General Question

SuperMouse's avatar

Is prostitution a victimless crime?

Asked by SuperMouse (30793points) August 6th, 2008

On the news last night I heard of a local high school teacher being arrested for soliciting a prostitute. It got me to thinking, is prostitution truly a victimless crime? If there are victims, who would they be? The prostitute his/herself? The John? The John’s family? Why?

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22 Answers

Hobbes's avatar

I’d like to quote the late George Carlin: “Selling is legal. Fucking is legal. So why shouldn’t selling fucking me legal?”

I personally think that the only victims of prostitution are made that way through its criminalization. Prostitutes are often strung out on drugs, work for awful pay in disgusting conditions, are in danger of catching and passing on STDS and of getting pregnant, and are completely tied to pimps, who take most of their earnings. Johns are also in danger of catching or passing on STDs, and are often abusive. If prostitution were decriminalized, these problems could be cracked down on, the trade could be regulated (and taxed), and the prostitutes could have regular health inspections.

ccatron's avatar

there’s no victim in speeding, but it’s against the law. there’s a possibility that something can go wrong when people speed and that’s why it is illegal.

sure, no one may be victimized in prostitution, but something could go wrong because prostitutes have sex with lots of people and you never know when you might get something from one of them. plus, they don’t pay taxes to the gov’t, so maybe the gov’t is the victim.

drhat77's avatar

1) this country is pretty puritianical in its orgination, and a lot of that remains to this day. not specifically a bad thing, just where we all are coming from

2) as the father of a soon-to-be daughter, i would be a bit uncomfortable if prostituiton were a valid career choice for my daughter. emotive, to be sure. who is the victim in that scenario? me!

flameboi's avatar

There is no such thing as a victimless crime

waterskier2007's avatar

@drhat77. on point number two, it is your duty as a father to raise your daughter so that she is wise enough to not choose prostitution as her “career”

not saying it should be legal, just stating a point. thats one of the problems in our country i think. its that the government does too much telling us what not to do instead of leaving it up to parents and guardians to educate children on what not to do.

mzgator's avatar

We have a family friend who has a daughter who is a prostitute in Houston. Our friend is a doctor, a Christian, a good father, good husband, and has a great family. He found out what she was doing when someone sent him an email with her website in it. His daughter had every advantage in life offered to her. She currently has been offered many many alternatives to what she is currently doing. Her father has offered once again to buy her a townhouse, pay for education expenses and living expenses, etc. His daughter, who is now in her mid thirties, refuses.

Now about the victims of her choice to be a prostitute. She has four children. Three of them are teenage girls. Two of them graduated high school this year. They raised themselves. Often they went without food or school supplies and never had any encouragement in anything they did. They were not allowed to talk to their grandparents or other family. She was afraid they would slip up and tell what she was doing.

These girls were definitely victims. They have suffered abuses from Johns coming to call on their mom. They have suffered embarrassment and thinking that they are trash because of their mother and her choices. Children often become the victims of their parents bad choices.

They found out what their mom was doing when she left her computer on and her website popped up.

Response moderated
EmpressPixie's avatar

Because it is illegal in most places in the US, it is not a victimless crime. There are girls (and boys) forced into the profession or kept there by unsavory individuals. The workers often don’t have access to the medical care they need.

If it were legal, it could be regulated and I would be one hundred percent okay with it. As it stands, the workers are often victims, if not them then their families can suffer.

Poser's avatar

@flameboi—I beg to differ. There are countless laws on the books restricting the personal lives of private individuals—laws regarding sexual practices, etc. While these laws may no longer be enforced (if they ever were), the violation of these laws are still crimes. Who is the victim of a crime that’s been committed between two consenting adults? Many times, the only victims of crimes such as prostitution and drug abuse are the criminals themselves. Often times, those touted as the victims of such crimes, are actually victims of different crimes—committed because their chosen activities are made illegal. For instance, the shop owner who’s robbed by the drug addict. Who’s the victim? The shop owner is a victim, sure, but robbery is completely separate from drug abuse. In many cases, the drug addict can’t afford his drugs because the illegality of said drugs cause the prices to rise.

cheebdragon's avatar

the victims are the people catching and spreading STDs.

Maverick's avatar

Sex does not necessarily lead to STDs. Prostitution does not necessarily lead to STDs. People who grow up without sex education do.

The only reason there are any victims is because of prostitution’s illegal status. If it were legal and regulated, I can’t think of anyone directly or indirectly that could be considered a “victim”.

Hobbes's avatar

@mzgator – That is a truly terrible thing to happen, but I must point out that the suffering she caused was as a result of her profession being criminalized, and of it not being regulated (there was no-one she could go to for help when johns were abusive, because she was doing something illegal).

I also want to point out that the daughter has to enjoy the profession at some level to refuse the help offered her.

drhat77's avatar

@hobbes “I also want to point out that the daughter has to enjoy the profession at some level to refuse the help offered her.” – thats an awful leap without a lot of data. It seems like a sensitive topic for mzgator, and i think we should think twice about clear wording with our posts here

Hobbes's avatar

Mmm. That’s true drhat. I’m sorry if my post was insensitive, mzgator, I simply meant that it seems logical to assume that, since she wasn’t forced into the profession, she must enjoy it to some degree.

cheebdragon's avatar

Maverick- Do you really think condoms are going to protect you from all STD’s???

Maverick's avatar

@cheebdragon – when properly used, yes, condoms do protect you from all STDs. Unless you are aware of some super virus, and if so then please share with the class…

As I mentioned, regulation is also very important. Things such as mandatory STD testing for prostitutes should be required. I actually think all Johns should be tested too… Sounds crazy, but I think it is possible – but only if it were legalized and regulated.

cheebdragon's avatar

Even when used correctly, condoms can not protect you 100% from Herpes, syphilis, hpv, chancroid, and crabs…..

Before you start giving out bad medical advice online, you should probably google that shit

Hobbes's avatar

Even so, regulation of prostitution would greatly decrease the number of STDs it spreads, even if it didn’t wipe them entirely.

mzgator's avatar

Please don’t misunderstand me. The woman who is the prostitute is doing what she wants to do. She doesn’t have to do this. She has had and continued to have many other avenues. She has no john. She is an independent, and she works strictly for herself. She is no victim. Her children are. If there were regulations and prostitution were legal, she would not follow the rules. Condoms are a joke in this case. She charges a few dollars more if you request no condoms . She must be doing quite well, as she drives a Porsche,while the children have nothing. Legal or illegal, it’s the children who suffer.

Maverick's avatar

@cheebdragob Firstly, I wasn’t giving out medical advice. Secondly, anyone thinking they should get medical advice from a chat room has bigger issues. Thirdly, I was speaking that as a barrier, there are no known stds that can pass-through a latex condom. Obviously, in practice many, many things can (and do) go wrong to nullify this protection.

Maverick's avatar

@mzgator it sounds like the children would be suffering regardless of what profession the woman has.

jen157's avatar

It depends how you look at it some countrys alow prostitution and some dont so its not really a crime see this article but if it is illeagal then family morals is one reason. Another would be stds really its kind of gross but once again it depends on how you look at it.

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