Human Sexuality and Diversity
Indeed, prostitution should not be legalized due to the adverse effects it has on individuals, family units and society. On one perspective, prostitution is a source of sexual exploitation for the majority of people who become involved in it. Actually, some instances involve forced prostitution, which interferes with the rights entitled to every individual in the society. For example, underage girls are forced into prostitution by their parents and in-laws as a way of receiving the daily bread. It interferes with their rights of individuals and affects the quality of life. Moreover, it exposes them to much harm, including violence and sexually transmitted infections (Monzini, 2005). On another perspective, prostitution affects the quality of family and society life. At a family level, prostitution is a source of family disintegration whenever one of the partners is involved in it. As a result, the children of the affected families suffer greatly, which influences the way in which they perceive life issues. At a society level, prostitution contributes to a moral decay, which interferes with the quality of life.
Power imbalances and cultural bias are to blame for the state of affairs in regard to prostitution. Power balances and cultural bias tends to disadvantage women in regard to issues of sexual matters since they are not given the authority to determine their desired state of affairs. Thus, prostitution should be abolished on the bases that it interferes with the free will of individuals in society especially women.
Sociology and Prostitution
In relation to sociologists, it is extremely difficult to eliminate prostitution in a capitalist society. Basically, prostitution is a source of income to many people, especially those with limited opportunities to make a living. Indeed, the sociological perspective examines the social contexts, in which people live and interact in a capitalistic society. It examines how they behave and make others to act in certain manners. One perspective identified by the sociologists in regard to prostitution is the social location of the individual. The social location relates to individual’s jobs, incomes, education attainment, and race which affect his/her behaviors (Flowers, 2005). Sociologists observe that individuals with low income jobs and education are more likely to engage in prostitution than their counterparts in high income segments. Such individuals are more likely to engage in prostitution to receive a source of income and uplift their living standards (Mattley, Ven, & Faust, 2015). However, the sociologists observe that the reasons for engaging in prostitution are diverse. They observe that lack of employment and education opportunities, as well as discrimination, are among the driving forces of prostitution. Other sociologists point that lack of sufficient resources and homelessness puts the vulnerable groups at the lure of seeking alternative means of survival, including engaging in illicit sexual behaviors.
The sociologists observe that prostitution should be made illegal on the basis that it interferes with the rights of the law abiding citizens who are forced into it. The sociologists observe that prostitution exposes the vulnerable groups to violence, abuse, and sexually transmitted infections (Di, 2009). A major deviant to such position by sociologists is the presence of a social system, in which the motives of prostitution are completely eliminated. In such situation, a regime of total sexual freedom would exist, in which individuals would act willingly and in regard to their consent. Therefore, there will be no institutional control of the prostitution, and marriage complications related to jealousy, divorce, and legitimacy would not exist. Thus, the sociologists seem to advocate for prostitution on the basis of mutual consent of the parties involved. However, the scholar’s point is that such situation cannot occur in real world, since the society attempts to control any phenomena that interfere with their way of life. The position of the sociologists regarding prostitution differs from moralists view who point that prostitution is a major interference with the sacred institutions embedded in the society, such as the rights of the individual and family. Consequently, allowing prostitution to prevail under the preposition of mutual consent is extremely evil and contracts the social institutions, such as family.
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Law and Politics versus Prostitution
Contrary to the views of the socialists, the political and regulatory experts recognize prostitution as an economic activity, in which individuals give and demand in a regulated market system. The political and regulatory perspective observes that prostitution is a legitimate system of employment, which emerged in the 1980’s and eliminated all forms of discrimination. As such, people should be given the right to practice prostitution as a way of safeguarding their individual rights and freedoms. The regulatory and political experts observe that prostitution is a reasonable response to an inadequate range of opportunities for making a living (Bridges, 2015). However, the legal and political scholars distinguish between voluntary and forced prostitution. Legalizing prostitution should be viewed as a means of separating voluntary sex from sexual abuse. Therefore, prostitution is illegal in the political and legal context if it interferes with the rights of the counterparties (O’Brien, 2015). They include instances of sexual exploitation targeting a certain group of people in the society. Basically, the aim of the political and legal perspective of prostitution is to liberalize the act and empower individuals involved in it against sexual exploitation.
Gender and Women Studies versus Prostitution
In terms of gender, women have been identified as the most vulnerable groups as far as prostitution is concerned. The aforementioned fact by scholars in gender studies raises the question on why men are hardly involved in the prostitution business. On one perspective, power imbalances between men and women in society are one of the consequential reasons for such state of affairs. Prostitution is viewed as a means of reinforcing gender stereotypes between men and women and brings out the idea on men’s unrestricted access to women bodies (Chon, 2015). It also incorporates the hypothesis that sexual urges are a special kind of right and privilege that every male member of the society should be entitled to.
