Economics and prostitution essay

prostitution / economy / career / income / criminal code

Essay Topic:

The role and the impact of prostitution on the overall economy of Canada.

Essay Questions:

Does prostitution need economical stimulation or should it be completely prohibited or ignored?

Should the economical approach be used to prostitution at all?

Can prostitution considered to be an actual career opportunity in Canada?

Thesis Statement:

Prostitution has a lot to do with the economy, as it is not only its “dark” side but also the potential legal income, which is always needed so much.


Economics and prostitution essay


Table of contents:

1. Introduction

2. Choosing prostitution as a “career” opportunity?

1. Definition of prostitution

2. Danger of the “oldest profession”

3. Economical approach to prostitution

1. Prostitution and economy

4. Conclusion

Introduction: The word “prostitution” has always confused the minds of people for years. Constant attempts to solve this existing problem have not really given any positive results. For some time the problem was obviously ignored by the government as if it completely did not know what to do with it. In the beginning of the XXI century a prostitute has become one of the most ordinary goods that the market can offer. It is also necessary to mention that the demand on prostitution is constantly growing due to several factors worth of separate analysis. Prostitution has always been “covered” from the eyes of citizens as is has always been unacceptable. Nevertheless, the problem does not disappear and in fact it becomes even more “sharp” with time. Of course it is easier to pretend like there is no enormous amount of women and men that have no other way to survive but offering sexual services. Basically, the Law of Canada has not done anything good enough to solve the problem in any way, except causing vagueness in the understanding of what is legal and illegal in terms of sexual services. Prostitution has a lot to do with the economy, as it is not only its “dark” side but also the potential legal income, which is always needed so much. So what is prostitution? Does it need economical stimulation or should it be completely prohibited or ignored? And should the economical approach be used to prostitution at all? Prostitution is not and will never be a standard job and this is something that is to be never forgotten.

2. Choosing prostitution as a “career” opportunity?

The most horrifying thing about prostitution is that it has become not just a way to make money for starving and homeless people but also a “career” opportunity for the young generation. Why do our children have to grow up with the notion that prostitution is a source of getting money and surviving in this world? The contemporary world lives under certain regularities. A man has to get a job that will provide him or her with a sufficient amount of money in order to maintain a normal living. So if a person does not have enough knowledge to get this or that job he or she always has another opportunity - to prostitute himself or herself. Prostitution as a primitive was of making money; it is a problem that prevents the society from its perfection and development. Prostitution is obviously a negative phenomenon, demoralizing the society but is has actually become a “job” for many men and women and this fact cannot remain unnoticed.

2.a. Definition of prostitution

Prostitution does exist and it an unchallengeable fact. It existed since ancient times in different countries, with different social-political statuses. A prostitute is a person who provides sexual services in exchange for money. In other words it is a person who offers sex and gets paid for it. Nevertheless, none of the people providing this type of services are performing a business activity. It is usually believed that prostitutes are women; nevertheless men play an important part in prostitution as an object of high demand, too. Anyhow it is very hard to give a definition to prostitution as a profession, because prostitutes do not pay taxes and do not receive any pension while on retirement. Prostitution is not illegal in Canada and this fact puts it in a very uncertain position in terms of possible “career opportunities” for the young generation. It is legal to sell services but it is illegal to buy them – this statement makes many people bewildered. One thing is certain for sure: prostitution – is an act of selling a person’s body for further sexual services for material compensation.

2.b. Danger of the oldest profession

Choosing prostitution as a profession is not rational. Yes, it does bring income and the demand is always high. But what will a prostitute remain with at the threshold of the pension age? This is one of the reasons that many people such as the criminologist Dr. John Lowman argue in favor of its legalization1. Prostitution is considered as a potential source of renewing the budget of Canada. But there are also other reasons for not becoming a prostitute except the tax-pension side of the issue. Many of the prostitutes simply disappear and often become the victims of violence. According to the statistics “90 percent had been physically assaulted in prostitution and 78 percent had been raped in prostitution”2. Prostitutes do not get the protection the representatives of standard professions do. They can also be the cause of spreading of venereal diseases due to the fact of absence of a proper medical checkup. This “dangers” put prostitution in the position of the “risk zone” occupation. No one will argue that choosing an occupation with high risks is not rational at all.

3. Economical approach to prostitution

Prostitution is legal in Canada. But it is only formally, because “pimping and operating or being found in or working in a “bawdy house” (every place where one or more prostitutes regularly work or where “indecent acts” are performed) are not”3.

Criminal Code sections 210 and 211 forbid “Bawdy houses” and section 212 foresees responsibility for living on the avails of the prostitution of a person. How should the economical approach be applied to prostitution? Canada’s Justice has put prostitution in a position where is has to be done in certain places without any publicity or in other words it has to respect the moral abutments of the society. If prostitution is to be viewed as a type of “profession” than it is put on the same level with other taxpayers such as teachers, lawyers and many others. The application of the economical approach means that prostitution has to have a legal status. SO this makes us view prostitution as a business. A business activity is an independent activity directed to a systematic income arrival from property use, selling goods, work execution or rendering services registered and stated by Law. So prostitution is a systematic income obtained from rendering a service. Prostitution gets the possibility to exist illegally from the gaps in the Law and the Canadian Law with its semi-legalization does not make it easier to define the status of prostitution in the country. If prostitution is legal than prostitutes have to be 18 years old and have the right to medical and social security. At the same time they have to pay the monthly income tax, which will make the profession less profitable, then it is now.

3.a. Prostitution and economy.

The existance of prostitution in Canada still can be explained form the point of the economic approach for Canada has a market-based economy. According to the economic approach both of the sides have to be in profit. Demand gives birth to supply and in this terms prostitution is just the reaction of the high demand of sexual services. So it is about the morality of the society in the first place. Third parties should be completely eliminated from this “deal”. These third parties, known as “pimps” or even sex-firms are the ones to be persecuted. Sex-workers have become an integral part of Canada’s society and they even form alliances such as the Sex Worker’s Alliance of Vancouver. The amount of money obtained from prostitution is enormous, so therefore the budget is left without any additional financing. There are only two ways out –either to completely legalize it eliminating street prostitution or to completely forbid it.

Prostitution has increased in the last years in Canada. This has a lot to do with the sex-tourists arriving to Canada searching for sexual services. This means that Canada is getting foreign “deposits” that go to “nowhere”.

Conclusion: Prostitution can be found in Canada’s every corner and especially in its main cities4. Its existance is conditioned by many factors. Canada is offering licensed sex but for some reason the gaps in the law enforcements are so big that it is completely impossible to notice them. In many cases prostitution is the only option of a person and the reaction of the government should not be through the legalization of this option but in the creation of other options of decent money making. The economic approach explains the existance of prostitution because any country is a big market place and is interested in profit in the first place and Canada in not an exception. “The communicating law” is not effective anymore. Prostitution needs to be analyzed from every single side and needs a new conception of functioning if functioning at all. The economic approach application does not imply that the profit is made on the degradation of the society. And it is obvious that if the sex-workers had education, a place to work and a decent salary they would never have found themselves on the panel and could be their labor would have brought a bigger income for the budget. Canada needs to change the economic approach to the human approach and study everything concerning the prostitution for new.

1 Dr. John Lowman: ” Canada is to the slave trade what Japan is to the whaling industry”.

2 Information taken from www.

3 Prostitution in Canada by Stephanie Sturdy/1997.

4 Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Halifax and Calgary (Winnipeg, Saint John, Troi-Rivieres, Quebec City, Ottawa, Niagara Falls and London)


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