Should We Turn On the Red Light?

by snorm on September 12, 2016 - 9:39am


Prostitution: Should it be legal? Yes (Globe and Mail, February 28th, 2014)

In this article, the author proposes two solutions to Canadians regarding the supreme courts judgement on the prostitution industry, asking for new legislation. One is the Nordic model, in which prostitution is a crime, and the other, the Dutch model, where prostitution is legal and regulated by the government. It is said that the first approach aims to reduce prostitution while the second tries to diminish the harms linked to the industry. According to the three pillars of the “old legal regime” in Canada, it was illegal to be a procurer, to run a brothel or to offer services in public, but the sale of sex has never been a crime. These rules rejected by the supreme court, the government had to come up with new laws taking in account the dangers of the industry.

The author then asks: what if the government made it illegal to buy sex, like in the Nordic Model? Proponents of this method, where selling sex is still legal, consider the act of exchanging money for sex to be degrading, and a last resort for women and men who have no other choices. It is mentioned that this method is gaining in popularity in Europe, enough to be proposed in a resolution from the European parliament to all EU countries.

It is then re-mentioned that the supreme court wants the new legislation to reduce dangers of prostitution for sex-workers, which seems nearer to the Dutch Model. The author then asks plenty of questions to highlight how difficult it will be to install new laws that will actually work.

The conclusion underlines how easy it was for the supreme court to strike down the old rules (that worked) and how difficult it will be for politicians to imagine a whole new system. The article ends with the personal statement that progress will be achieved through legalization and regulation rather than criminalization.


​                        Allows to protect sex workers (who could be eligible to get labor rights)

·         Cripples the criminal system surrounding the sex industry

·         Reduces health risks for women

·         It is a “victimless crime”

·         Prostitution could be a source of tax revenues

·         Saves law enforcement troops

·         There will always be a demand



      ​                  Exchanging money for sexual favor is immoral and degrading

·         Legalizing it does not make sex workers’ environment safer

·         Opens the door for more women to enter the industry

·         Increases the propagation of diseases

·         Prostitution has a cost for the tax payers (abortions, STDs treatments


Considering the arguments on both sides of the debate over the legalization of the sex-industry, I end up believing that prostitution should be legalized. On one hand, it is true that on a moral standpoint, the “sex for money” aspect leaves me uncomfortable. Legalizing prostitution could also encourage more women who are in desperate need of revenues to join the industry. On the other hand, I think that the right regulations could effectively protect the prostitutes’ physical and mental health. In addition, the fact that there will always be a demand for this service (no wonder why it is the oldest of all jobs) pushes me to believe that we, as a society, could pull interesting advantages from its legalization: firstly, the tax revenues generated by sex workers may be gigantic (but it is difficult to estimate); secondly, controlling sex-workers’ work condition would certainly diminish the spreading of diseases as well as unwanted pregnancies; thirdly, it would allow law enforcement troops to focus on other crimes, as it would cripple the criminal system behind prostitution.

After careful consideration of this issue, I think that the overall benefits of legalizing prostitution weight more than the harm it would cause. Therefore, I believe that we should legalize prostitution. In an era of intense hypersexualizing, where pornography is more accessible than ever, is it not contradictory to question the virtues of the sex industry?

Globe and Mail, Editorial (n.a.). (2014). Prostitution: Should it be legal? Yes. Globe and Mail. Retrieved From



















This is a great article as you really analysed the two sides of the prostitution debate. I also like how in your opinion you say your concerns on the legalization of prostitution, which are probably concerns other people have too. It was interesting to know more about the Nordic and the Dutch model.
I agree with your opinion that we should legalize prostitution as, like you said, the benefits would be greater than continuing prohibiting it. Yes, in away, "selling your body" can be seen as degrading, but the women and men offering these services are totally conscious about what they are doing, and have all the informations needed, so why ban an autonomous decision? Prostitution is highly regulated in the countries where it is legal and can have many advantages for the country.

It would be interesting seeing how different countries who legalized prostitution have changed during the years, and see if they are better off than countries who have not. Are the people happier?Have the economy benefit widely from it?