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Authorities would do best to seek true sex crimes prosecutions

The trend in Wisconsin regarding prostitution arrests is to arrest more of the male customers and the pimps who organize prostitution activities and derive great profit from it. Criminologists and other experts say that arresting just the women has a negligible impact on the sex crimes trade and that arresting men also will have a much greater preventive impact. However, since prostitution is somewhat popularly viewed as a victimless crime, the more relevant question to ask may be why any person should have to suffer criminal punishment for a consensual behavior that involves the payment of money for personal services.

However, sex trafficking and other heinous criminal abuses involving sexual violence and abuse are not victimless crimes. Nonetheless, in Wisconsin some authorities seem to be focused on arresting the adult participants in the consensual activity of trading sex for money. The intrinsic “badness” of prostitution is countered by the fact that at least one state has legalized and regulates such consensual activities.

The regulation and taxing of prostitution is seen by many sociologists and other experts as a more rational way to deal with the world’s oldest profession. In one Wisconsin town, however, authorities are proud of the strides that they have made in increasing their prostitution-related arrests. They point out that they made more prostitution arrests than were made in Milwaukee.

The town of Oshkosh is also putting out bragging rights that it has increased exponentially the numbers of men that are also being arrested. However, authorities always end up confronting the age-old principle that some crimes are impervious to increased law enforcement activities. That explains why the garnering of the massive law enforcement resources of the country has not even dented the drug trafficking trade.

Such activities seem to grow exponentially when the authorities make more arrests. It appears that the most effective policy in Wisconsin and elsewhere would focus more aggressively on trying to curb true sex crimes and sex-trafficking activities. To place the focus on stopping traditional victimless prostitution is to ignore the far more dangerous sex crimes that involve egregiously abused victims who need to be saved and protected.

Source:, “In state’s strongest anti-prostitution city, men are now equally blamed,” Keegan Kyle, July 20, 2017

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