Tax-Funded Skin Show Raises Some Questions
(Printed in The Scranton Times on 9/18/94.)
Editor: From recent articles in the Scranton Times (8/7/94, pC15) and Tribune (9/7/94, pA1), Scranton and Wilkes-Barre have a prostitution problem. I don't know the total deaths or injuries that occur locally as a result of prostitution, but the figures must be significant to justify the resources used against this plague.

According to the 8/7/94 article, female police officers posed as hookers in the South Main Street section of Wilkes-Barre. Since the purpose was to attract men, the phony hookers probably were attractive. Since men are visually stimulated (a result of very successful evolution), the female officers' clothing would have to be stereotypical of their role: tight and revealing.

As a result of this tax-payer supported skin show, 21 men were arrested and fined for patronizing prostitutes. Does this mean that the men had sex with the officers, or were they arrested and fined for merely negotiating an arrangement? I wonder who would have been arrested if the officers had impersonated young boys, or perhaps wealthy executives looking for political favors.

In the 9/7/94 article, male officers posed as prospective paying customers to attract genuine prostitutes. Five women were arrested and accused of offering to perform oral sex on the 'customers'. Some of the women were forever exiled from Scranton, to be arrested for returning for any reason.

Were the women arrested for merely negotiating, or did the officers 'get lucky' (at tax payer expense)? Since these women were professionals, why would they risk arrest by making unsolicited proposals? If the officers made the first proposal, shouldn't they be arrested and fined for contributing to the delinquency of a prostitute? Can someone really be exiled?

A few more final questions: Suppose that a phony prostitute and a phony customer meet and solicit each other. Do they get to arrest and fine each other? What else do they get to do? This legal stuff gets really complicated.

As you may have already guessed, my questions are rhetorical. But I do offer a suggestion. It's obvious that prostitution will exist as long as sex exists. Why would recent methods to eradicate it be any more successful than those attempted over the last 3000 years? Everyone wants sex; some are willing to pay for the services of an experienced professional. Therefore, make prostitution legal -- regulate it, monitor it, and tax the income. Make prostitution a licensed profession.

John L. Ferri

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