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Should the Canadian Government Legalize Prostitution? Research Paper


Recently, Ontario’s top court upheld a decision to legalize prostitution provided the sex selling services do not bring benefits to the third party. On the one hand, legalizing prostitution is a reasonable step for solving a number of problems. It is clear that selling sex indoor is the safest way for a prostitute rather than working outdoors, which is banned by legislature.

On the other hand, one should take a closer look at the actual purposes and underpinnings of women resorting to such a profession, including poverty, racial and gender discrimination, and dehumanization of a female body. Moreover, changing morale is not an advantage for a healthy and safety development of Canadian society.

Therefore, the Canadian government should not legalize the prostitution because it violates women’s rights and limits their professional opportunities for self-determination in society.

Prostitution, therefore, is seen as violence against women that emerged as a result of racism, sexism, and oppression on the part of male society. In addition, sex selling is often a result of low level of living and unemployment in the country, which negatively affect the overall image of the country.

Legalization of prostitution would mean official support of violence against women who suffer from prejudiced stereotypes. Women should not confront racism and gender discrimination because it limits their access to equal professional opportunities. After all, it violates human rights and freedoms.

According to the research conducted by Brock, prostitution is regarded as a form of oppression that prevents women from fulfilling themselves as full-fledged individuals endowed with similar opportunities (1). In addition, sex services contribute to dehumanization of female identity because of physical harm to the body. The government should take efforts to protect women from abuse and maltreatment.

Despite the fact that legalization introduces official control of prostitution, it still fails to protect women from exploitation because the criminal systems of sex trade are much more complicated to unveil all outlaw undercurrents. Thus, legalization does not guarantee welfare and security of their employees (Brock 11). Limited responsibilities does not guarantee prostitute social benefits and packages.

To prove the negative consequences of legalizing prostitution for Canadian society, Morton et al. have conducted a survey on the beliefs and attitudes to women exploitation (239). The research has discovered that female participants have turned out to be more negative toward the prostitution than male participants.

What is more interesting is that “…underage prostitution was viewed as a greater problem among female and street prostitutes than for male and indoor prostitutes” (Morton et al. 239). Because of age issues, prostitution is also regarded as a case of abuse against children.

The legalization of prostitution implies benefits for the individuals who sell sex, but not the third parties involved in sex trade. However, the legalization of the prostitution does not guarantee excluding of pimps who would gain benefits from the prostitution business.

Besides, the third parties involved consider prostitution as one of the main profits, aside from drug selling. In fact, the people involved in this business often fail to consider health and safety of their workers. Besides, the established law does not presuppose health issues to be considered. Inconsistency in the adopted laws may lead to even more serious consequences.

Specifically, Craig states, “in a just society a government is not entitled to jeopardize the health and physical safety of sex workers for the sake of reducing public nuisance” (99). Therefore, even if the Canadian government legalizes the prostitution business, it will not guarantee full protection of liberty and equality, particularly for female prostitutes.

There is also evidence that the highest rates of drug trade and murders of women are connected with the prostitution. Therefore, women involved into sex selling services are under the great risk. There is also a reasonable assumption that prostitution is the result of poverty and unemployment in the country.

Women will have to resort to such services to be able to earn enough money for living. According to Morton et al., “…street prostitutes were more likely to live below the poverty line than prostitutes working indoors, especially among females” (239). At the same time, the study emphasizes that there is a slight differences in incomes between indoor and street prostitutes.

One way of another, legalizing prostitutions restricts both women and man from receiving education and obtaining a prestigious job due to the lack of financial support. In addition, there is also assumption that women working brothels are less likely to come from complete and happy families.

In such a manner, establishing the corresponding laws does not allow these individuals to change their live and create a normal family. Social institutions, therefore, will not be able to create a healthy society with highest moral values, norms, and traditions.

Despite the persuasive arguments against legalizing prostitutions, the law could be effective in case of consistent and systematic procedures of the implementation. Though the prostitution is factually legal, there are other laws that neglect freedom and rights of sex workers. Specifically, there are laws banning work of brothers, which are considered the safest place for prostitutes.

Certainly, some individuals are allowed to work for themselves and sell sex, but they are not protected by the government. The Canadian government fails to approach this problem effectively and, as a result, is produces more disorders.

Finally, the legalization of prostitutions, particularly for women, ensures the promulgation of patriarchy in society, which contradicts the current trends in equal opportunities for people regardless of their gender.

In conclusion, the Canadian should reconsider their decision about legalizing prostitution because of the serious consequence it can have for the Canadian citizens. There should be more consistent and effective laws that would protect sex workers from abuse, maltreatment, racial and gender discrimination. The governmental authorities should also take care of the women who enter the prostitution because of financial difficulties.

The point is that prostitutes often resort to sex selling because of their low incomes, as well as lack of opportunities to receive higher education. Finally, the prostitution creates much more benefits for the third parties involved in business.

Their pressure on sex worker often deprives the latter of safety and health guarantees. The danger of drug abuse is also closely associated with prostitution opening curtain to the criminal laws. Certainly, there are some reasonable underpinnings for legalizing sex trade, but they are not enough to meet the needs of the Canadian society.

People would be limited to expressing their professional growth and accomplishment because of the possible to find easier way to earn money. In addition, legalizing prostitution does not contribute to shaping the highest moral values in Canada.

Works Cited

Brock, Michelle. Should Canada Legalize Prostitution? Panel Discussion with Gunilla Ekberg, Lee Lakeman, and Trisha Baptie. Hope for the Sold. Web.

Craig, Elaine. “Sex Work By Law: Bedford’s Impact On Municipal Approaches To Regulating The Sex Trade.” Review Of Constitutional Studies 16.1 (2011): 97-120. Print.

Morton, Heather., Klein, Caroline., & Boris Gorzalka. Attitudes, Beliefs, and Knowledge of Prostitution and the Law in Canada. Canadian Journal Of Criminology & Criminal Justice, 54.2 (2012): 229-244. Print.

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1. IvyPanda. "Should the Canadian Government Legalize Prostitution?" April 9, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/should-the-canadian-government-legalize-prostitution/.


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IvyPanda. 2019. "Should the Canadian Government Legalize Prostitution?" April 9, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/should-the-canadian-government-legalize-prostitution/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Should the Canadian Government Legalize Prostitution'. 9 April.

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