Argument: Legalization is merely a step in reducing sex industry abuses

Issue Report: Prostitution


  • Carol Leigh, Founder of Bay Area Sex Workers Advocacy Network (BAYSWAN) and former prostitute. “Justice Talking”. National Public Radio (NPR). Mar. 4, 2002 – “Decriminalization is not at all a solution to every injustice that exists in the sex industry; it is a starting point. If prostitution were not an underground activity it would allow us to much more effectively address the serious problems of forced prostitution and juvenile prostitution and the other abuses which are part of an industry that operates completely in the shadows. …[T]here are many who… want other options and they should be given alternatives and assistance. And then there are also those who organize for their rights and are not quitting at the moment and they should be afforded options, their rights, and self-determination as well. Whatever ills are attendant to prostitution, criminalization of prostitutes exacerbates the abuse.”[1]