Legalizing Prostitution: From Illicit Vice to Lawful Business

Overview


“One of the more intelligent, measured, and comprehensive looks at alternatives to criminalizing the [prostitution] trade.” –Salon

“Weitzer provides an erudite overview of sex work and detailed case studies of three cities with red-light districts: Antwerp, Belgium; Frankfurt, Germany; and Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Prostitution, Weitzer convincingly declares, ‘can be organized in a way that is superior to blanket criminalization and marginalization’.”—Publisher’s Weekly

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Legalizing Prostitution: From Illicit Vice to Lawful Business

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Overview


“One of the more intelligent, measured, and comprehensive looks at alternatives to criminalizing the [prostitution] trade.” –Salon

“Weitzer provides an erudite overview of sex work and detailed case studies of three cities with red-light districts: Antwerp, Belgium; Frankfurt, Germany; and Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Prostitution, Weitzer convincingly declares, ‘can be organized in a way that is superior to blanket criminalization and marginalization’.”—Publisher’s Weekly

“Weitzer’s book combines cogent ideas with interesting original research material….A valuable book for criminal justice policymakers and for serious students of prostitution and crime.”—Library Journal

While sex work has long been controversial, it has become even more contested over the past decade as laws, policies, and enforcement practices have become more repressive in many nations, partly as a result of the ascendancy of interest groups committed to the total abolition of the sex industry. At the same time, however, several other nations have recently decriminalized prostitution.

Legalizing Prostitution maps out the current terrain. Using America as a backdrop, Weitzer draws on extensive field research in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany to illustrate alternatives to American-style criminalization of sex workers. These cases are then used to develop a roster of “best practices” that can serve as a model for other nations considering legalization. Legalizing Prostitution provides a theoretically grounded comparative analysis of political dynamics, policy outcomes, and red-light landscapes in nations where prostitution has been legalized and regulated by the government, presenting a rich and novel portrait of the multifaceted world of legal sex for sale.

Ronald Weitzer is Professor of Sociology at George Washington University and author or editor of several books, including Sex for Sale: Prostitution, Pornography, and the Sex Industry.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[This book] offers an authoritative and scholarly glance into the subject of prostitution. Weitzer manages to address the politics of prostitution without delving deep enough into the morality of the issue to confuse the subject... I recommend it to anyone interested in the topic of sex work as well as those interested in land use planning concepts."-Urban Times,

"One of the more intelligent, measured and comprehensive looks at alternatives to criminalizing the trade."-Salon,

"While there are other recent books on prostitution policy, Weitzer’s book combines cogent ideas with interesting original research material... Verdict: A valuable book for criminal justice policymakers and for serious students of prostitution and crime."-Library Journal,

"Weitzer, criminologist and professor of sociology at George Washington University, provides an erudite overview of sex work and detailed case studies of three cities with red-light districts: Antwerp, Belgium; Frankfurt, Germany; and Amsterdam, the Netherlands." -Publishers Weekly,

"Thorough and perceptive study."-Springer,

Publishers Weekly
Weitzer, criminologist and professor of sociology at George Washington University, provides an erudite overview of sex work and detailed case studies of three cities with red-light districts: Antwerp, Belgium; Frankfurt, Germany; and Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Quoting comedian George Carlin—“Sex is legal. Selling is legal. Why is selling sex illegal?”—he traces the history of the criminalization of prostitution. Arguing that criminalization leads to a cyclic conclusion where “arrests and fines have little deterrent effect on the seller, who quickly return to selling sex” and that “some of those arrested present no harm to the public,” Weitzer presents a two-track policy, targeting “the reduction of street prostitution” and relaxing enforcement against “indoor actors who are operating consensually.” From independent escort to streetwalker, Weitzer evaluates the different types of prostitution and their degrees of vulnerability, claiming that “indoor prostitutes” and escorts suffer far less third-party manipulation and victimization, and have greater psychosocial well-being than those who work the streets. Prostitution, Weitzer convincingly declares, “can be organized in a way that is superior to blanket criminalization and marginalization.” Dec.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814794647
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 12/21/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,020,776
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Ronald Weitzer is Professor of Sociology at George Washington University and author or editor of many books, including Sex for Sale: Prostitution, Pornography, and the Sex Industry, Second Edition.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures vii

Preface ix

Part I Sex Work

1 Understanding Prostitution 3

2 Indoor Prostitution: What Makes It Special? 22

Part II Policies: America and Beyond

3 American Policies and Trends 47

4 Legal Prostitution: A New Frontier 72

Part III Case Studies: Three Red-Light Cities

5 Antwerp and Frankfurt 105

6 Amsterdam 146

Conclusion 204

Notes 215

Bibliography 251

Index 269

About the Author 284

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