Recognizing the Costs, Financially and Physically, Progressive Governments are Legalizing Prostitution

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The Potential for Danger Lurks on the Streets for Sex Workers

We have held steadfast on our belief that prostitution (sex working industry) should be decriminalized with appropriate (not too onerous) regulation. The sheer cost of policing the oldest profession, and the mental and physical harm attached to workers who are forced to conduct business in clandestine ways, more than justifies the legalization.

As Peter Singer correctly writes in Project Syndicate, “No one wants to legalize coercion, violence, or fraud in the sex industry or the use of sex workers who are not adults.” We could not agree more. As Singer notes, sex workers often take great pride in their work and choose to work in the industry because the hours can be shorter and the pay higher. There will always be a segment of the population that cannot, for one reason or another, get sex in another way.

Following Amnesty International’s decision to legalize prostitution and the movement of Australian sex workers, “ the conservative government of New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, decided not to regulate that state’s previously legalized sex industry. Jules Kim, the CEO of Scarlet Alliance, the Australian Sex Workers Association, greeted the news with relief, saying that decriminalization had delivered ‘outstanding outcomes for sex workers’ health and safety,’” Singer reports.


Keeping prostitution illegal will continue to lead to gruesome murders, and serial killings of young female prostitutes increased crime and untold costs for policing, counseling and psychological injury to the workers because of the stigma attached to criminalization in general and the natural collateral costs of the business. By removing the stigma, men and women will enjoy a fresh currency, financially and psychologically. The United States should join the movement.

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