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Should Sex Work Be Legalized In The U.S.?

With the recent bust of online gay escort site Rentboy.com, people are calling for decriminalization of consensual sex work. Should sex work be legalized?

a full 86% of writers and pundits say yes
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Should Sex Work Be Legalized In The U.S.?  

Writers and pundits who say or about the topic, "Should Sex Work Be Legalized In The U.S.?"
last 24 hours | seattletimes
Legalize sex work, not sex buyers - The Seattle Times
"...Yet many people in prostitution are victims of exploitation, whereas buyers are often among the privileged. A 2013 survey of American men who frequently bought sex found that almost half had an annual income of $120,000 or more, and close to 80 percent had graduated from college.Ultimately, decriminalizing sellers and criminalizing buyers is only part of the solution. Sex workers must have better access to housing, health care, education and opportunities to leave the sex industry. There is more to be done not only in the U.S. but also in Sweden to address the widespread stigma, abuse and health risks in prostitution...." see full article


810 days ago | fusion
The case against Rentboy.com is pure moralismand stupidity
"...The entire criminal complaint smacks of a similar ineptitude regarding gay sex work culture, from the fumbling grasp of idioms, to the downright senseless descriptions of the site and its service. Kelly T. Currie, actingU.S. Attorney from the Eastern District of New York, released a statement calling Rentboy an internet brothel. As Melissa Gira Grant, author of Playing The Whore: The Work of Sex Work  noted, It is not possible to conduct prostitution on the internet; there's no such thing as an internet brothel.' Currie's ill-chosen phrase reflects the heavy-handed, sensationalized tone of the entire case.But were reasonable thought underpinning law enforcement's approach to sex work, it would have been decriminalized long ago. Alas, the very meaning of moralism conviction beyond rational intervention...." see full article


811 days ago | thinkprogress
Why The Rentboy Raid Matters More Than The Ashley Madison Hack
"...Recent proposals to decriminalize prostitution as a way to better protect adult sex workers and decongest the judicial system, have given rise to an intense debate over whether such policies would encourage abuse and sex trafficking. Nowhere has the government suggested that this business is harming or exploiting anyone we see old fashioned moralistics, said Harper Jean Tobin, policy director for the National Center for Transgender Equality and the Board Chair for HIPS, a harm reduction organization for drug users and sex industry workers in Washington, D.C.But the sex trafficking component has been largely absent in the Rentboy case, an indication, advocates say, that preventing harm isn't law enforcement's main goal. With any female-dominated [escort] website there is a narrative of trafficking, with Rentboy that isn't there, and points to the gender narrative of trafficking, said Sex Worker's Outreach Project's spokeswoman Katherine Koster. None of these websites are dominated by trafficking victims, but hopefully going forward, the way Rentboy was understood and processed will also apply to female-dominated websites. ..." see full article


811 days ago | thedailybeast
Will the RentBoy.com Bust Be the Stonewall of Sex Work?

"...And why do we condemn it, exactly? Because of a religious ideology of repression, which, as we see again and again, leads to abuse and hypocrisy? Because we've been raised to think that whores are dirty? Or that somehow it's the government's legitimate role to enforce a certain kind of morality?This is none of the government's business. Where sex work is exploitative, it should be carefully regulated just like work safety rules and minimum wage laws regulate other potentially exploitative work. It should be kept away from children just like pornography, cigarettes, and alcohol. It should be regulated with the health of workers and clients in mind, with appropriate licensing, health care, taxation, and benefits...." see full article


811 days ago | msnbc
Rentboy.com raid shows why sex work should be legal

"...Advocates of prosecution invoke racialized myths of sex work as dominated by pimps and traffickers that don't bear out in research. For example, a study published this year by the Urban Institute based on hundreds of interviews with LGBTQ youth and young adults showed that few worked with pimps, and almost half became involved in trading sex through friends or peers. The Rentboy case illustrates what's wrong with the purported alternative to decriminalization the so-called End Demand approach of locking up clients and anyone who helps sex workers find them. Laws criminalizing sexual exchange whether by the seller or the buyer drive the industry further underground, undermine workers' ability to negotiate with customers, and put people at higher risk for violence and coercion. Meanwhile, anti-trafficking group La Strada International reports that criminalization does not solve any of the problems that our [trafficked] clients face, nor does it prevent or stop human trafficking. Indeed, resources that could go to uncovering actual trafficking and supporting victims are being wasted on locking up sex workers and shuttering escort sites. ..." see full article


811 days ago | nytimes
Buying Sex Should Not Be Legal - New York Times

"...The effort to decriminalize the sex trade worldwide is not a progressive movement. Implementing this policy will simply calcify into law men's entitlement to buy sex, while decriminalizing pimping will protect no one but the pimps.In the United States, prostitution is thought to be worth at least $14 billiona year. Most of that money doesn't go to girls like my teenage self. Worldwide, human trafficking is the second largest enterprise of organized crime, behind drug cartels but on a par with gunrunning.In countries that have decriminalized the sex trade, legal has attracted illegal. With popular support, the authorities in Amsterdam have closed down much of the city's famous red light district because it had become a magnet for criminal activity...." see full article


812 days ago | huffingtonpost
Feds Raid Rentboy.com -- Are We Any Safer? - Huffington Post

"...The story that we tell ourselves is that sex work is banned in order to protect victims of trafficking and exploitation. And while that's a worthwhile goal, there's just one problem: Arresting people who exchange money for sex may not stop exploitation, and in fact might make things worse.There are approximately 70 countries where prostitution is legal or regulated, so we can see the effect that sex work laws have. For example, Germany legalized prostitution in 2001. A decade later, trafficking had decreased by 10 percent. New Zealand legalized it in 2003, and after five years a report found zero incidents of trafficking. But they DID find that sex workers were more likely to report violence when it occurred...." see full article



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