Prostitution : A Matter Of Numbers

1107 WordsMar 10, 20155 Pages
Legalising prostitution: a matter of numbers Prostitution is commonly referred to as the oldest profession of the world, and this is far from true if we consider the definition of prostitution. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, “Prostitution is the practice of engaging in relatively indiscriminate sexual activity in exchange for immediate payment in money or other valuables” (prostitution in Encyclopædia Britannica Online, 2015). There is little evidence of humans selling sex for payment in the prehistoric period, and during the age of Romans, where collecting a fee was illegal, unrestrained sex, not remuneration, was the main aspect of this practice (Clarkson, 1939). There is still a debate of different attitudes regarding prostitution. On the one hand, those who support its legalisation argue that it exists a distinction between forced and voluntary prostitution and that adults should have the right to sell and purchase sex without restrictions (Outshoorn, 2005). On the other hand, those who defend its criminalisation claim that prostitution occurs within unequal gendered power relations (O’Connell Davidson, 1998 cited in Outshoorn, 2005) and constitutes a violation of women’s human rights, and therefore a distinction between forced and voluntary prostitution is irrelevant (Government Offices of Sweden, 2010). Even though many consider the legalisation of prostitution as a solution to protect prostitutes from rapes and sexual harassment, to improve their working
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