Prostitution which is one of the main branches in the sex industry refers to the act or practice in which a person engages in a sexual activity in exchange for a form of payment. This profession is considered as one of the oldest professions. Although it is highly viewed as a negative social aspect in many societies, the profession still continues to thrive. The industry has managed to flourish over the years with most of those who benefit from this trade earning exorbitant amounts of money where money is the main form of payment. The place for this profession in society has received widespread acclamation and condemnation all in what can be considered as in equal measure. Most of the opinions aired by various divides across society are mainly centered on issues such as exploitation, victimization, morality and ethics among others. However prostitution is and will still remain a functional part of life.
The debate of whether prostitution is a functional way of life has over the years elicited widespread reactions with both sides of the divide arguing from their hard line stands. The increasingly sophisticated debates have attracted the attention of various quarters with many governments even finding themselves in the middle of these passionate and convictive debates. The issue of prostitution has chronically been a borne of contentious issues between various interests in the society. Some governments have even gone ahead and accepted it as an important aspect of society and thus the trade has been legalized in some countries while other countries are still in the process. The fact that prostitution in many societies has never been perceived as a criminal offence opens up room for maneuvering over the likely possibilities of it to be viewed as an important aspect of life.
Since the ancient days, a prostitute has been tagged “as the symbol of sin” and it is with this perception that anyone in this profession is regarded as a form of “guarantor and stabilizer of morality in the society” (Johan, 1). It has over the years been argued through various timelines dating from primitive societies up to ancient and modern civilized societies that various family structures have had a considerable effect in defining the role of prostitution in the rest of the society. Prostitutes in some societies are seen as a way for men to gain satisfaction and thus when society allows prostitution to thrive. With the civilization that the world has gone through, many have come to integrate prostitution into significance by giving it an important bearing in society. This has thus had the outcome of prostitution being identified as an “issue requiring global solutions in relation to its regulation and legislation” (Jeffreys, 70).
Prostitution in modern society often goes along with such tags such as morality and its legal status. It is common knowledge that no one has a right to benefit from selling of their body. It is in this context that no one should also likewise be victimized for choosing to sell their body as long as it is not undermining the decency of the society. As long as the buyer and seller have a mutual agreement and levels of decency are observed in carrying out the business then it can be considered a purely confidential private transaction. However, issues will always arise when anything is made a right, it will always elicit various reactions. This is because the essence of any right demands a duty from the others to respect it. This in turn requires that those who have certain rights to demand constraint of self expression to those in opposition. It is therefore the right of a prostitute not to be discriminated or punished for the act.
Eliminating the negative aspects of prostitution has been echoed among various organizations with the International Committee for Prostitutes’ Rights (ICPR) being at the forefront in addressing this critical issue. They have defined prostitution as “form of service work that many women freely choose and often enjoy” and thus there should be need to eliminate the negative aspects of the trade. This would have the effect of making prostitution a functional part of life and also as a guarantor of the “positive attributes”. It has often been argued that the trade which guarantees many in the profession of economic stability and sexual satisfaction, to be placed under the “jurisdiction of commerce and labor rather than criminal laws” (Jeffreys, 71).
Liberals have contracted prostitution as a depiction of labor and thus the right of prostitutes just as any other laborer would to be accorded their rights. Many prostitutes either fall under the category of either self employed or working for a third party. Thus a prostitute has to be subjected to rules of other small businesses and accorded the necessary rights as well. It is these fundamental rights that many prostitutes in the society want to have and also to be seen as entrepreneurs instead of immoral individuals. It is in echoing these sentiments that the World Charter for Prostitutes’ Rights met ion 1985 at the Whores’ Congress where they adapted the same rights for prostitutes to enjoy just like any other citizen. This was a step in the right direction in cementing prostitutes as a fundamental part of the society.