Soliciting one’s body for sex in exchange for money has been present in society for thousands of years. Humans’ innate biological pursuit of reproduction feeds into the primal desire to engage in sexual intercourse. While prostitution poses certain risks to those who participate, these risks can be eliminated by legalizing the act. With the legalization of prostitution, rules and regulations would be established that would help keep the women safe as well as stimulate the economy. In a country that promotes free will and the pursuit of happiness, limiting the ways in which individuals go about achieving those aspirations is counterproductive. The demand for sex work will remain persistent, so it is absolutely essential to maintain safety within the realm of sex work.
In places where prostitution is legal, the women who work as prostitutes are taken far better care of. The act of soliciting sex for money is illegal in most of the country, aside from Nevada. Because these women are not protected by the law, they have no one to seek help from when they need it. Even when they are arrested by law enforcement officers, nobody asks them if they need to talk, want to be put in program, or if there is anything they might need. As one woman in the documentary “Tricked” puts it, they just said “this is your third case.” After each arrest she was just picked up by her pimp and put back out on the streets. The resources these women need to divert them from prostitution are not made available to them by the only people who have the power to help.
Not only are prostitutes at the risk of violence from their pimps, but Johns pose threats as well. Johns are men who seek sex in exchange for money. Sometimes instead of completing the traditional exchange of money for sex they turn to violence to get the sex for free and hurt the prostitute. Johns use knives and guns to try to stab or slit the throats of prostitutes in certain instances. Prostitutes are lucky to evade these circumstances, but virtually none walk out unscathed. The dangers prostitutes are exposed to are challenging to address because there is no one to protect them, not even the law. If prostitution became legal, law enforcement would be able to intervene if circumstances got to these tragic levels. One might argue that because law enforcement doesn’t help prostitutes escape violence currently that they wouldn’t sympathize if it became legal. Even if a police officer failed to empathize with a prostitute, the fact that the woman are regulated and protected by the law would likely deter pimps and Johns from committing violent acts against them in the first place.
Moreover, according to Erin Fuchs, “States that legalize prostitution can require sex workers to use condoms and get tested for sexually transmitted diseases,” (8). Sex workers in Nevada must get STD tests routinely and this requirement increases their health. Since sex workers have always been sought out for and will continue to be, it is necessary to legalize prostitution to keep these women healthy and safe. They are humans, and even though their choice of profession involves selling their bodies, it is not up to the government to control those bodies. Prostitution has been around for thousands of years, and it is not going to be eradicated any time soon. If sex work is to be made safe, legalization is necessary.