Legalizing Prostitution


As the old saying goes, if you can’t beat them, join them. Applying that logic to business has lead to legalizing previously questionable „business” practices, prostitution being one of them. As it turns out, if a brothel is legalized and well-regulated, it can be both safe and profitable. The US state of Nevada only allows prostitution in licensed brothels that test workers routinely for STDs. Below are some compelling arguments why the rest of the
United States, and the world, for that matter, should let individuals sell sex in a wellregulated way, as they do in the Netherlands, Switzerland, and parts of Mexico, and several other countries.

Violence against women would decrease
Prostitutes in America (who are mostly women) are vulnerable to violence from customers and pimps. A study of San Francisco prostitutes found that 82% had been assaulted and 68% had been raped while working as prostitutes. Another study of prostitutes in Colorado Springs found they were 18 times more likely to be murdered than nonprostitutes their age and race, whereas sex workers in licensed establishments can have somebody to back them up. It is in the best interest of brothel owners to come across as law-abiding, trouble-free businesses to keep their licenses and maintain good relations within their communities. It is ensured by making it policy to call the police at the slightest hint of trouble in order to send a message that they don’t tolerate bad behavior.

Legalization would improve the workers’ health
Illegal street prostitutes might face pressure from pimps and Johns to forgo condoms. But states that legalize the profession can require sex workers to use condoms and get tested for sexually transmitted diseases. Sex workers in Nevada have to undergo monthly tests for syphilis and HIV and weekly tests for other sexually transmitted diseases. Nevada also requires condoms for all sex in brothels.

Prostitution is Arguably a Victimless Crime
While some advocates argue that prostitutes are victims of Johns and pimps, sex work can be a victimless crime if women sell their bodies of their own volition. In the words of a law professor, prostitution should not be a crime as the workers are not committing an inherently harmful act. While the spread of disease and other detriments are possible in the practice of prostitution, criminalization is a sure way of exacerbating rather than
addressing such effects.

Legal Prostitution can be a Source of Tax Revenue
While establishments in Nevada pay no state taxes, they pay significant amounts in taxes to the rural counties where they do business. Nevada Republicans blocked a plan a couple of years ago to subject brothels to state taxes, since they objected to schools and other state services being funded by sex work. Illegal prostitution businesses in America, of course, pay no taxes. If those brothels were legalized, then state and county governments could gain significant revenue. We legalize and regulate much of commerce that’s morally controversial, for instance gambling, alcohol, tobacco, lap-dancing, and pornography. Yes,
women can be coerced into prostituting themselves. But we’re not helping them by making consenting sex work a crime.

Adapted from www.businessinsider.com

Exercise 1
Find the words or expressions in the text which mean the following:

1) before: __________
2) on a daily basis, regularly: __________
3) a place of business: __________
4) to go / continue without something: __________
5) in a way that’s open for discussion: __________
6) a person who promotes sth: __________
7) naturally: __________
8) not related to the city: __________
9) income: ___________
10)having necessary certification: __________
11)to officially say that sth is necessary: __________
12)a crime during which no one gets harmed: _________


Exercise 2
Match the expressions from the two columns into logical collocations:

1) to apply sth                    pressure from sb
2) to lead                            abiding
3) a compelling                 best interest
4) law-                                commerce
5) to make sth                   of one’s own volition
6) to face                            a business to state taxes
7) to do sth                        to sth else
8) to subject                      to sth
9) to regulate                    policy
10)sth is in sb’s                argument


Exercsie 3
Provide English equivalents of these expressions:

1) wątpliwy
2) osoba
3) być narażonym na coś
4) przechodzić testy
5) szkoda
6) zaostrzyć coś
7) spore kwoty
8) coś jest finansowane przez coś
9) hazard
10)być zmuszanym do czegoś
11)za zgodą


Grammar corner…

The word since has been used in the text in a different way than you’re probably used to. Normally it is a part of a Present Perfect sentence, e.g. I’ve worked here
since 2005. Well, more advanced English users use everyday words in other contexts, for example since = because, yet = but, as = because, for = because. So, by
replacing those simple words (because and but), you automatically increase the level of formality, which is sometimes useful in business situations.


Exercise 4
Choose the correct option to complete the sentence

1) Since / yet your performance is questionable, we’re going to have to let you go.
2) The management thought of firing her, since / yet they didn’t know that she had evidence of their misconduct.
3) I think you really deserve this promotion, as / yet your sales results are truly impressive.
4) I know I was supposed to finish the report during the weekend, since / yet I couldn’t really force myself to do it.
5) For / yet the restructuring plan failed, we have no option but to wind down.


previously – uprzednio
routinely – rutynowo
an establishment – lokal, miejsce prowadzenia działalności
to forego sth – zrezygnować z czegoś
arguably – wątpliwie
an advocate of sth – zwolennik czegoś
inherently – naturalnie
rural – wiejski
revenue – przychód
licensed – licencjonowany
to require sth – wymagać czegoś
a victimless crime – przestępstwo bez ofiar
to apply sth to sth else – zastosować coś do czegoś
to lead to sth – prowadzić do czegoś
a compelling argument – dobry argument
law-abiding – przestrzegający prawa
to make sth policy – włączyć coś do kodeksu postępowania
to face pressure from sb – być narażonym na naciski z czyjejś strony
to do sth of one’s own volition – zrobić coś z własnej woli
to subject a business to state tax – opodatkować działalność podatkiem stanowym
to regulate commerce – regulować handel / działalność
sth is in sb’s best interest – coś jest w czyimś najlepszym interesie
questionable – wątpliwy
an individual – osoba
to be vulnerable to sth – być narażonym na coś
to undergo tests – przechodzić testy
a detriment – szkoda
to exacerbate sth – zaostrzyć coś
significant amounts – spore kwoty
sth is funded by sth – coś jest finansowane przez coś
gambling – hazard
to be coerced into sth – być zmuszanym do czegoś
consenting – za zgodą
since – ponieważ
a brothel – dom publiczny
a John – klient prostytutki
a pimp – „opiekun” prostytutki / alfons
the slightest hint of sth – najmniejszy przejaw czegoś
to let sb go – zwolnić kogoś
misconduct – niewłaściwe postępowanie
to wind a company down – zlikwidować firmę / spółkę


download lesson (pdf)


Ex. 1
1) previously
2) routinely
3) an establishment
4) to forego sth
5) arguably
6) an advocate of sth
7) inherently
8) rural
9) revenue
11)to require sth
12)a victimless crime

Ex. 2
1) to apply sth to sth else
2) to lead to sth
3) a compelling argument
4) law-abiding
5) to make sth policy
6) to face pressure from sb
7) to do sth of one’s own volition
8) to subject a business to state taxes
9) to regulate commerce
10)sth is in sb’s best interest

Ex. 3
1) questionable
2) an individual
3) to be vulnerable to sth
4) to undergo sth
5) a detriment
6) to exacerbate sth
7) significant amounts
8) sth is funded by sth
9) gambling
10)to be coerced into doing sth
12) since

Ex. 4
1) since
2) yet
3) as
4) yet
5) for