Tuesday, April 19, 2005

By Request...Would legalized prostitution reduce sex crimes?

After reading this post, please scroll to the bottom and answer the new Poll.

I was asked to post this topic and I knew it would not be easy. So many toes to step on. To keep this as simple as possible, Prostituion is defined as "sex for money". There are issues of bartered sex and of trading sex for gifts that will not be covered here. There are other issues of Std (sexually transmitted diseases) either being reduced by regulated sex trade or spreading STDs due to ineffective protection. Feminisms views of objectifying women leading to women being second class. The Government forcing morality on society. Removing organized crime from sex trade. Religious factions forcing their "idealism" on society. Decreased financial burden on Governments in policing prostitution. Increased revenue through taxation. The exchange of one form of exploitation (Pimps) for another form (Government). The list can go on and on. Again, I will not go into these as the post would take 12 hours to read.

Can legalized prostitution reduce sex crimes? To answer this, it is important to look at countries that have legalized or decriminalized Prostitution, and compare statistical data. If a majority of countries allowing prostitution show a marked decrease in rapes and molestation incidences, then the answer would be an extrapolated affirmative "yes" it does prevent sex crimes. The most reliable source of comparatative data I could find is a report by the Taiwan Government from 1998: Rape per 100,000 people. 1. United States 34.20 2. England and Wales 14.69 3. France 13.38 4. Taiwan 8.82 5. Spain 3.23 6. Japan 1.48. As can be seen, countries with leagalized or decriminalzed prostitution listed, have a marked decrease in reported Rapes compared to the USA. The problem with this comparison is that we have to determine if the definition of rape is the same for each country. A question also comes to mind of the negative ramifications of a man or woman reporting rape in a society that may ostracize them. All things must be equal to make an accurate comparison and that is next to impossible. There are no definitive studies that show prostitution decreases sex crimes.

Fat Bastard's Position...This subject is unique as it deals with one of our most basic drives. The drive to procreate. Philosophy, religion, politics and culture all play a role when examining Prostitution. You almost need a degree in Human Sexuality to understand how hormones, environment and and up-bringing play a role in sexuality and how we deal with it. Further more, a degree in psychology is needed to determine what drives people to commit sex crimes, rape and molestation. Even with all this education, there are no clear answers. But there are plenty of OPINIONS. Opinions that are not backed by facts or research.

The situations in our world that would cause a person to turn to prostitution all seem so sad and devastating. From my background, I would never condone my sisters or children to enter the sex trade, especially for financial gain. In my travels, I have encountered numerous prostitutes and sex travellers, and not one prostitute said to me "I am performing a valuable function for society". I am sure there are some prostitutes that are working purely for financial gain, I just have not met one. I do know that in the US, criminalzation of prostitution has not stopped it, just kept it underground. It also reduces the legal recourse for prostitutes that are abused (who care if a prostitute is raped when she was out to commit a sex crime?) Do prostitutes have a true choice. If they do, then is what two consenting adults do in privacy a crime?

I did run across an article on the decriminilization of prostitution in New Zealand. It seems that the proposal was opposed by 75% of polled citizens, but still passed. Also, 30 of the countries top clergy opposed the law by sumitting a letter with 5 reasons the law should not pass. The arguements were week, but a valid point was made. In short, they opposed the law for fear of de-sensitizing the youth towards prostitution. Numerous attempts to repeal the law have failed.

In closing, I conjured up a picture of a very unattractive boy, no social skills and very shy. Sitting at home, watching MTV springbreak, with all the g-string bikinis. A constant bombardment of sexual imagery pours through TV and magazines. Day in and day out, the frustrations and the hormones grow. Through his interaction with peers, he realizes his chance for a mate are non-existant. In a perfect world, we would tell him that love and sex will come in time. But in reality, we know that it may not. Then society, that is bombarding him with sexual imagery, tells him he must control his urges or be removed from society. Feeling helpless to relieve a basic drive, he feels that there two possible outlets...Take what he needs, or pay for it. You decide.