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The Social Problem Of Prostitution

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Sociology
Wordcount: 1805 words Published: 2nd May 2017

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Prepare a discussion of at least four substantial paragraphs answering the questions that follow. Use at least one source beyond the course text that supports your position (remember to cite your source in APA style). Respond to at least two of your classmates’ postings.

What would be the consequences for society if we could effectively halt the practice of prostitution?

Should we do this even if we could?

Could prostitution ever by organized such that it did not result in the exploitation of women?

My Response

There would be an increase in social problems; more rape, abuse, poverty, violence, trafficking, and underground prostitution if the practice of prostitution was effectively stopped. If we halted the practice of prostitution, we might as well halt the practice of pornography also. I am against legalizing prostitution but do not think it should be banned, because no matter what, prostitution will always be around. I believe prostitution is wrong, by legalizing it, some will think allowing sex outside of a marriage is ok, leading to more divorces, disease, and promote the approval of women’s degradation (Henslin 2008, p. 79). Women are not objects, and should not be for sale. I like this statement from former Swedish Deputy Prime Minister, Margareta Winberg (2002), Prostitution and trafficking causes, gender inequality, sex and racial discrimination, and economic deprivation, as well as the rule of law, crime control, law enforcement and corruption (Winberg 2002, Sweden as Chair section para.5 )

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In my opinion, streetwalkers should be incorporated into a red zone, or red light district, by doing this would help keep the drug addicts, and disease inflicted people separate from others. They should have to pay taxes, and have a rule where there are no sex services provided after a certain A.M. hour, like individual state laws on bar closing hours. If prostitutes or clients are found outside of that area, or after hours, they should be arrested. All other prostitutes would work as an escort, call girl or in a brothel, be regulated, and have proof that all employees have been tested for diseases and all employees will be taxed like any other worker. Legalizing prostitution will still exploit women.

Searching for prostitution prevents law enforcement from responding to other victims and dangerous felons, and most of the time only the prostitutes are arrested, not the pimps, clients, or the strip club owners/managers, etc… By legalizing prostitution, laws could be enforced against people who abuse, or are violent against sex workers. Child sex, sex trade, forced labor, and kidnapping would be easier to target.

To try to lower or halt the practice of prostitution, we need to warn women against solicitors and stop them, in order to encounter the demand for prostitution. Men, are usually the buyers of commercial sex acts, and the biggest consumers, of trafficked and prostituted women and children. Men do not respect prostitutes, but use them for entertainment, sexual gratification, acts of violence, and use them to meet their emotional needs, not their physical needs. In order to reduce victims of prostitution, and encounter the exploitation of women, all the components of the demand need to be punished; the men who purchase the sex acts, the exploiters, traffickers, pimps, and the culture that lies about the nature of prostitution (Hughes 2004, pp. 3, 4, 7). Sex will sell as long as there are men.

Henslin, J. M. (2008). Seeing the social context. Boston, Ma: Allyn & Bacon.

Hughes, D. M. (2004). Prostitution causes and solutions (Adobe Digital), Retrieved from http://www.uri.edu/artsci/wms/hughes/prostitution_spain_july04.pdf

Winberg, M. (2002, November 28). Address by the swedish deputy prime minister, margareta winberg. Retrieved from http://www.sweden.gov.se/sb/d/1105/a/6848

2/9/2010 8:54:09 PM

If we could effectively halt the practice of prostitution the consequences in society would be many. The rise in crime would be, in my opinion, almost immediate. Sexual crimes such as rape and sodomy would be but the tip of the iceberg; domestic violence would rise, more violence could ensue because sexually frustrated people are not necessarily the nicest. Also more poverty would be one outcome, because prostitution is a mean of income for many; therefore robbery, drug dealing, burglary and other illegal means of income would rise as well.

