Nevada has long been heralded as being a blot on the conscience of the United States. Not only is this wanton state known as being the gambling capital of the world, it also made the sale of sex legal in many of its counties.
For a time, Nevada had company in this risque business of selling sex in an unlikely place. For nearly 30 years, Rhode Island legalized the sex-for-sale trade across the entire state -- and most people didn't even realize it.
Due to mistakenly removed language in Rhode Island law, between 1980 and 2009, indoor prostitution became legal. This mix-up occurred because lawmakers accidentally took out wording that made the act of prostitution illegal when it occurred indoors during a time when they were downgrading the seriousness of the act from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Little notice of this loophole was taken until 2003. An undercover police sting involving Asian massage parlors resulted in charges for eight women. However, their counsel argued that the women had broken no laws since all activities had taken place indoors. After the case was thrown out, it didn't take long for people to realize that they could legally pay for sex as long as it occurred indoors. In 2009, though then-Governor Donald Carcieri signed a law in effect than made the act of prostitution -- indoors or out -- illegal, and that was that. Or was it?
Scientifically Backed Benefits of Legalized Prostitution
It is interesting to note that the incidences of both rape and gonorrhea in females dropped significantly while prostitution was decriminalized in Rhode Island. According to a report that the National Bureau of Economic Research published, between 2004 and 2009 the number of reported rapes in the state fell by 31 percent while reports of gonorrhea in females dropped by 30 percent. Though opponents to the legalized sex for sale industry would love to think this is an isolated incident, there is plenty of evidence to the contrary.
Legalizing the Sex Trade Protects the Underprivileged
Much like abortion before it became legal, men and women are going to find a way to hook up and pay for sex. Legalizing sex for money helps protect those who are most likely to be exploited -- youth and others who are trafficked into the industry by threats of violence and manipulation. Bringing sex for sale out into the open makes it easier to find and track those who are exploiting women. Prostitutes and other women who sell sex no longer have to hide with their customers. Instead, all the players in the industry are visible. Maybe the real reason why their are opponents to the legalization of sex are afraid of who might be exposed for paying for sex.