1. MYTH: Legalizing prostitution gets rid of its criminal elements - pimps and traffickers.
FACT: Legalizing prostitution benefits pimps and traffickers. It also benefits johns.
2. MYTH: Men need sex therefore prostitution must exist. Prostitution is a natural form of human sexuality
FACT: The sex of prostitution is not “sex” for women in it. Most men who use women in prostitution have other sexual partners.
3. MYTH: Prostitution is sexual liberation
FACT: Prostitution is sexual exploitation.
4. MYTH Women choose to enter prostitution. It’s better to choose to make lots of money as a prostitute than to choose to work at a minimum wage job like McDonald’s.
FACT: It is profoundly unjust to declare that prostitution is an acceptable job for some women - those who are mostly poor, mostly women of color, mostly young. Prostitution is an intrinsically abusive institution and women stay poor in prostitution (although lots of cash passes through their hands on the way to pimps, stripclub managers, bartenders, taxi drivers, casino hosts and other predators).
5. MYTH : Prostitution is a victimless crime. Legal prostitution protects women in prostitution.
FACT: All prostitution harms those in it. Legal prostitution does not protect women in prostitution from harm.
6. MYTH: Most prostitution does not involve pimps.
FACT: Most prostitution involves pimps. Health service providers, shelter staff, survivors of prostitution, and law enforcement sources estimate that 65%-85% of all prostitution is pimp-dominated.
7. MYTH: Legalizing prostitution would protect sexually exploited children. When prostitution is legal, licensed brothel owners do not hire minors or trafficked women.
FACT: Legal prostitution increases the sexual assaults of children in prostitution.
8. MYTH: Prostitution is the world’s oldest profession.
FACT: Slavery and pimping and agriculture are the world’s oldest professions.
9. MYTH: Social stigma is the most harmful aspect of prostitution.
FACT: The worst thing about prostitution is not social stigma, it is rape, strangulation, beatings, toxic verbal abuse, and other violence from johns and pimps.
10. MYTH: If you try to abolish prostitution, it will go underground.
FACT: There is no evidence for the extortionate myth.
11. MYTH: Prostitution is a deterrent to sex crimes.
FACT: Research indicates that prostitution is associated with increased rates of rape.
12. MYTH: Pornography and stripping are not prostitution.
FACT: Pornography, stripping/exotic dancing/lap dancing are almost always prostitution.
13. MYTH: Legalization of prostitution is an entirely separate issue from human trafficking.
FACT: Prostitution is the destination point for trafficking. Legalization of prostitution promotes sex trafficking.
14. MYTH: Even if it’s not perfect, legalizing prostitution would at least make prostitution a little bit better.
FACT: Legalization of prostitution increases illegal prostitution. It does not improve the lives of women in prostitution.
15. MYTH: Legalized prostitution would control the sex industry.
FACT: Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution expands the sex industry.
16. MYTH: Legal prostitution brings tremendous tax benefits to cash-strapped regions. Nevada’s rural counties reap economic benefits from legal prostitution.
FACT: Regions with legal prostitution experience adverse economic impacts.
17.MYTH: If you oppose legalization of prostitution, you’re saying that prostitutes should be arrested.
FACT: The abolitionist Swedish law, which is a model law, decriminalizes women in prostitution but arrests their predators: johns, pimps, and traffickers.
18. MYTH: If you oppose legal prostitution, you’re a moralistic, judgmental, prudish person who is pushing your value system on people who think differently from you.
FACT: While people are entitled to their moral and religious beliefs, our opposition to the institution of prostitution is based on evidence of the harms of prostitution documented by researchers, health service providers, and law enforcement.
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