Why prostitution should be safe, legal and, well not rare actually


We're all well aware of the way in which various feminists are insisting that prostitution should be made illegal in the UK. (A note for non-Brits, prostitution itself is legal in the UK, various activities around it, pimping, running a brothel, soliciting are not.) Two major counter arguments occur:

Most governments in the world including the United States prohibit prostitution. Given these types of laws rarely change and are fairly uniform across regions, our knowledge about the impact of decriminalizing sex work is largely conjectural. We exploit the fact that a Rhode Island District Court judge unexpectedly decriminalized indoor prostitution in 2003 to provide the first causal estimates of the impact of decriminalization on the composition of the sex market, rape offenses, and sexually transmitted infection outcomes. Not surprisingly, we find that decriminalization increased the size of the indoor market. However, we also find that decriminalization caused both forcible rape offenses and gonorrhea incidence to decline for the overall population. Our synthetic control model finds 824 fewer reported rape offenses (31 percent decrease) and 1,035 fewer cases of female gonorrhea (39 percent decrease) from 2004 to 2009.

If decriminalisation reduces rape and clap cases then we should probably assume that those who would criminalise it are pro-clap and pro-rape. So there's certainly an empirical argument against criminalisation.

There's also a good theoretical argument which is that what on Earth is the definition of an adult if it isn't someone who gets to decide what to do with their own gonads? So as long as everything is confined to consenting adults then renting out body parts is and should be no different from lending them out for fun or for free. That is, if consenting adults are, by law, allowed to have sex with any, and any combination of, other consenting adults it is absurd to distinguish between paid events of such activity and unpaid events of such activity.

Not that either argument is going to convince the more militant feminists but fortunately we all get to vote on their suggestions, don't we?