While prostitution is illegal in most parts of the United States, there are some rural areas in the state of Nevada that do legally allow this practice to occur even still today. These few rural areas are the only jurisdictions in the U.S. that allow this practice to occur, as it is a very controversial and frowned upon practice in today’s modern society.
As of 2008, there were a whopping 28 legal brothels running in the state of Nevada, one of the most famous being the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, owned and operated by Dennis Hof. Prostitution is federally illegal throughout the United States, but the tenth amendment of the U.S. constitution allows the domain of the states to exclusively to prohibit, permit, or regulate commercial sex. The brothels that can be found in Nevada are strictly regulated through the Nevada Revised Statutes. There are only eight counties in the state that have legally regulated brothels that operate throughout the year. In Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, all forms of prostitution are illegal. There are even some counties in Nevada that legally allow prostitution but have no brothels located in them. In these counties, it is still illegal to engage in “street prostitution” in which there is little to no regulation of the activities and services being provided to paying customers. Those who engage in street prostitution in Nevada can and will be prosecuted under the law.
While many people believe that legal prostitution is a concern considering the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, there is much research that has shown quite the opposite. This does not necessarily stand true with street prostitution, because there is little to no regulation of the workers or the customers. With legal prostitution, sex workers are often screened and tested for any known STDs and they are almost always required to use various forms of protection with their clients. The Huffington Post reported on a study done by the 20thInternational AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia in which it was estimated that the number of new HIV infections would drop dramatically if prostitution were made legal. This study included female sex workers in Canada, India, and Kenya. The estimated drop found in the study was a whopping 33 to 46 percent, which could have a huge impact, not only, on these sex workers themselves, but also those who are seeking out their services. While this may seem confusing to many, the logic attributed to this estimated drop is that most illegal sex workers skip using protection for several reasons. These reasons can include rushing the process in order to avoid being caught by police, not enough money or income to provide protection for clients that do not provide it themselves, and no access to proper healthcare for illegal sex workers. It is thought that if prostitution were made legal, all three of these problems could be avoided, lessening the number of those infected with HIV while working in the sex trade.
Another study from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) predicted that, not only, the number of sexually transmitted diseases would lower, but also the number of rapes would lessen. Rhode Island legislature decriminalized prostitution from 2003 to 2009, and this short time period allowed the university to enact some very interesting research regarding one of the oldest and most controversial professions known to man. Data from that seven years in Rhode Island proved to be very interesting regarding numbers for STDs as well as rape statistics. There was a large drop in the number of rapes as well as another large drop in the diagnoses of gonorrhea for, both, men and women. It is really something to be considered seeing such a large drop in, both, sexually violent crime and sexually transmitted diseases. This also provides the ability to regulate this type of work. Women who feel it is an option for them would be able to work for a company and have the opportunity to receive benefits and clients would be at less of a risk with mandatory testing for STDs. Sex work would occur inside of a registered and licensed facility with security, lessening the chance for customers to commit violent crimes against sex workers. One very surprising thing about this whole study is that Rhode Island inadvertently made adjustments in legislation that were not intended to legalize indoor prostitution, but something in the legislature made it so. This provided a rare and perfect opportunity to examine trends and statistics that could have been a direct result of legal indoor prostitution. Whether you agree with this practice or not, it is something to be considered as all of us (not just sex workers and their clients) can be at risk of sexually transmitted diseases as well as sexually violent crimes.
Horny Goat Weed by FeelSpirit.com5 stars - "United States and North Korea are the only two countries where prostitution is not legal. I think there something wrong with our society. We are stupid Americans..." Marion Bishop Based on 134,754 Votes!