Category Archives: Uncategorized

Blog 4: Should Prostitution Be Legalized?

When people hear the word prostitution, most of the time they will have negative feelings towards the term. Most people would consider it to be dirty, naughty and socially unacceptable. They believe that someone being paid to have sex is socially unacceptable and degrading towards women but yet many (especially men) go out to seek prostitutes for their (obviously) their own pleasure. Then there are others who believe that if people are going to go out and seek prostitution, why not just legalize and regulate it in order to prevent the girls from being criminalized for prostituting and control the spreading of STIs. While this idea may seem reasonable to some, there are many who would be against the idea of legalizing prostitution.

Many people believe that prostitution is the cause for human trafficking. In one article, researchers looked at whether legalized prostitution increases human trafficking (Cho, Dreher, & Neumayer, 2013). The researchers collected data from the International Organization for Migration, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Protection Program. The data was based on three categories, the “characteristics of victims, trafficking routes, and country reports” (Cho et al, 2013). The researchers found that countries that legalized prostitution had larger reports of human trafficking inflows. They also looked at three study cases. They analyzed how either criminalizing or legalizing prostitution impacted Germany, Sweden and Denmark. They first start off by stating that they had plenty of data on Germany but were lacking enough data from Sweden and Denmark. The researchers then explained that after prohibiting prostitution in Sweden, the number of prostitutes went from 2,500 in 1999 to 1,500 in 2000 (Cho et al, 2013). They then explain that they were unable to collect enough data on how this impacted human trafficking in Sweden. The next country they looked at was Denmark. Prostitution is legal in Denmark if operated individually and not by a brothel. The researchers then implied that the number of human trafficking in Denmark was more than four times that of Sweden since the stock of human trafficking was 2,250 in Denmark and 500 in Sweden. Finally, in Germany, prostitution was regulated in 2002 and is known to be one of the largest markets in Europe. It was estimated that human trafficking went from 9,870-19,740 in 2001 to 32,800 in 2004. The researchers then concluded that human trafficking does increase with the legalization of prostitution. In the next article, Janice G. Raymond gives ten reasons as to why prostitution should not be legalized. The first, second and third reason is that legalization of prostitution does not really benefit the women working but instead it greatly benefits the pimps, traffickers and sex industry, promotes sex trafficking and it expands on the sex industry. The fourth reason is that it will increase street prostitutes instead of having prostitutes in brothels. The fifth and sixth reason Raymond is against legalization of prostitution, is that it will children will be involved in prostitution and women are not protected. Her seventh reason is that men are encouraged to buy women for sex in any social setting. The eighth and ninth reason she gives, is that it does not protect women’s health or even enhance women’s choice. The last reason Raymond gives, is that women who already work as prostitutes do not want it to be legalized because it brings in more harm and risk.

Even though most people would be against the legalization of prostitution, there are people who believe that there are benefits to legalizing prostitution. In Tesla Carrasquillo’s article “Understanding Prostitution And The Need For Reform,” Carrasquillo explains that instead of criminalizing prostitution, governments should either legalize or decriminalize prostitution. Carrasquillo first takes the reader into the history of prostitution from Mesopotamia (which is believed to be the time in which traces of prostitution were first seen), Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, the start of Christianity, and up to the 20th century. She briefly mentions how prostitutes were once considered to be part of the lower class or even lower than the lower class. Despite their social status, Carrasquillo mentions that men would still go out and seek prostitutes even if though they knew their social status or opposed it. Carrasquillo then explains that prostitution is illegal due to government trying to “promote public health and safety and enforce family values” (T. Carrasquillo, 2014). Carrasquillo then states that the criminalization of prostitution has not prevented any of the goals the government was trying to reach. Instead, she states that if prostitution is either decriminalized, partially decriminalized or even legalized, it would be better for prostitutes and actually prevent some of the issues that arise with prostitution. In another article, rebecca Hayes-Smith and Zahra Shekarkhar, look into the reasons why politicians criminalize prostitution and offer other viewpoints on prostitution. First, the authors talk the many reason most people believe that criminalizing prostitution is a good thing. Some of these beliefs include that: it will “deter the soliciting of such services, it is a threat to public health and spreads diseases, prostitutes are at higher risk of being violently victimized and prostitution creates social disorder in the community” (Hayes-Smith & Shekarkhar, 2010). They also talk about the fact that only there are flaws to criminalizing prostitution. For example, many people believe that if prostitution is illegal, then there will be no threat to families and marriages since spouses will be less likely to go and cheat but that is not always the case. Once a cheater, always a cheater, even if prostitution is legalized or not. The authors also go into other alternatives to the legal status of prostitution. Like the article before, the authors also talk about decriminalizing and legalizing prostitution. They point out to the readers that “criminalization is attached to the prostitute, decriminalizing to the prostitute as a victim and legalizing to the sex worker” (Hayes-Smith & Shekarkhar, 2010).  As a way to conclude things, the authors states that criminalizing prostitution brings in questionable concepts rather than tackling down the problems they believe it causes and instead governments should consider legalizing prostitution in order to actually prevent some of the concerns they may already have with prostitution.

