website, said:

“Most of the brothels do not care about the women who work for them. They care about the clients who are paying them. I don’t like legalized brothels. I have nothing against the women that are working in this system but the women who work in legal strip clubs and legal brothels do not benefit from any kind of labor rights.”

Mar. 26, 2006


Anastasia Volkonsky, JD, Founder and former Project Director of Prevention, Referral, Outreach, Mentoring, and Intervention to End Sexual Exploitation (PROMISE), in the Feb. 27, 1995 Insight on the News article “Legalization the ‘Profession’ Would Sanction the Abuse,” wrote:

“Behind the facade of a regulated industry, brothel prostitutes in Nevada are captive in conditions analogous to slavery. Women often are procured for the brothels from other areas by pimps who dump them at the house in order to collect the referral fee. Women report working in shifts commonly as long as 12 hours, even when ill, menstruating or pregnant, with no right to refuse a customer who has requested them or to refuse the sexual act for which he has paid. The dozen or so prostitutes I interviewed said they are expected to pay the brothel room and board and a percentage of their earnings — sometimes up to 50 percent. They also must pay for mandatory extras such as medical exams, assigned clothing and fines incurred for breaking house rules. And, contrary to the common claim that the brothel will protect women from the dangerous, crazy clients on the streets, rapes and assaults by customers are covered up by the management.”

Feb. 27, 1995