According to scholars in gender and women issues, prostitution is contrary to the pride and dignity of women in society (Kempadoo, Sanghera & Pattanaik, 2005). Thus, it should be eliminated at all costs and its perpetrators held accountable. The scholars state that prostitution is a form of “paid rape” and, therefore, needs to be criminalized. In another perspective, the vulnerability of women to sexual advances by men is attributed to the society cultural values. In some states of the United States, especially those inhabited by the black population, women have limited powers to possess and use property. When alternative means of survival seems insufficient, such women tend to engage in prostitution (Voulajarvi, 2015). Thus, cultural bias is a great source of prostitution business when it acts in contrary to the rights of women. Despite such fact, the scholars point that the situation is changing and more men are increasingly becoming involved into the previously women dominated business. Part of the reasons behind such shift is the increasing empowerment of women leading to more men becoming sexually lured by them in the upper income groups. Additionally, increase in marriage disintegrations have led to more engaging of men in prostitution to satisfy their sexual desires.
Indeed, the society seems to have lost a point in regard to their views regarding the practice of prostitution. In the United States as well as other countries of the world, women are regarded as immoral creatures as far as the business of prostitution is regarded (Chon, 2015). In all aspects women are blamed for the practice yet many men receive praises for the immoral act. What amazes most is the fact that it is men who perpetrate prostitution to satisfy that sexual desires.
Secondly the fact that women are not given an adequate room to discover issues of their sexuality affects the societal perceptions regarding prostitution. Women are forbidden from making decisions regarding their sexual life which gives room for exploitation by their male counterparts. Actually, women are required to obey male orders including sexual demands which affect their stand in regard to issues of sex and prostitution.
After researching on the current topic, I learned various perceptions regarding prostitution. Before embarking on the study, my view about prostitution was that it was the unnecessary evil, which had to be eliminated. However, I have learned several things from various approaches of the study. Firstly, I have learnt that some people engage in prostitution against their will. Such category mostly comprises of women who are forced by their parents when they are young to engage in the act as a way of sustaining their livelihoods, as well as those of their families. As a result, such women are exposed to harmful situations, which are out of their control. Secondly, I have leant that prostitution affects various members of the society, including people who are not involved in it. Consequently, it requires the concerted efforts of all stakeholders to solve the problem (Monzini, 2005).
The three perspectives used in the study, which include the sociological, legal-political, and gender studies, helped me raise critical questions regarding the issues of prostitution. The perspectives were very crucial in helping me appreciate different ideas of each scholar and integrate them to make a concrete positional argument. It enabled me to avoid biasness in determining the main concerns raised by scholars regarding prostitution. In my view, the legal and political perspective on prostitution fails to address several concerns, which make its assumptions rather invalid. Legalizing prostitution may cause negative impacts on the vulnerable groups in the community (Chon, 2015). They include women and underage girls who are forced to engage in the activity to cater for the needs of their families. I tend to support the sociological perspective of prostitution, in which the scholars does not necessarily legalize prostitution but consent to the fact that it should be practiced within the bounds of free-will. However, since the concept of “free will” is not explicitly defined, the idea is left for interpretation by the relevant authorities.
Moreover, prior to the research I had developed negative perceptions against women, given that the majority of those who engage in prostitution fall under this category. Indeed, I tended to believe that women are generally evil, and the business of prostitution could be dealt with if more women could live more responsible lives. Upon researching on the topic, I have learned to appreciate the reason why more women engage in prostitution compared to their male counterparts. Ideally, lack of employment and cultural biasness exposes women to the danger of the lure into prostitution compared to men (Kuo, 2005). Therefore, more females are likely to engage in prostitution based on such fact compared to males.
In addition, I have gained necessary insights and skills in the writing process as a result of undertaking the research. I have learned how to examine data and information from a multidimensional perspective to draw meaningful conclusions. My methods include drawing comparisons and contrasts on divergent views of scholars as presented in their arguments. In future, I hope to utilize this new knowledge to improve my term paper and article research and writing skills.
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To summarize, prostitution should be illegalized on the basis that it interferes with the live of the individual, family, and the society in general. Sociologist state that prostitution should be regarded evil to the extent that it interferes with the free will of people engaged in it. However, the legal and political theorists note that prostitution should be regarded as an economic activity practiced in a free market by willing parties. In their view, legalizing prostitution will protect the welfare of the individuals who practice it. On the other hand, gender and women studies examine the gender differences in the business of prostitution. The scholars observe that women engage in prostitution more often than their counterpart males due to power imbalances, as well as cultural bias.