Prostitution is defined as the promotion of or participation in sexual activities for profit. In the United States and many other countries prostitution is illegal. This means that in addition to not being allowed to sell sex yourself, you cannot own or manage a dwelling where prostitution takes place or do anything else to promote sex for profit.
In many other countries, however, prostitution is legalized and/or regulated. A few of these countries include Denmark, Finland and Costa Rica. These countries usually regulate the industry to make sure that minors do not get taken advantage of and to prevent the spread of disease.
Prostitution is a kind of commercialized vice but the two terms are not fully interchangeable. Commercialized vice can also include things like keeping a disorderly house (as in an illegal junkyard), detaining women for illegal purposes, buying or selling endangered animals, drug dealing, and human trafficking.
Commercialized vice is illegal in the United States in each of these forms. The way each state and municipality enforces these laws varies, however. Why are prostitution and commercialized vice illegal in the United States while other countries handle these things differently?
The United States is still a very young nation. The regulations and laws in the United States are often more stringent than those in other countries because over time the powers that be have realized that prostitution and commercialize vice are not necessarily “victimless” crimes. How so?
Prostitution and human tracking organizations makes billions of dollars each year by taking advantage of women and children. Additionally, the government provides ways for people who need financial help to get that help without having to sell their bodies.
A lot of times “victimless” crimes do have victims, but they are so far down the line it’s hard to tell. To protect the rights of its citizens the U.S. government has decided to institute laws to protect everyone equally.