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UTILITIRIAN THEORY ON PROSTITUION

The principle of utility is a gift of nature. Nature herself provides the Archimedeans
point where interest and reason are combined. The classical utilitarian theories of
Jeremy Bentham and Henry Sedgwick took the fundamental basis of morality to be
a requirement that happiness should be maximized. The basic principle of utility
requires us weigh up the consequences in terms of happiness and unhappiness and
alternative actions and choose actions that would on balance have the best
consequences in the sense of producing the largest net happiness.
The question, whether prohibiting prostitution is a good law can be looked at from
the utilititarian point of view by looking at the pros and the cons of legalizing
prostitution. What number of people will benefit and the reasons as to why they will
benefit from legalizing prostitution. In applying the principle of utility it will involve
trading off the benefits accruing to some against the harms accruing to others and
deciding upon the course of action with the largest net benefit. Nature has placed
mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters pain and pleasure .It is for
them alone to point out what to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On
the one hand the standard of right and wrong and on the other the chain of causes
and effects are fastened to their throne. Will it make the country a more secure
place to live in or will it have adverse effects on people?
The following arguments apply to all state sponsored forms of prostitution including
but not limited to full scale legalization of brothels and pimping, decriminalization of
the sex industry, regulating prostitution by laws such as registering or mandating
health checks for women in prostitution or any system in which prostitution is
recognized as sex work or advocated as an employment choice.

Some people will look at it as a way of exacerbating that is reducing the negative
effects such as spread of diseases.
Legalizing prostitution would have the police concentrate their energy to other
forms of crime like stock theft in Baringo, managing terrorism in the country and
reducing incidences such as the Westgate mall attack.
The government can also impose tax on the business and as a result garner
revenue that could aid in the creation of amenities in the country. For example it
could be used in the construction of roads, improving our health services e.t.c.
Rules could be made so as to ensure places of prostitution are not around schools
and in an area of our choice with adequate assessment having been made that it
does not rotten our societies morals. We could make it so the prostitutes are neater
and cleaner. If an HIV customer wants service, there could be an HIV prostitute just
for him. The prostitutes are kept healthy, and clean, and a doctor is to remain on
premises. The doctor can carry out checkups on the customers, makes sure that
they have the monies needed in advance, and any health issues that they may have
is addressed. These rules and regulations are meant to protect not only the
prostitute but also the customers.
It would also make it safer for the prostitutes in that incidences such as dead bodies
being unscathed in the morning in the brothels and no one has an idea as to the
person responsible for the death dwindled. These could be monitored by ensuring
that clients leave their details as well as the commercial sex workers having
submitted their details with the management. This would make it easier to even
contact the persons relatives in case anything happens.
Prostitution also acts as a means of livelihood for some people. This is where they
get their day to day daily bread. It pays their bills, clothes them and gives them a

roof over their heads and thus by legalizing it the government will have aided them
as the business will thrive. By decriminalizing it the sex workers admit to really
struggling to meet their needs given that some of their customers look down upon
them and even fail to pay them for their services.
On the other hand legalizing prostitution will have dire consequences on the
community. Criminalizing it is making it a victimless crime. Ordinary people believe
that, in calling for legalization or decriminalization of prostitution, they are
dignifying and professionalizing the women in prostitution. But dignifying
prostitution as work doesnt dignify the women; it simply dignifies the sex industry.
People often dont realize that decriminalization, for example, means
decriminalization of the whole sex industry not just the women. And they havent
thought through the consequences of legalizing pimps as legitimate sex
entrepreneurs or third party businessmen, or the fact that men who buy women for
sexual activity are now accepted as legitimate consumers of sex. When a pimp
compels a prostitute to submit to sexual demands as a condition of employment, it
is exploitation, sexual harassment, or rape -- acts that are based on the prostitute's
compliance rather than her consent. The fact that a pimp or customer gives money
to a prostitute for submitting to these acts does not alter the fact that child sexual
abuse, rape, and/or battery occurs; it merely redefines these crimes as prostitution.
Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution and the sex industry promotes sex
trafficking. Legalized or decriminalized prostitution industries are one of the root
causes of sex trafficking. One argument for legalizing prostitution in the Netherlands
was that legalization would help end the exploitation of desperate immigrant
women trafficked for prostitution. A report done for the governmental Budapest
Group* stated that 80% of women in the brothels in the Netherlands are trafficked

from other countries (Budapest Group, 1999: 11). As early as 1994, the
International Organization of Migration (IOM) stated that in the Netherlands alone,
nearly 70 per cent of trafficked women were from CEEC [Central and Eastern
European Countries].
Legalization does not control the sex industry. It expands it. Legalizing it makes it an
accepted sideline for tourism and as a result there will be great competition among
brothel companies hence expanding it instead of regulating it. It boosts the
motivation of men to buy women for sex in a much wider and more permissible
range of socially acceptable settings.
Prostitution cannot eliminate rape when it is itself bought rape. The connection
between rape and prostitution is that women are turned into objects for men's
sexual use; they can be either bought or stolen. A culture in which women can be
bought for use is one in which rape flourishes.
Legalization increases hidden, illegal and street prostitution. Legalization is
supposed to get prostituted women off the street. However many women dont want
to register and undergo health checks, as required by law in certain countries
legalizing prostitution, so legalization often drives them into street prostitution. And
many women choose street prostitution because they want to avoid being
controlled and exploited by the new sex businessmen. Decriminalization of the sex
industry cannot erase the stigma of prostitution but, instead, makes women more
vulnerable to abuse because they must register and lose anonymity. Thus, the
majority of women in prostitution still choose to operate illegally and underground.
Members of Parliament in Netherlands who originally supported the legalization of
brothels on the grounds that this would liberate women are now seeing that
legalization actually reinforces the oppression of women.

It increases child prostitution in that persons practicing it see no problem in


engaging children in the act.
Legalization in no way boost women health it actually makes it deteriorates. Even
when clients movement are monitored into the brothels sex workers still get injured
and live in a climate of fear. Research in Netherlands has revealed that advocating
for use of condoms or issuing the sex workers with extra money to purchase them
does not help mitigate the spread of diseases. Where the worker is issued with a
better pay slip on condition of no use of condoms they easily take it up and thus
very evident no diseases are been protected. It is also very difficult to ensure
intricate supervision and even the judge cannot be safely entrusted with the power
to punish offenders of such crimes.
Law aims to augment the total happiness of the society by discouraging those acts
that produce evil consequences .A criminal act by definition is one that is
detrimental to the happiness of the society. By legalizing prostitution the
government would be creating more pain for the greator number of people rather
than pleasure. From the above discussion it is evident that the utilitarian theory
does not embrace prostitution as a viable business opportunity.