Should prostitution be legal?
Yes. It could be regulated for safety. it would allow women to report abuse. The underground violence related to this area of the sex industry would mostly disappear... goodbye pimps. And for women who enjoy sex and would like to make a living from it have that option. And for some women who have no other way of making money... they have another option if they would choose it.
There would be requirements like regular testing, being of age, licensing, and emergency hotline to report abuse or suspicious activity. The government could tax it. And for some people who may never get to experience sex (such as handicapped of some sort) this could give them the opportunity to experience one of the most basic, natural, fundamental enjoyable human experiences that make us human.
No women would be forced into prostitution, no one would walk the streets (they could be required to work at a brothel), no one would be underage. Sex trafficking would barely exist. Those who force women to break these rules would be prosecuted to the highest extent. Johns (and Janes) who go to a street prostitute would be prosecuted as well. People would choose legal brothels because they're legal, safe, and clean.
Isn't prostitution legal already in Nevada? Why should it be legal in one area and not in others? Of course it should be legal. With that said there would also be more than just man/woman prostitution. The basic idea is to be able to buy a sexual situation. If this does not exist somebody is likely to act it out in full society to the harm an dismay of us all. This is what happens with rape and murder. Simply making something illegal is not always the way to keep it out of your society. Of course, it would have to be regulated.
yes of course it should. the fact that it reflects the objectification of women (and men, in the case of male prostitution) is not a reason to keep it criminalized. some iterations of marriage do that; all advertising does that. they're not illegal. keeping prostitution criminalized means keeping its control in the hands of criminals, and keeping it more objectifying than it has to be. at least let women be in control of what they do with their own bodies, and meanwhile we can work on education that might change people's attitudes about who is what. there will be less sexually transmitted disease, less human trafficking, less interest on the part of criminals, less blackmail. everything we (or a number of us) don't approve of, for a variety of reasons, doesn't have to be a crime.
Just like drugs, maybe decriminalization would protect more people than harm. Black market trade is led by criminal gangs that abuse and manipulate children and adults to sell their 'products' irrespective of the damage it causes. Legal prostitution offers women safer spaces and less cultural condemnation. The more legal across the globe the more likely children will be safe from these gangs - as there won't be black market high-cash incentives to trading in sex slaves... The same money incentive is what drives cocaine and heroin gangs to spread their products far and wide. And if we legalise them, and if even half the world kills itself through doing too many drugs, then evolution would be working in the favour of everyone else...
Then again maybe the government may have the same vested interest to promote trading in slaves and drug use. So perhaps my argument is flawed...
Given that it will happen whether it's legal or not, yes. It is better to design system-level protocols. Other occupational groups have labor laws intended to protect the worker, there's no reason sex workers should be denied security and safety in the occupational forum. If it's legal, income becomes taxable (though probably requires a 1099 much like other independent entrepreneurs.)
The stigma against sex workers is rooted in millenia-old genealogical and moralistic paradigms, which are in turn rooted in religious traditionalism. We arguably accept pornography as legitimate industry, why shouldn't cam girls and prostitutes receive the same acceptance?
The abortion analogy is appropriate here: it's GOING to happen regardless of its legality, therefore as a society it behooves us to create as safe and secure an environment as possible in which the business can take place.