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Prostitution: Should it be legal? Prostitution is known as the oldest profession in the world, however, many states in the U.S. outlaw it. The textbook definition of prostitution is the "act or practice of engaging in sexual acts for money" ("Prostitution," Macmillan 805). Nevada is the first state in the United States to legalize prostitution. Although the long-term effects of legalized prostitution are uncertain, the short-term effects have been economically beneficial. Prostitution should be legalized because not only could it financially benefit the country, but it could also reduce crime. There are many reasons why prostitution is illegal in 49 U.S. states today. First, and foremost, many people feel that prostitution should stay illegal in order to preserve morality. Parents do not want their children to grow up thinking that prostitution is acceptable. Worse yet, parents do not want to hear their children say, "When I grow up, I want to be a prostitute." Christianity also looks down upon prostitution because according to their beliefs, the act of sex is only to be done when a man and a woman are in love and married. Monogamy is to be practiced in the marriage, and any violation of this is considered a sin. Another reason why the preservation of morality is so important is that people's morals shape the future of our nation. Many people feel that if prostitution is legalized, then its long term effects would be detrimental to the United States. The divorce rate in the United States peaked at an all time high in 1980 ("Marriage" 56). By the legalization of prostitution, this would allow room for husbands and wives to commit adultery. Thus, leading the marriage to a divorce. "The divorce rate has really increased over the centuries. In the U.S. today, the divorce rate is fifty percent of the U.S. itself" (Holland 86). Second, prostitution is a great health risk to the U.S. because of the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (ST...

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Bibliography "Database." US News & World Report Nov. 1993: 16. Decriminalization of Prostitution. 10 Nov. 1999. **. Holland, Barbara. "The Long Good-Bye." Smithsonian Magazine Mar. 1998: 86. Legalized Prostitution. The Liberator. 11 Nov. 1999. **. "Marriage and Divorce, 1996." Monthly Vital Statistics Report. 45.12 (1997): 44. "Prostitution." CQ Researcher June 1993: 32-40. "Prostitution." Macmillan Dictionary for Students. 11th ed., 1993. Prostitution and Law Enforcement: Practices and Abuses. The San Francisco Task Force on Prostitution 10. Nov. 1999. * Polpage.html "Street Cleaning." CQ Researcher Sept. 1991: 24-25

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