Should we do away with prostitution if we could? As I thought of my answer for this question, an interesting memory came back to me: when I was a teenager my parents would not allow me to wear loose fitting “baggy” clothes because they felt that a person should dress appropriately and that the baggy style looked “street” or like you had no home. In my mind I found my parents to be too stereotypical, they needed to Americanize; after all, we had left our fitted-jeans country a long time ago, who would judge me by my clothes? The more they denied me the right to dress like that, the more I wanted to; I would sneak my father’s t-shirts to school, I would borrow my friends X-L sweat pants and change in the bathroom at my school. I felt I was “cool”, I fit in with the rest of my peers; of course I was caught various times, but I didn’t care, I’d continue to do it. One day my parents sat me down and said, “OK, we get it, you want to dress like the rest to be cool, you’re allowed to do so, baggy outfits are added to the swear jar” I felt like I won, I dressed baggy almost every day for three weeks and paid a dollar to the swear jar, and then… the magic wore off. I was no longer going against anyone; there was no thrill of getting caught, nothing; if anything I was losing money for my stubbornness. I went back to dressing appropriately. My parents were very smart when they did this, although they did not like it, they approved it and “taxed” it (which I later learned was the money we used for family outings), everyone got their way.

Where am I getting to? Well, I feel that we should play it smart. If we were able to successfully stop prostitution, the negative outcomes may outweigh the positive ones. Instead, I think that we should legalize prostitution, set guidelines for the practice – such as testing every week, no pimps, males allowed to “work” in this profession (EEO) – and best of all: tax it; right or wrong it could stimulate the economy. This could have positive outcomes in that, there would be less scandals, less sexual crimes, possibly less STDs going around and a monetary gain to the government.

Organizing prostitution so that it is not exploitation of women, I believe is possible. Exploitation by means of prostitution is a matter of perspective; one can argue that the woman is exploiting the men. The men exploit the women by satisfying his own needs and the women are exploiting the men because they know he has them and is willing to pay. With the exception of prostitutes who are “slaved” by their pimps, I don’t think anyone is exploiting the women. Perhaps if there were rights or laws protecting prostitution as a profession, such as no pimps, medical rights and protection from harassment, the perspective of exploitation could be done away with.

Henslin, J. M. (2008). Social problems: A down-to-Earth approach. 8th edition.

Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.

The Larry Mahoney Case

Read “Issues in Social Problems” on page 121 of your text. Larry Mahoney served ten years in the Kentucky state prison at La Grange. In at least four paragraphs, prepare your discussion around the case questions: Do you think this was just? Instead of going to prison, do you think that he should have been fined and had his driver’s license revoked? Or should he have been given the death sentence, as some prosecutors demanded? What do you think would have been appropriate? Respond to at least two of your classmates’ postings.

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I feel that the Larry Mahoney case was treated very lightly. I do not feel that his punishment was just. Yet I am forced to say it was well handled. The jury charged him with manslaughter and other “lesser” offenses and recommended 16 years of imprisonment, and under Kentucky law the judge could not add to the sentence. It is beyond me why the fact that he drove drunk and killed any amount of people didn’t get him his license revoked permanently!

Was the sentence just? Yes… to an extent. It is bizarre to me how some prosecutors throw the death penalty request around like it’s any other paper request in an office. It’s supposed to be justice right? How is it fair that a man who killed 27 people, gets to die and the family of the dead get to live with the pain, sorrow and hurt in their hearts, bodies and soul? No death penalty, let him live to face the consequences; and besides, how would justice for accidentally killing people be served by purposely killing someone else? That is like swatting your child’s hand and yelling “hitting people is wrong, don’t do it!” I am FOR the death penalty when it comes to serial anything, killer, rapist, et al. They pose an extreme danger to society, we cannot teach them a lesson, we cannot “re-wire” their brains, they are not remorseful…

Fining him and revoking his license should have been done regardless of him going to jail or not, regardless of him killing people or not; it should have been done regardless of any outcome when he was found drunk behind the wheel. Spending 16 years in jail seems to me to be a bit fair, because that is what the jury delivered; I was not there, I am not aware of how the law worked back then and I believe that if 12 complete strangers all come to the same agreement of justice, then justice was served for them. I do not, however, agree with the fact that his license was not revoked, or that he was eligible for parole; good conduct or not, he should have served the full sentence.

The sentence I would consider fair, would be:

54 years imprisonment

No eligibility for parole

Permanent revocation of all driving privileges

We can sit here and argue all day on this subject, but the truth is that our judicial system is far better now than it was back then. Justice was served for that time, not ours.

Henslin, J. M. (2008). Social problems: A down-to-Earth approach. 8th edition.

Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.


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