Archive for the ‘prostitution’ Category

Information Request

July 25, 2009

I’ve long opposed legalization of prostitution. One reason is that a long time ago, I did volunteer work that put me into contact with some hookers, and what I saw really horrified me. Even the relatively “upscale” ones. I tried to find an organization that helped women in that line of work get out of it, but there wasn’t one in my area. In searching for one, I found some legalization advocate who disparaged charitable and government efforts to help these women. One of her criticisms was that these programs often consist of educating hookers about things like STDs and contraception, which, she claimed, all hookers are already highly knowledgeable about. That wasn’t my observation. Two of the most glaring bits of misinformation we found ourselves trying to combat with these women were that 1) AIDS is the only STD in existence, and 2) getting tested for AIDS regularly prevents you from catching it. And some of them had had multiple abortions. Again, these are the “upscale” hookers, not the low-priced streetwalkers. I shudder to think what they believe.

The utter degradation I witnessed among these women, in addition to making me roll my eyes ever since when I see a movie or novel that claims that whores have hearts of gold (they don’t), caused me to believe that encouraging prostitution in any way, including by legalizing it, was a terrible idea.

Though I have to admit, not much could have really helped most of these women. They were mostly stupid and very nasty people. Education is useless for stupid people, and a respectable job isn’t going to make back-stabbers become nice. Most of them engaged in a lot of self-destructive behavior in addition to hooking; drug use, heavy drinking, and abusive relationships was the norm.

The Editrix, however, is arguing that legalization would be a good thing:

You will see from the passionate tone of this comment that I have a certain case in mind, one within my inner circle of friends, to be precise. Even in cases where the man HAS acted like a swine (left a wife who had devoted her entire life to him, his children and his profession, when he hadn’t even bothered to pay, as he said he had, into her old age pension fund) there is a woman behind it. Before the “sexual liberation” there wouldn’t have been women around, free and on the prowl and hell-bent to destroy somebody else’s marriage, chipping the asshole of a husband away with a chisel. In the past, that paunchy, simpering, weak, slimy, characterless mollusc of a man would have been reduced to visiting prostitutes, and had remained with his wife and children whom he didn’t deserve anyway. Prostitutes don’t destroy marriages, only “honest” women do that. Free roaming women take advantage of that particular weak streak many men possess. At a time, when divorce was almost impossible and had socially ostracizing consequences, all that would never have happened.

It would cut all the sex-peddlers posing as honest women out of business. I said before that the relationship between the sexes is not quite as abysmal here in Germany as it is at your end. Maybe that is due to the fact, at least partly, that prostitution is legal here. As long as it is kept at the sidelines of society it does more good than harm. What DOES do harm is the blurring of the line between a (truly) honest woman and a prostitute.

I need to think this over anew. I can see theoretical arguments both pro and con.

Does anyone have any good links or book recommendations with solid data about the social effects of legal (or tolerated) prostitution? Not political campaigns either way, but factual information.