This article was first published March 6th, 2013. Some of the laws may have changed since this that date.

Guest Article by Taira Scott

Law enforcements in Polk County recently conducted a three day sex sting operation in which 78 people were arrested. The 78 individuals consisted of customers, prostitutes, a transsexual and an alleged porn star. 31 of the 78 accused had prior criminal backgrounds, ranging from violent felonies to petty misdemeanors. 18 of the 78 individuals who were arrested were married, including a married couple who were present at the time of arrest. Moreover, 22 of the alleged individuals were charged with possession of drugs. The line up consisted of men who were "well to do" in society including a microbiologist, a retired airline pilot and a man who was about to graduate from a law enforcement academy. Law enforcements role is to protect its citizens from harm; allowing prostitution could lead to harmful outcomes like murder, the spread of STDs and other illegal crimes. The majority of the individuals who were arrested had drugs on them. Within the group 26 out of 78 were unemployed while 14 of them were receiving government aid. It is a common occurrence for those who face a substance abuse program to turn to other illegal acts to find funding, but what about those who were involved in the sting that are seen as well off citizens based upon societal standards.

North American property law gives its citizens rights to protect their property from others, but even with that right there are still exceptions. For instance, one does not have full rights defending their body; you can't do whatever you want with it. For example, you can't sell an organ or body tissue, but in the event that you do decide to give an organ or blood, the hospital can make a profit without giving you any money from it. You have complete ownership of your body, you can decide what to eat, whether to exercise or consume large quantities of alcohol, but you have no ownership when it comes to selling your body for profit. Being able to do what you want with your body in different capacities is an ongoing debate of whether law should be changed to more legal grounds, or should be not allowed due to the dangers that may come with selling one's own body for profit? In Las Vegas Nevada, prostitution is regulated legally to brothels. Due to Vegas making prostitution legal for brothels areas in which the brothels are located have seen a low crime rate compared to places in the state that has banned prostitution. Would the crime rate drop if prostitution was regulated?

Another underlying issue within the sting is what makes one turn to pay for sex and participate in other sex crimes? Many argue that it is physiological problem, or even a disease. But what if prostitution was permitted? What if it helped individuals who were lacking love? What is the underlying factor of why one feels the need to pay for sexual advances? Or what about the women who are involved, what issues do they face in order to turn to prostitution? Does the danger of paying sex outweigh the benefits that one seeks when paying for sex?

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