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Table of Contents
Prostitution was founded at the beginning of human civilization. Throughout the record of human history, prostitution has been practiced in various forms and ways. In the old days, prostitution was bartered, which involved exchange of goods, money or sexual services. In the ancient Greece, prostitutes were classified into various categories such as pornai referring to slave prostitutes either male or female, street prostitutes and hetaera, which referred to educated prostitutes who were seen as mere entertainers. At the time, the Greece government supported prostitution in urban areas. As a result, sex was affordable by men of all income levels as legalization of the practice was accompanied by its reduced cost. With increased spread of Christianity, leaders tried to ban prostitution in their bid to unite people with their social values. In fact, political leaders ordered to punish females involved in prostitution while men went unscathed (Edwards, 2009). In fact, women who were found practicing prostitution were whipped 300 times and exiled to serve as an example to others. However, during medieval age, prostitution was allowed in many cities in Europe.
Between 13000 and 14000 AD, people developed differing views in regards to prostitution. In Italy, prostitution was accepted and the government even funded brothels while most countries in Europe declared prostitution illegal and instilled penalties for its punishment. Nevada brothels were legalized in 1971 despite the fact that some politicians were against the move. Remarkably, in 1999, Swedish government classified prostitution as form of violation against the women rights. It was followed by a move to initiative various development projects for women as an alternative work to prostitution (Vekshin, 2013). It awakened the dreaded practice of human trafficking and children prostitution. In 2007, South Africa passed the Criminal Amendment Act 32, which was aimed at curbing prostitution.
In America, prostitution arrived with the early European settlers. Sexual favors were bought and sometimes hired. Due to its increasing popularity, religious groups tried to campaign against its existence seeking to force the government to outlaw the practice in the 1900s. These calls by sections of religious and mass groups were successful because the practice was criminalized in almost all states. Even Nevada that has continually performed well in terms of generating income for both their workers and the government was forced to work on precarious legal grounds trying not to offend their respective communities. In addition, Nevada had to put in place stringent measures in terms of protecting the prostitutes from the wrath of the community that opposed the practice, as well as stand strong against criticism even from section of leaders (Vekshin, 2013).
The social problems were used as the legal ground for prohibition of prostitution, which includes increased transmission of STDs, the cost involved in prosecution of sexual offenders, as well as the risks that women have to live with while working on the streets as prostitutes. With exception of Nevada, most states have been unable to control these issues, hence continued illegality of prostitution. Although it has been in the scene for years, prostitution has gone from being praised, ignored, tolerated to what we are seeing now where most states ignore its existence (Edwards, 2009). The debate on whether prostitution should be legalized worldwide has been at the epicenter in every country with increased calls for the government to legalize it, since it has been unable to control or abolish the phenomenon. The concerned parties are trying to weigh the pros and cons of prostitution. However, the conclusion of such debate is still doubtful as people have generated differing opinions and approaches that do not lead to any universal resolution.
There are a number of places where prostitution is accepted. In Netherland, there are about 250 officially legalized brothels in Amsterdam. The government controls the environment in which prostitution is carried out to ensure sanitation and rules are observed. They also assure that the workers have ample security. It is also meant to ensure that no one is forced or trafficked into the practice. Over the years, the city of Amsterdam has experienced changes in law in relation to prostitution focusing on lifting the ban to people who wish to employ prostitutes and engage any above the age of consent and willing to join the practice (Vekshin, 2013). With this legalization, the government has been able to exercise control, as well as counter any form of abuse directed to the workers.
Australia has also legalized prostitution. However, only 10 percent of prostitutes’ workers under the government while the remaining work in the streets. The increased level of street prostitution occurs due to the view that it is expensive to meet all the regulatory requirements as opposed to working underground. Legalization of prostitution in Australia has experienced increased number of prostitutes with majority being beyond the government control. Legalization has also led to trafficking of women and young girls who are forced to work in the underground markets (Shelley, 2010).
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Germany also legalized prostitution in 2002. However, majority of women engaged in prostitution are foreigners from Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay. Therefore, by the fact that most of the women working in sex business are foreigners, it casts doubt on whether these women are genuinely involved in the practice or were trafficked into the country. However, since 2002, the government has been unable to control prostitution generating revenue from the profession.
Contrary to most states that have failed in legalizing and controlling prostitution, Nevada has continuously been successfully in the practice (A brief cultural history of sex, 2009). The brothel has been working under strict jurisdiction and management regulation, which has transformed the lives of its people, as well as calling for other states to follow the practice.