Carstens: Legalizing prostitution would only perpetuate gender-based violence


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Opinion prostitution

Courtney Carstens

“And she don’t want to go outside, tonight. And in a pipe she flies to the Motherland or sells love to another man. It’s too cold outside.” 

These lyrics are from the hit song “A Team” by Ed Sheeran, and this song, like many, have become popular. But what may not be clear is that the song is about the ever-growing, highly-unethical and sad “business” of prostitution. While the ballad is shedding light on the mental and physical problems of prostitution, many in our country believe that prostitution should be legalized, but I stand firmly against it.

Amnesty International passed a resolution explaining that prostitution should be decriminalized. The organization stated that “obligations to respect, protect and fulfil [sic] the human rights of sex workers” need to exist. 

I disagree completely with the resolution because not only would it encourage essentially selling a human being, but it also opens up the idea that people can be treated as objects.

“And they scream, the worst things in life come free to us.”

A close relationship exists between prostitution and the high level of violence experienced by women whose bodies are being sold to men, according to a 2014 study done by the European Parliament on prostitution and its influence on gender equality. This is because of the increased amount of women involved in this business compared to men.

Americans do not need to be hypocritical by saying sexual violence should be eradicated and at the same time encourage the right for people to sell themselves, which will simply lead to more violence.

Many individuals who wish to legalize prostitution argue that it will decrease crime against women and children, but that is unfounded. No countries have reported a decrease in sexual violence after legalizing prostitution.

“Closed eye, and hoping for a better life.”

The so-called business of prostitution in many cases enslaves its workers. These individuals have no safe way to get out of the vicious cycle they are in, and legalizing the act of selling one’s body would just increase the number of people who are thrown into dangerous situations.

One example is Spain, where prostitution is legal, but the levels of morality are murky at best. Alasdair Fotheringham, Spanish correspondent for British newspaper The Independent, found that 39 percent of Spain’s men have at one time used a prostitution service. And that 39 percent were just men who were OK admitting they have used this dehumanizing service, so there is no telling exactly how many men have actually purchased a woman for sex.

The sex-trafficking scene has increased in direct correlation with the legalization of prostitution. A 2014 report by the European Union on human trafficking in Europe rated Spain as having the second highest victim count. The same report found that Spanish police estimated the number of victims within their country to be about 12,000 as of 2010, and the number has continued to grow substantially.

One opinion most supporters of legalizing prostitution have is that it would help the economy. While this could possibly be true, and our country does need help digging itself out of the pit of debt in which we currently reside, we do not want to be a country that promotes money over humanitarianism.

“But lately, her face seems slowly sinking, wasting, crumbling like pastries.”

The United States should not legalize prostitution because not only does the legalization of prostitution promote the growing business of selling one’s body for money, but it is also associated with increased rates of violence and human trafficking. As a country that wants to promote gender equality and humanitarianism, why would we endorse such an occupation that correlates almost directly with other sexual- or gender-based crimes?