Whether their work is legal (e.g., nude dancing for tips) or illegal (e.g., giving oral sex in back alleys for $20), sex workers can't generally expect equal protection under the law.

When assaulted, they are treated as if they had asked for it or, at least, "Well, what did you expect, doing what you do?" They expect not to be assaulted, and if they are assaulted, they expect to have exactly the same recourse as someone outside the sex trade.

Those working in the illegal part of the industry fare the worst. They can be arrested in the course of reporting the assault, with the pursuit of the killer taking a back seat (or ignored totally) under the "Well, what did you expect?" excuse.

Sex workers tend to be women, but of course a few male prostitutes are involved, and they suffer worse in some ways because they can expect even sympathy or protection from the police, where even female officers have adapted to a rather macho culture in which men are expected to be able to take care of themselves.

The police may at least feel an impulse to "save" the female sex worker by helping her find a way out of her profession, even if all she really wants is just equal protection under the law. In fact, many women at the higher end prefer sex work. It is the streetcorner hooker who generally might want a way out, not necessarily the $2000/night call girl. The former has to take 'em as they come (no pun intended); the latter is usually pretty safe with a businessman who just wants sex without strings OR trouble.

Would legalizing sex work help? Would legalizing sex work have unintended consequences making the situation worse rather than better?

Tags: prostitution, sex, work

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yes legalizing it would help to a degree. They would have legal defense and in vegas there health checks. Its still a dangerous business. It messes with your self value. It is physically damaging in long term and short term. short term risks are being beaten, drugged, and manipulated into high risk sex play. Long term is high rate of drug addiction and alcoholism.

Well, that does depend upon whether you're the streetcorner hooker, a cheap hotel bar girl, or a $2000/night call girl. The latter is probably quite a bit safer than a woman out delivering pizzas at night.

I take it the high end escorts don't have much in the way of self esteem issues since they choose to do what they do and aren't forced into it. Going in another direction, an exotic dancer I knew explained it this way: "I go home at night with $400 in tips and they just go home with an experience, so who's really being exploited in that situation? In a sense, they are working for me."

I think it comes down to whether one is forced into it or rather a business opportunity.

yeah I think legalizing it would help a lot. keep in mind that there are numerous countries around the world where prostitution is legal to a degree. I say to a degree because where I am, Australia, I know brothels are quite legal and regulated in every state, but i don't think street workers are legal. As for police protection, even if they are working illegally,sure they should be booked for it, but that doesnt make the attack upon them lest real and it must be followed up on. Regulation is the key.

Prostitution needs to be legalized because there are two sorts of prostitutes. The streetcorner hooker is probably the victim of a pimp, as is the low end escort. The high end call girl types are probably doing it freely. Either way, the fact that they'll be arrested if they report the assault deters them from exercising their rights and possibly getting someone with psychopathic tendencies off the street.

It should and must be legalized. In Australia it is legal, organized and civilized, with health checks. When the stigma is taken away, it is a business, they pay taxes, the same as any other. It just happens to deal with sex, and a lot of people prostitute themselves everyday, just by doing a job they hate.

Think of all the jobs men do, cleaning sewers and drains, working as a labourer on a high rise, the blokes that I have great respect for doing these shitty jobs.

A lot of well educated girls, pay their way through University with sex work. Most work in brothels, where it is safe. The girls have to be in control of what is going on. A brothel, virtually just up the road, was closed down, the owner, an Asian woman, was bringing in girls from Asia illegally. The place wasn't open for long. That is what happens when the business is legal.

Take the stigma away, I have no problem with women earning big bucks from men who need sex, for whatever reason.

I run into people (most frequently women) who say, "Why do they go to a prostitute? why not go out to a bar and meet a real girl?" Leaving aside the rather weird idea that female prostitutes aren't "real," are they serious? Their solution to prostitution is one-night stands? Many prostitutes are more fastidious about their hygiene than college girls out for a Friday or Saturday night hookup.

What is the issue between so many women and prostitutes anyway? Why do so many women look down on prostitutes as if they are somehow a lower class of people?

I think that a lot of the problems related to prostitution stem from the fact that those that are sex workers are ostracized by society.

The problem goes much, much deeper than women having problems with prostitutes.  We women are pretty awful to each other generally.  Slut-shaming, victim-blaming, body-comparing.  

first have worked as an exotic dancer many years ago. There is a stigma that if a woman is attractive and works a non traditional job she is not a ethical person. If she takes money from it she doesn't care about the family she might be harming. these are usually the perceptions i have had to deal with.  didn't matter why i worked as a dancer. didn't matter i liked my work. The main reason i was good at my job was two fold i would listen about bad days and empathize.they got boobs and a brain. down side is the number of bosses that would try to get me to go farther  than dance. Women as a rule view other women as threats or  not. we don't have grey areas minus female friends. we even get competitive there.

why not go out to a bar and meet a real girl?

HA! if only it were that easy.

Plus the fact a man pays a prostitute not only for sex but so he can leave after. Also, it can be cheaper than buying a college girl drinks all night in return for sex. 

Does legalizing prostitution solve at least some of the problems? Yes, it does, come on over to the Red Light District in Amsterdam and I'll give you a tour!

Yes, there are problems, yes, not everybody behind a window is doing that because they enjoy it. Still, it beats having sex in dirty back alleys.

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