Prostitution is widely known as the oldest profession in the world. Today, a negative sentiment surrounds the profession. Nevada, a state many know as the accepting state for prostitution, has only legalized the profession in 10 percent of the state. Prostitution ought to be legalized throughout the entire state of Nevada because it creates a safer environment for prostitutes, reduces human sex trafficking, and because it helps the state economy.
The legalization of prostitution in Nevada will create a safe environment for the workers as well as for those going to a brothel. According to John Haltiwanger, journalist for the Elite Daily, over 60,000 people were arrested from illegal practice of prostitution in 2010. Haltiwanger goes on to explain, by keeping (prostitution) illegal, America perpetuates an unsafe and unequal system that stigmatizes and exploits sex workers…. sex workers are subjected to violence, disease, ridicule and inequality (Elite Daily). For example, Erin Fuch, writing for Business Insider states that legal prostitutes are routinely checked for STDs and STIs by government order. (Business Insider). Other regulations in legal brothels include age restrictions, regular HIV testing, contraceptive mandatory usage, location laws such as bans on principle, church, and school streets, and advertising restrictions (Nevada). Currently, the state of Nevada only allows prostitution in counties with less than 400,000 residents. Even if, the local governments have the power to make it illegal (Nevada). Nevada is nationally considered to be an under the influence state because of its heavy tourism in the counties of Clark and Washoe. Nevada is known for its lenient laws involving gambling, drugs, and prostitution, even. However, the tourism counties of Clark and Washoe do not allow legal prostitution because the population surpasses the allowed 400,000 residents. Also, violence against women that normally occurs illegally on the streets significantly decreases when brought inside where security is available. The practice of prostitution will not end. It is a natural practice that every generation in history has been involved in. With 60,000 people getting caught and arrested from the practice, it is an unnecessary law that does not deter people away. Prostitution is an honest living that has been proven safer when legal. The legalization of prostitution statewide would create a safer environment for the prostitutes and for those who attend the brothels.
Human sex trafficking in Nevada will reduce if prostitution is legalized throughout the entire state. According to Cathy Reisenwitz of the Daily Beast, Criminalization (of prostitution) discourages sex workers from reporting suspected sex trafficking to police. In fact, in 2001, Germany legalized sex work and in the matter of ten years, sex-based human trafficking decreased a massive ten percent (Daily Beast). According to a report by Robert Sorrell of Bristol Herald Courier, the state of Nevada accounted for 124 cases of human sex trafficking in 2016. Currently, Nevada is ranked one of the worst states regarding laws preventing trafficking with only 3-4 (Bristol Herald Courier). The heavy tourism throughout the state emphasizes that number. Legalizing prostitution on a state level will help Nevada fight human trafficking and decrease the numbers of people sex-trafficked because the negative sentiment that surrounds it decreases, and women are not ashamed or discouraged to report incidents. Legalizing prostitution will also discourage sex-traffickers from acting and turn them into the safe brothels where security is strong. Nevada will be a model state for the rest of the U.S. to fight human sex trafficking. The dangers of human trafficking are too serious to shove under the rug. America needs to take action to protect its people, and Nevada legalizing prostitution is one of the first steps to take.
The Nevada state economy will prosper at the legalization of prostitution on the state level. Haltiwanger points out how exactly prostitution would help state economies through this statistic: In 2007 alone, Atlanta’s sex trade was worth a staggering $290 million. The Elite Daily mentions, In Nevada, legal brothels collectively make around $50 million a year, and pay significant amounts of tax to the rural counties in which they are located and operate (Haliwanger). Nevada’s economy, many argue, is suffering. According to Samuel Stebbins and Thomas C. Frohlich from the USA Today, Nevada is ranked the last state (50th) in education overall in the United States (USA Today). Nevada is in serious need for more state funding, and the legalization of prostitution is the bright blinking light to answer that need. If Nevada takes the smart move by making prostitution legal throughout the entire state, the counties of Washoe and Clark, especially, would bring serious taxes to fund the suffering economy and education. The heavy tourism in Nevada brings in an abundant amount of money from illegal prostitution in the two most populated Nevada counties. Currently, the majority of money made from illegal prostitution goes to pimps or other affiliated bosses. If made legal, the majority of money would fund the state and go towards terribly needed areas. The prostitution laws set in place now do not deter people from prostitution, so making it legal will not significantly increase the amount it occurs. The reason Nevada is so heavy with tourism is because the state is known for lenient laws where people go to party, and when tourists find out that prostitution is illegal, that does not stop them. Why not make significant money for something that already occurs? Nevada is in need for significant help, and prostitution is the simple answer to it.
Residents of Nevada would benefit immensely from the state-wide legalization of prostitution. It is time for Nevadans to wake up and realize that prostitution is an honest living that comes with state benefits. For the reasons of creating a safer environment for prostitutes, decreasing human sex trafficking, and to bring in the badly needed taxes to fund the state, Nevada ought to legalize prostitution throughout the entire state. The oldest profession in the world will not end anytime soon, and recognizing that will be in the benefit of the Silver State.
Fuchs, Erin. 7 Reasons Why America Should Legalize Prostitution. Business Insider, Business