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The Case for Legalized Prostitution

The Case for Legalized Prostitution

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Published by Bill Allin
Prostitution is illegal. But should it be? This article claims the law creates more costly social problems than it solves. Find author Bill Allin at http://billallin.com
Prostitution is illegal. But should it be? This article claims the law creates more costly social problems than it solves. Find author Bill Allin at http://billallin.com

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Bill Allin on May 11, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/16/2012

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The Case For Legalized Prostitution
“We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we createdthem.”-Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist, Nobel laureate (1879-1955)
When all the criticism of prostitution is distilled down to its core, theresult comes out as "prostitution is a sin because it has always beenconsidered a sin." A tautology, "proved" by constant repetition but noevidence.What we consider a sin forms from our morality. Religion has, formany centuries, dictated morality. Religion tells us that prostitution iswrong and we made laws to support the claim.Prostitution fundamentally is sex (coitus) between two consentingadults. Sex is the means by which each of us reading this came intoexistence. True, the rules differ in some societies that demandmarriage or other relationships for sex and procreation, but sexbetween two consenting adults is still the foundation.In the situation of prostitution, money or some other form of compensation is exchanged. That makes it illegal. Why is it illegal?Because prostitution is immoral. Why is prostitution immoral?Because...well...everyone says it's immoral. And why is that?That last question brings us to a murky part of our past that most of us in the modern world would rather not think about. But you and Imust because that's why you are reading, so stay with me.In prehistoric times, our ancestors lived in families that were part of groups known as bands. These bands might have been from 15 to 30people. Some bands might have been nothing more than largefamilies, in many cases with the most fit males fathering children withas many females as could produce children.Sometimes bands grouped together to form alliances known as tribes.By themselves, band life was rough, subsistent, based on hunting andgathering. Bands carved their own territories for hunting andgathering, but sometimes boundaries were crossed as food wasscarce. Stealing food from another band's territory brought risks.Sometimes a band would overcome that risk by attacking the bandthat occupied an adjacent territory, killing the adult males, taking thefemales into their own band and assimilating them into the new and
 
larger band. We must assume that the males of the victorious band didnot ask permission to impregnate the captured females. That would betypical of our species and its cousin species.For obvious reasons, a band wanted to expand as quickly as it could sothat it could defend itself from attack or attack other bands as thisbecame necessary. The morality of which males had sex with whichfemales is unknown to us, but we may be certain that it varied fromone band to another.When bands formed into tribes, codes of behaviour were necessary.One important one was that a woman must not have sex with a manwho was not part of her own tribe. That would maintain tribal integrity.Genetic diversity resulted from males and females breeding withmembers of other bands within the same tribe. If a woman gotpregnant by a man from another tribe, that would mean the womanwould produce a child who would be the product of an enemy tribe.She and the child might have been killed.If a man conceived a child with a woman from another tribe, thismight be frowned upon, but not punished. After all, the child (if it wasallowed to live) might enhance the numbers of the father's tribe, notthe mother's tribe. Ownership of women and children rested withmales in the case of most tribes. That is, if the father could steal thechild back after birth. But the woman's tribe (if it didn't kill the child)might want to adopt the child, raise it and enhance its own population,which might work against the welfare of the father's tribe.In matters of tribal population numbers, size mattered. So developedthe rule against a man having sex with a non-approved woman. Thatrule has remained with us to the present day, though its form haschanged.Prostitution, illegal in most countries (but not all), exists because of unfulfilled human needs. Often the woman needs money and the menneed a way to satisfy their hormone-driven compulsion for gratificationwith a member of the opposite sex (let's stay with the male-femalepairing for this discussion). "The oldest profession" has existed as longas our species has been around. Because of unfulfilled human needsour societies have refused to address.Instead they pass laws which have always been flouted and ignoredand always will. The needs of nature almost always take precedenceover the laws of a culture or society in matters of behaviour, but not in
 
matters of law or morality.Illegal sex (prostitution) opens a large opportunity for organized crimeparticipation. Organized crime gangs exist to fulfill human needs thatsocieties would like to pretend do not exist. Of course they don't paytaxes. They take risks, but the benefits are tax-free. We law abidingcitizens foot the bill for taxes, including for police, courts, legal staff and jail administrators so prostitutes may be "brought to justice."Judging by history, members of organized crime gangs risk more fromfellow gang members, from other gangs and from poor nutrition habitsthan from prosecution under the law.Prostitutes risk beatings, disease, drug use to get them past the worstparts of their job and time in jail. Because the law does not recognizetheir job as real, nor does it happily defend prostitutes against thedangers they face. In name the law offers protection to everyone, inpractice not so much to prostitutes. The law also does not collect taxesfrom prostitutes, pimps and organized crime gangs.Here we, as societies, face situations where human needs for sex withwilling partners are ignored, we pretend they don't exist (even thoughwe know they do) and our cost for health care is much greater than itshould be because some people we would rather pretend don't existrequire more health care than most of us do.A couple of years ago a study in the USA (respondents were assurredanonymity) showed that 85 percent of married men had sex outside of their marriage at some point. With women, the number was 65percent. Marriage failure sits around 54 percent. One of the mostcommon causes for failure of marriages is that one partner had anaffair outside of the marriage. Those affairs almost inevitably involvesex, the fulfillment of a need for sexual gratification the one partnercould not get from the other.Moreover, humans are not monogamous, as religions (the descendantsof tribal morality administrators) would have us believe. Rare indeed isa bisexual species that remains strictly monogamous after pairing(science has trouble identifying a handful). We are naturallyprogrammed to spread our genes as widely as possible. That meansmales and females together, as often as possible. As our species hasmales always ready and females fertile and able to reproduce manymore times each year than most mammalian species, sex and thedesire for it are part of who we are. Hormones rule, no matter whatour religions and our laws say.

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