I would have to agree with those who do want to legalize prostitution. The articles that I read give the readers give valid reasons as to why it would be better to legalizing prostitution that criminalizing it. One reason is that with the legalization of prostitution, the industry would have to be  regulated. This means that women are going to be given access to better health care and get tested regularly for STIs (which means a decrease in the spreading of STIs). Also with legalization of prostitution, women who are in the industry would be less likely to be victimized if they are able to report such incidents to the police. In the “Understanding of Prostitution” article, Carrasquillo mentions that prostitutes are scared to report to the police if they are being abused since what they are doing is illegal and are more likely to also get in trouble with the law. For those who do not agree with legalizing prostitution, were mostly focusing on what they believe to be morally right. Rather than focusing on the medical and psychological benefits, they instead look towards the protection of their family. While these are also valid reasons to be against the legalization of prostitution, most of these issues can not be prevented from criminalizing prostitution.


Carrasquillo, T. (2014). UNDERSTANDING PROSTITUTION AND THE NEED FOR REFORM. Touro Law Review, 30(3), 697-721.


Cho, S., Dreher, A., & Neumayer, E. (2013). Does Legalized Prostitution Increase Human Trafficking?. World Development, 4167-82. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2012.05.023

Hayes-Smith, R., & Shekarkhar, Z. (2010). Why is prostitution criminalized? An alternative viewpoint on the construction of sex work. Contemporary Justice Review, 13(1), 43-55. doi:10.1080/10282580903549201


Raymond, J. G. (2003). Ten Reasons for Not Legalizing Prostitution and a Legal Response to the Demand for Prostitution. Journal Of Trauma Practice, 2(3/4), 315-332.

Blog 3 (Is BDSM a Healthy Form of Sexual Expression)

For many years, BDSM has been a form of sexual expression for a small number of people. Now that the phenomenon of 50 Shades of Grey has taken over, the idea of BDSM has taken the spotlight in couples bedrooms. Now the question is, is it really a healthy form of sexual expression or is there an ugly truth behind the practice and pleasure people get when engaging in these activities.

Before the release of the DSM-V, the idea of BDSM was considered to be some type of Paraphilic Disorder. According to Susan Wright, BDSM was known to one of these disorders and was used against parents in custody battles (Wright, 2014). Most of the parents that were engaging in BDSM activities were seen to have some type of sexual disorder and were thought to be incapable of taking care of their children (Wright, 2014). Others like, Dr. J Paul Fedoroff, talks about the criteria of having sexual sadism and how the idea of sex and violence can be seen as pleasurable to those who are believed to have this type of disorder (Fedoroff, 2008). He also talks about how these types of behaviors are seen in criminals and their desire for getting pleasure from seeing others in pain (Fedoroff,2008).

