88
8 votes
Apr 23, 2015

If prostitution were legalized, I think it would be crucial to require prostitutes to be regularly tested for HIV and other STDs. However, enforcing this would require setting up an entirely new system by which to make sure they've been tested, some sort of proof they have been (perhaps cards) that inform "Johns" what STDs, if any, the card holder has.

Prostitution goes on already and will continue to go on whether it is legalized or not. If we legalize it then we can at least keep people safer and better informed.

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83
main reply
6 votes,
Apr 23, 2015

This article is a pretty good starting point for a basis in discussing law:

plato.stanford.edu/entries/law-limits/

I believe all laws should be based on quantifiable harm to the perpetrator and/or others. We must also consider how this harm relates to consent. i.e. do we have a moral right to prevent someone from causing quantifiable harm to themselves or to consent to be harmed? The consent question applies as well to the debate over the right to end one's life.

Morality is a very shaky reason for legislation, and I'm guessing prostitution laws are based mostly on moral grounds - same with drugs. I don't care if someone in the privacy of their home jams ketchup bottles up their arse, but I do take offence if they were to do this in public. Oddly enough I don't have any problems with people being naked in public. I don't have any urge to do this myself, but I also don't see any harm. Same with marijuana - I rarely smoke myself, and I don't see any harm in legalising and regulating it as we do alcohol. Meth and similar highly dissociative drugs are a different matter as they carry a very real risk of harm.

I don't doubt that sex workers experience physical and psychological challenges. On the psychological side, there may well be harm caused, but how much of this harm is due to the stigma associated with their work. Would any of us want our own children to become strippers or a prostitutes? Sure, we could be supportive if they chose to work in the sex industry, but I doubt anything but a tiny minority would be truly happy.

I agree with your pragmatic angle on this. Prostitution will not go away, so the best we can do right now is to minimise the harm. Legalisation and control would remove much of the physical risk, and may go some way to reducing the stigma.

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0
0 votes,
Apr 23, 2015

I have no experience with meth, but I know it's an amphetamine, which are also used in several ADD/ADHD medications. There can be a very delicate balance of harm vs benefit in things like this. Not to say I don't support legal prostitution, because I do. Policies like we're discussing to minimize STD transfer exist and as far as I know, are reasonably successful. I know that the brothel in Nevada (US's only legal one, if I remember correctly) has a 'dick check' rule, where the girl must make sure the penis is clean and in good general health before otherwise interacting with it. As long as such policies are followed, I don't even see any other harm to minimize.

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100
1 vote,
Apr 23, 2015

Yeah, amphetamines have plenty of legitimate medical applications. The big problems with meth would be the haphazard methods of manufacture, uncertainty of potency, and drug addicts setting their own doses as they self-medicate. Most drugs would be dangerous under the same circumstances.

I agree, the physical harm can be reasonably well quantified and addressed. What I've been considering lately is the psychological harm, and by that I don't just narrow-out prostitution. I think for all professions we should be considering psychological harm and how we can reduce damage. For prostitution simply bringing it out of the shadows would probably help, and certainly if we can separate sex from morality everyone would be more healthy - not just prostitutes.

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33
3 votes,
Apr 23, 2015

Very good. You say it logically. The only thing I would like to add is that it should also be free to us seniors. Good public relations. A dirty old man, is a happy old man. Probably more of a County ballot decision by the people.

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0
User voted No.
0 votes,
Dec 31, 2015

"I'm guessing prostitution laws are based mostly on moral grounds"----You say that like it's a bad thing. Morals aren't arbitrary rules. They're about protecting individual humans and society in general from harm. Think about it from the woman's point of view. Having someone inside of you is a very intimate act. Imagine being a woman and having a guy on top of you putting himself inside you, not because you love him or even like him but just because he gave you money. Imagine a fat, sweaty Ned Beatty-type who has bad breath getting on top of you, and maybe verbally abusing you because that's what gets him off. Further imagine that you have a whole string of fat, sweaty, dog breath guys for the rest of the week, who are not only incompetent but sometimes even physically painful to you in the way they do the deed. Can you see where that might take a negative psychological toll on a woman?

And what about the man? He's treating the woman like an expensive carnival ride, the very epitome of objectifying her and seeing her only as a sex object. Do you think with that kind of view of women that there are any healthy intimate relationships in his future? Do you think when that guy goes back to the office that he'll be thinking of women as human beings deserving of respect, or as a carnival ride he wishes he could take? And what if the guy is married? Do you think his wife won't eventually figure out what he's doing? Do you think she won't be deeply hurt by his actions? Would you be happy if you found out your wife or girlfriend was slipping away to see male prostitutes? Would that make you feel wounded and betrayed?

Prostitution is antithetical to positive relationships between men and women. That's why it's immoral. That's also why it ought to remain illegal.

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100
main reply
3 votes,
Apr 23, 2015

Other countries have such systems in place. Some overseas military facilities also test local prostitutes to make sure STDs are kept to a minimum. It's possible.

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100
main reply
1 vote,
Apr 23, 2015

The only way I could see this disappearing is have the government run it.

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100
User voted No.
main reply
1 vote,
Nov 4, 2015

You're taking a very one-sided view of the STD/HIV situation. You know where prostitutes get STDs? From Johns! Wouldn't it also be crucial for Johns to be regularly tested for STDs and HIV and have cards establishing their disease-free status before being able to go to prostitutes? Should married people be allowed to go to prostitutes, and if so, should they be legally responsible for informing their spouses so they're aware of their risk of contracting HIV and or STDs?
Also, what happens if, despite all precautions, i.e. the prostitute uses the pill and the John uses a condom, the woman gets pregnant? She's going to be out of a job for around nine months and then have a child to raise. Will the John be required to pay child support? If not, why not? And who will support the prostitute while she's pregnant? Will the John take care of that? If not, who will?

And what about women who go to male prostitutes? Will male prostitutes be financially responsible for the children they father? And then we get to the situation of married women going to male prostitutes. In some states, including my own, a husband is financially responsible for any children his wife bears, whether he is their biological father or not. How would you like to come home and find out that your wife has been seeing male prostitutes and now you're responsible for the care and keep of the child with which one of them impregnated her?

As for the argument that prostitution goes on already and will continue to go on whether it's legal or not, that can be said of a lot of things, like murder, spousal abuse, child abuse, child pornography, etc., etc. The fact that we can't entirely stop an action by making it illegal does not, in and of itself, justify its legalization.

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67
main reply
3 votes,
Apr 23, 2015

Yes, it should be legalized. There is no legitimate reason for it not being legalized. I am a firm believer that legalized prostitution would cut down on the number of sexual assaults.

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0
main reply
0 votes,
Apr 23, 2015

Very few prostitutes agree to not using protection anyway, and to be honest if you go to a prostitute that agrees to it, you have only yourself to blame. I don't think such a system where you force prostitutes to have a card serves much purpose, except making people think it's safe to have sex with a prostitute without a condom.

I do think it's important that prostitutes have access to health care and cheap/free testing for STD's. But most countries have this already. In the US it's different, it's probably hard for a prostitute to get medical insurance for a reasonable price.

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