The Legality of Prostitution
Student No. 23410095
May 25, 2011
Prostitution, often referred to as “the world’s oldest profession”, is an issue that has historically faced much public debate and controversy. The controversy of prostitution stems from concerns of morality, human rights, safety, and health. Prostitution can be seen as an oppression and commoditization of women, a moral corruption of society, or a woman’s fundamental right and means to financial support through the sale of her own body (Shannon, 2010). In dealing with prostitution, governments around the world have adopted different legal approaches to the issue (“The Legal Status of Prostitution by Country”, 2010). In Canada and many other countries, a Catch-22 situation is created through partial legalization—where the act of prostitution (the consensual exchange of sexual services for financial gain) is legal but the solicitation and communication for the purposes of prostitution are illegal (Study, 1997). In other words, it is legal to engage in prostitution but it is virtually impossible to find customers legally.
The spectrum of legal stances adopted ranges from full legalization (including government regulation) to full illegality. Position one contends that all acts of prostitution should be fully legalized while position two contends that all acts of prostitution should be illegal. Each of the two opposing positions attempts to tackle the issue of prostitution by appealing to different audiences within society at large, presenting valid arguments to their cause.
The first position supports the full legalization of prostitution. “Full legalization” is defined as the decriminalization and government regulation of the prostitution business. Under “full legalization”, bawdy-houses are licensed and regulated by the government, prostitutes are registered, and strict regulations are instated to ensure that prostitutes attend regular medical...