While there may be ideas that BDSM is more of a mental disorder, others believe that it is a form of eroticisms (Picker, 2013). William Picker reviewed the book Sexual Outsiders and summaries the main points about BDSM. He mentions that those who engage in BDSM like the idea of BDSM is about power and that it is no form of “mental disorder or criminal behavior” (Picker, 2013).

As most people may know, sex is an important part of a relationship and it is part of being a human. The way I see BDSM is the same way I see any other type of sexual activity like fellatio or just regular coitus. Just like Picker mentions, BDSM is a way of forming a power of eroticism in individuals. For some couples it may be a way of spicing up their sex lives and exploring their sexuality. While some of these things may be good things about BDSM, there may also be some downfalls to engaging in this type of activity. For example, not everyone may be into this type of activity, so that is why consents and having safe words are important.

BDSM can be seen as a healthy form of sexual expressing for some people, while for others it may seem as an activity for those with a mental disorder.


Fedoroff, J. P. (2008). Sadism, sadomasochism, sex, and violence. The Canadian Journal Of Psychiatry / La Revue Canadienne De Psychiatrie, 53(10), 637-646.


Picker, W. (2013). Review of Sexual outsiders. Journal Of Sex & Marital Therapy, 39(5), 470-473. doi:10.1080/0092623X.2013.792687

Wright, S. (2014). Kinky parents and child custody: The effect of the DSM-5 differentiation between the paraphilias and paraphilic disorders. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 43(7), 1257-1258. doi:10.1007/s10508-013-0250-6

Can I Have An Order Of…(Blog 2)

For some expecting couples, the gender of their unborn child can be a big deal while for others the gender of the baby is not a big deal. While for some of those, like myself, do not understand the importance of the sex of a baby, for some families it can be a very stressful situation if the sex of their baby is not what they wanted. Now as we digress into an advance time in technology, medical technology like sex-selection is becoming an answer to those families who so desperately want to select the sex of their unborn child. While this may be a positive outlook for some parents, it can also be a very controversial issue with others who believe that sex-selection is wrong.

Sex-selection is known to be as the parents deciding the sex of their child by either selecting and diving sperm into a male or female group or even creating an embryo outside the body and allowing the parents to select the gender and then implanting it into the mother. As mentioned before, this type of method seems like the perfect solution to those parents who want a specific sex in mind for their unborn child. For example, Stephen Wilkinson from Keele University, talks about how some families who may have all boys may be able to balance out their family by sex-selection. Therefore, if a family does have all boys, the parents can go through this sex-selection process and have a girl in order to “balance out their family” (Wilkinson, 2010). Others like researchers in Iran, have collected questionnaires on the attitudes Iranians have towards sex-selection. In this case, researchers saw that Iranians who were educated (in particular women) believed that sex-selection was ok since it could bring a balance to their families (Ahmadi, etc all, 2015). They also noticed that in Iran and other countries like China and India, had a preference towards males. This meant that couples who were expecting a girl were more likely to go through an induced abortion (Ahmadi, etc all, 2015). The researchers believed that with the introduction to sex-selection to these regions, the rate of aborting a female baby may reduce (Ahmadi, etc all, 2015).

On the other hand, we have those who believe that selecting the sex of a child has more negative concepts than good. Johanna Kostenzer,comments that individuals believe that  gender selection can cause “gender discrimination and gender imbalance in communities” especially in regions like Southeastern Europe(Kostenzer, 2014).Kostenzer mentions that some people believe that sex-selection can be discriminating towards females since there is already a strong preference towards males in regions like Southern Europe and Asia. Not only does Kostenzer brings this issue up, so does Ellen Painter Dollar, who has a strong belief that gender selection is wrong (Dollar, 2012). She supports the idea that if sex-selection is ok to happen then it will be discriminating against females since society has thought to believe that men are the only ones to bring in fortune and well being to their families(Dollar, 2012). Dollar also mentions that if women go through with sex-selection to have a daughter, it may not turn out as the mother had expected. For example, if a mother wants to have a daughter to dress up in pink bows and dress or get to do motherly and daughter things, she is only encouraging the daughter to follow through with stereotypical roles and the daughter may not even want to participate in those activities (Dollar, 2012).

