It's been said that it is the world’s oldest profession. Prostitution has been a lucrative business for as far as history can go back. Even in today’s time where it is illegal and can land all parties involved in prison, it runs rampant through every populated area on earth.
The earliest recording of prostitution was roughly 2400 B.C. written in ancient Sumerian records1. Throughout history prostitution has had phases of semi acceptance or outright opposition. The historic part of the legality of prostitution that I would like to focus on is in North America. In the US prostitution is now illegal in all but a select few places. This wasn’t always the case, and at one time prostitution was a legitimate taxable business2. However, this now illegal business has created and underground trade of prostitution and human trafficking. In some parts of the world and even in select parts of the US it isn’t illegal to run brothels and this legal option offers many benefits to its illegal counterpart. In the rural counties of Nevada it is perfectly legal to own and operate a brothel and long as certain conditions are met and the owners attain the correct licensing3.
This legal option allows for consenting women to choose this profession rather being kidnapped or forced into it. The regulation and protocols allow for much safer transactions and less rick of diseases spreading. The ramifications of legalizing prostitutions in my opinion can only be positive in terms of the wellbeing of parties involved. Its takes these women who have been forced to work for criminals as essentially sex slaves, that would see more time in a cell than their “owner” ever would. Another example of the benefits of legalizing prostitution comes from the Netherlands. In 2000 a ban was lifted on sexual solicitation. It was now legal to operate a brothel with of age, consenting adults as long as all the certifications and sanitary standards were met4.
Allowing prostitution to become legal will only take away from the horrible people who take advantage of women, and treat them like cattle. Prostitution will never go away, so why try to eradicate something as has been around since basically the beginning of time. The best thing to be done to try and make it as safe and legalize it and open it up for regulation and protocols in order to protect and maintain the health of all parties involved in the transactions.
1. Gerda Lerner, "The Origin of Prostitution in Ancient Mesopotamia" (1986),
2. Eleanor Miller, Kim Romenesko, and Lisa Wondolkowski, "An International Handbook on Trends, Problems, and Policies" (1993),
3. Richard Symanski, "Prostitution in Nevada," Annals of the Association of American Geographers, (1993),
4. Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs , , ed. 2000. s.v. "Dutch Policy on Prostitution."