What a fascinating thought

…..this logic does not hold, or is at least more than compensated by an effect going the other way: legalizing the prostitution market increases its size so much that the supply of legal prostitutes is not sufficient and illegally trafficked ones are needed.

I wouldn\’t say I was convinced exactly.

But there\’s absolutely a logic to it being possible. For prostitution itself exists because the supply of women willing to have instant sex with random strangers* is rather smaller than the number of men that desire that. If you relax some of the restrictions on demand from men by making it legal then yes, perhaps you are going to have supply problems.


*You can use the other justification for prostitution, the number of women willing to leave immediately after having sex is smaller than men would desire. But the shortage part still exists.

19 thoughts on “What a fascinating thought”

  1. The conclusions of academic research on highly political social issues such as human trafficking and prostitution are always drawn up in advance of the research. Otherwise the funders won’t come up with the goods.

  2. If you relax some of the restrictions on demand from men by making it legal then yes, perhaps you are going to have supply problems.

    I doubt the law on prostitution makes much difference to whether people do it.

  3. I doubt the law on prostitution makes much difference to whether people do it.

    No, but it makes a big difference to the safety of the people doing it.

  4. The question is, of course, exactly which ‘problem’ your addressing. Prostitution or trafficking. They’re not the same.
    If prostitution is an easier service to enjoy then the numbers of users of the service will increase. Which is why the town I live in has an amazing number of hookers & there’s tourists come down here specifically see them. Many from the UK.
    But I’d also confidently say that our numbers of ‘trafficked’ women. Girls that are brought here & compelled to work is a big, fat, zero. Simple reason. The punters want a good service. The provider has to be wanting to provide it. Even if their tastes go to an ‘unwilling’ partner they want an actress to be playing unwilling, not the real thing. And there simply isn’t enough money in the business that would encourage trafficking. The amount of expenditure required to compel girls to work would be so much more than could be made from girls who’ll toddle happily along to work every day like any other job. And there’s absolutely no shortage of willing girls. The main problem here is oversupply.
    But that’s in a place with several brothels & two pages of ads in the paper. UK’s different. Problem with the UK is, although the prostitution’s legal,the soliciting isn’t. (Which is one of the reasons for our UK visitors) The punter is always unsure of what he’s getting into. Never sure if the ‘massage’ ad is a con. Or even just for a massage. Whether using a street girl is a a route to a mugging or a nasty disease. Or arrest by an undercover WPC. (this is what people think, not necessarily what occurs). I’m an extremely street wise Londoner & I’d have to think quite hard, how to connect with a provider at 11.00 on a Saturday evening. Take about 5 minutes here.
    In that atmosphere, where everyone’s ashamed of their own shadow, it’s more likely to occur. But there’s no real evidence it actually does. It’s the same economic equation. There’s more money to be made out of willing workers & more than enough of those to go round.
    Newspaper reports? There was a big flurry couple of years back. Agency providing Thais got turned over. Yes, of course the girls said they were ‘trafficked’. What are they supposed to put on their visa applications? The stories were still in the newspapers when the girls were already working out of another agency run by the same people, a few days later.* The problem’s not with the people in the UK they’re working for. It’s their families back in Thailand send their daughters in the first place. And that the girls feel obliged to do it. And you really need to understand Thai culture to get a grip on that one.
    *& the big police anti-trafficking operation, about the same time. 300+ so called arrests. IIRC they got one case to court, found not guilty.

    Personally, I wouldn’t use the academic report quoted as toilet paper. Too flimsy. the whole business is built on the two big lies. The provider lies that she fancies the punter. The punter lies to himself, he believes her. From then on, the truth is a rare & valueless commodity.

  5. Matthew L,

    No, but it makes a big difference to the safety of the people doing it.

    Which is the main reason for doing it.

    I should have clarified my comment as saying the UK law, which makes almost no difference to the activity. The odd person gets caught who doesn’t know how to operate without the law getting involved, but most people know how you function in a way that avoids the law getting involved.

  6. That would suggest lots of men would but don’t because of the law. Like the same argument about drugs… It is bollocks.

  7. Mr Stigler
    “…the UK law, which makes almost no difference to the activity”
    With respect, bollocks. Take a trip down to your nearest Travel Lodge & you’ll find at least a couple of girls working it. They see the punters in a room on their own. That’s because UK law defines more than one woman in an establishment as a brothel, which is illegal. The customers are the result of mobile to mobile phone calls. She doesn’t know who they are until they knock the door. She’ll have tipped her friend that she’s got a client. Maybe. That’s all the security she’s got. If she doesn’t surface after an hour or whatever maybe someone knows there’s a problem. Or not. Outcalls work much the same. Punters don’t tend to use their home or office phone, do they?
    Contrast with the apartments we have here. Four or more girls & a maid. Or large clubs with meaty bouncers a shout away. Which do you think is safer?

  8. “. . .the supply of legal prostitutes is not sufficient and illegally trafficked ones are needed.”

    This point can be addressed by asking how that is any different than the current situation?

    Legalize prostitution and we might have sex slavery, which we already have, but the non-slave sex workers will have far more power (through access to police and courts, both criminal and civil) and that power trickles down to the slaves who have an easier time using the criminal justice system to break their bonds and free themselves – since they’ll not be committing a crime themselves.

  9. bloke in spain,

    “Which do you think is safer?”

    I didn’t say it was safer. I’d say that it isn’t safer. I’m saying that the UK law doesn’t stop the activity taking place.

  10. Prostitution was legalised quite some time ago in New Zealand. Since then I understand that the number of prostitutes has decreased rather than increased. This is mainly due to legalisation enabling them to be more efficient as they mostly operate from brothels and through advertising. Which means that the limited number of customers can either book in advance or turn up knowing that somebody will be available.

  11. Does not the ‘supply’ of prostitutes rely to some extent on how many the prostitute will service in a day.
    And on the profitabilty of the type of service supplied.
    The high financial risk of marriage should play a part as well – demandwise.

  12. “…supply of legal prostitutes is not sufficient and illegally trafficked ones are needed.”

    I just want to give the language a kicking here. If legalising increases demand then prices rise until supply and demand are matched. Increasing prices makes trafficking more profitable, sure, but that does not mean “illegally trafficked ones are needed“.

    It doesn’t make sense if you substitute another good. The demand for BMWs is high so stolen ones are needed. Sound right to you?

  13. But in this case, legalising may also increase supply. as former non-prostitutes join a fully legitimate business. Your analogy fails because you can’t create a BMW from a Mondeo but you can create a prostitute from a hairdresser.

  14. @Ian: Methinks RlJ is, for the sake of argument, allowing the original paper’s assumption that the increase you posit would not fulfill demand, and then attacking it for saying that the short-fall this would hypothetically cause would mean a need for illegal activity.

  15. Despite extensive police antics and endless squarking by the feminazis, no proof exists of ANY large or even small-scale “trafficking” of women for sex slavery let alone the existence of vast numbers of females being held against their will and forced to perform sex for money(the average feminista freak would use that description for any hetrosexual relationship anyway).
    If prostitution was legal and stigma-free it would be a huge and direct blow to one of feminisms main functions–ie being a sexual trade union for aging, ugly and downright nasty women. Far more men would satisfy their needs without marriage/long-term relationships and would be spared the “will I be ruined by divorce/lose the kids etc” lottery that now functions very nicely for some women in this country and thewWestern world in general.
    Therefore, feministas and their mangina supporters will say almost anything to prevent any relaxation of laws and mores.

  16. I did say I was questioning the language. It’s the idea that criminal activity is *needed* because demand increases that I find odd.

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