While I may be an educated college student and understand the science and benefits behind gender selection, like preventing sex-linked genetic disorders and even the decreasing abortions of female babies, I do believe that parents shouldn’t be allowed to select the gender of their baby. Even though we may be living in a patriarchal society, women have progressed throughout the years and have just as much potentially as a man if not maybe even more. So if more families are wanting to produce more men than women, why are we going to try and reduce the amount of females in the world? If we allow for parents to select the sex of their baby, there may be a high chance of them selecting a boy rather than a girl (Kostenzer, 2014). Which in that case it does seem like our society and other societies are discriminating against women. While that may be my opinion, I also do believe that just because a parent wants a certain gender, does not mean that their child will follow the stereotypical gender roles that they wanted (Dollar, 2012). Anyways a parent should be less worried about the sex of their baby will be and focus on the health of their baby and all the joy that a newborn child can bring to a family.


Ahmadi, S. F., Shirzad, M., Kamali, K., Ranjbar, F., Behjati-Ardakani, Z., & Akhondi, M. M.  n      (2015). Attitudes about Sex Selection and Sex Preference in Iranian Couples Referred for Sex Selection Technology. Journal Of Reproduction & Infertility, 16(1), 36-42.


Dollar, E. P. (2012, September 24). Why allowing parents to choose their baby’s

gender is wrong. Retrieved February 27, 2015, from




Kostenzer, J. (2014). Prenatal Sex Selection in Southeastern Europe/the Southern Caucasus and the Role of International Organizations. Global Studies Journal, 7(2), 7-15.


Wilkinson, S. (2010, May 26). Couples should be able to choose their baby’s sex

[Newsgroup post]. Retrieved from BBC News website:




Blog 1: Is Sexual Orientation Biologically Based?

Over the past few years, the LGBTQ community has made progress with people being more understanding of their sexuality, gay marriage and even adoption within gay couples. Now for many people there is the undying question of whether sexual orientation is biologically based. For this question there are two sides to this question. One side believes that sexual orientation is biologically based, while the other side believes otherwise.

In one study done by Anthony F. Bogeart, in which he conducted a research on brothers and whether the more older brothers there were, the more likely the younger brother would be gay. What Bogeart found was that sexual orientation is determined prenatally and the more males the mother has, the higher chance there is that the younger male will be homosexual. In another study, Dean Homer conducted a research in which he noted that some gay men had more gay relatives on their mother side of the family than on their father’s side. This then led him to examine the X chromosomes and see if there was any linkage between the X chromosome and sexual orientation. What he found was that in those relatives that were gay had a similar allele in the X chromosome.

On the other side of the argument, we have some scientist like, Dr. Neil Whitehead believes that sexual orientation is not biologically based. He states that in identical twin studies, it has been shown that these twins share 100% of their DNA. This means that if one twin is gay then the other one should be gay as well but that is not always the case. Then in 2002, Peter Bearman and Hannah Bruckner conducted a research in that demonstrated that there was an inconsistency in same sex attraction in twins of the opposite sex.

I agree with those that believe that sexual orientation is biological. Even though there may not be a lot of research (especially recently) on the contribute of biology to sexual orientation, there is plenty of research that demonstrates that there may be a link to support this idea. Also I firmly believe that someone is not going to simply choose to be homosexual or heterosexual.



Bearman, P.S, Bruckner, H. 2001. Opposite-sex twins and adolescent same-sex attraction. Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy: 01-04.

Bogaert, A.F. 2006. Biological versus nonbiological older brothers and men’s sexual orientation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States 103(28): 10771-10774.

Hamer D.H, Hu S, Magnuson V.L, Hu N, Pattatucci A.M.July 1993. A linkage between DNA markers on the X chromosome and male sexual orientation. Science 261(5119): 321–7.

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