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Should prostitution be legalized?


Prostitution is defined as the practice or occupation of engaging in sexual activities with someone for money.

Prostitution is a complex issue that has been the subject of intense debates in many countries for many years now. To a large extent, the focus of these debates has been upon the legalization of what they call “the world’s oldest profession”.

Majority of countries in Africa and Asia legally prohibit prostitution and any activity associated with it, including running of brothels and pimping. Prostitution is also illegal in the United States, except in some parts of Nevada. The spread of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, and increased risk of sexual exploitation, violence, and trafficking are the most disconcerting issues some countries choose to keep it illegal. However, countries like Netherlands, Germany, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Canada, legally accept the exchange of money for sex. Countries like Mexico, Argentina, Austria, France, and Italy also allow prostitution, but do not allow pimping and running of brothels.

Some people believe that legalizing prostitution brings a lot of benefits not only for the workers, but for the entire economy as well.

Here are some reasons why some countries legalized prostitution.


Makes sex workers healthier

In places where prostitution is illegal, sex workers are, in fact, more susceptible to Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) because of lack of access to healthcare and other social services. This is not to mention that sex workers face discrimination, stigma, and harassment, which drive them more to likely practice safe sex. Furthermore, sex workers usually experience panicky situations, wherein they are forced to forgo wearing protection, such as the pressure from their pimps and clients, and the fear of using their condom as evidence against them when law officials catch them.

If the government of the United States and other countries will legalize the sale and purchase of sexual services, it would substantially reduce the number of cases of STDs and more important, make all sex workers healthier. Once legalized, we can require every sex worker to use condoms and be medically examined regularly for HIV and other related diseases to protect them and avoid widespread health problems. This will not be hard to execute because what sex workers want is money and not disease. In Nevada, sex workers are required to get monthly blood test for HIV, syphilis, as well as weekly blood test for gonorrhea and chlamydia trachomatis. Furthermore, the use of condom there is mandatory.


Legal prostitution would reduce violence and sex crimes

There have already been lots of studies and evidence gathered proving that legal prostitution reduces rape, sex violence, and other sex crimes. One study that showed the correlation between legalizing prostitution and declining rape cases comes from Rhode Island, wherein they accidentally legalized prostitution. In 1980, lawmakers accidentally removed the section that defined prostitution as a crime, and it went unnoticed until 2003. Technically, it had been in effect for almost three decades, from 1980-2009. During those years, the number of women involved in prostitution and size of the indoor sex market largely increased. But surprisingly, rape cases have declined by 31 percent. Researchers have also found a 39 percent decrease in the incidence of gonorrhea.


Legalization could benefit a government through taxes

Just like in any other industry, legalization of prostitution could lead to a chain effect that would significantly benefit a country  primarily through tax revenue. Once the sex workers and brothel owners obtained a license, they may participate in the business and enjoy their legal income that is taxable. As we already know, prostitution is a lucrative business. According to reports, each sex worker in Nevada earns as much as $3,000 per week. And let’s not forget the fact that there are others who earn more. If all sex workers are licensed and required to pay taxes in the U.S., just imagine how much tax revenue will the country get by this industry.

Furthermore, a government could also charge an annual fee to the license they provide for sex workers, brothel owners, and clients so they can continuously operate their business legally.


ENCOMIUM Weekly sampled the opinion of the public on this issue.



It should not be legalised. Immoral things should not be legalised.



No, they will be more expensive. If legalized there will be a problem because more people will go into the act. I think they should just leave them as they are now.



Prostitution shouldn’t be legalized but at the same time, should not be abolished. It helps in investigation of crime. It also helps in reducing rape.



If its legalized, it means we are encouraging prostitution. Whereas Nigeria is a multi cultural country and none of the cultures or ethnicity encourages prostitution. So, prostitution should not be legalized.


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