California's new underage prostitute law.

Governor Schwarzenegger is signing a law decriminalizing prostition for teenagers.
Good. Maybe some of these (mostly) girls can be helped.
But I wonder how much they can be helped. I’m sure their lives have been hell, but they’ve often known freedom and excitement other girls their age have no idea about. Can they go back to the restrictions and limits of “normal” girlhood?
I know nothing of the life, except what little I’ve read. I’m a dad of two (now grown) girls and I know teenagers yearn for more freedom to do what they want.
I don’t know if this law includes boys. I’ll go read more.

Thousands of girls have been underage prostitutes and have come out of the experience to live relatively normal lives. Thousands of girls haven’t.

If the question is merely 'can they" then the answer is “sure”. What would be the point of the law otherwise?

It will be certainly be easier for them to disguise their pasts and return to normalcy without the lifelong public stigma and felony conviction records following them everywhere forever.

I do not know how this law works. It would still be a crime to solicit underage prostitutes, right? Will this open up a door for perverts to say that if it is legal for the prostitute it is legal for me?

Please tell me I am seeing this wrong.


I hope I’m seeing it wrong, as well.

This belongs in Great Debates.




Why would it? That doesn’t seem to follow at all. There’s a point at which due caution becomes irrational paranoia. Furthermore, “decriminalize” does not mean “legalize”. Do you understand the distinction?

Am I reading the same article you are? The article to which you linked doesn’t say anything about decriminalizing prostitution. Instead, it talks about getting treatment and counseling for victims of human trafficking. Most of the minors involved in prostitution are not doing so because they chose to, but because they were forced into it and this law is about getting help for them.

Here’s a link to the bill.

I find it odd that the articles and the law itself are not stressing the assumed fact that it is still illegal for an adult to walk up to someone and ask them to engage in an act of sex for money.

Why only for underage victims, though?

I don’t see it passing legal muster. Age is not an excuse to set laws aside.

What I would expect is an expungement of juvenile records and a rehabilitation package for underaged prostitutes. That is the responsibility of the state.

I think all prostitution should be legalized. Soliciting prostitutes should be legal also, but soliciting underage prostitutes should remain illegal.

Please tell me you don’t really mean this. Do you envision girls sitting around the mall saying: "Why yes, being sold into sexual slavery and forced to prostitute myself sure is “exciting” and “free”!!!


I see you don’t know any more about it than I do.
I’ve seen girls on television, who were prostitutes, talk about those very things. Some were even “in love” with their pimps. Some who were returned to their parents ran away and went back to the pimps.

Much of juvenile law is separated from criminal law, isn’t it?

Wow. Being so dependent on their boyfriends who pimp them out, sure is “exciting” and “free”.

Enjoy your thread.

Well, sure, because the pimps give them drugs, and the parents don’t.

I’ve never met a hooker who wasn’t horribly addicted. And in my line of work, I’ve met a lot. The underaged ones are often the worst of the bunch, actually. Nothing like a 17-year-old hooker who shoots up into the giant staph infection sore in her belly.

I’m simply repeating what the girls said. Their pov.
Are you being hostile? :confused:

Back to the gist of my op:
Is this law going to be beneficial to exploited teens?

Without too much consideration, I think it is a good move overall. Harsh punishment for youth for ostensibly victimless crime is just not a good idea, in my view, and I view prostitution as an ostensibly victimless crime. It’s fair to say that society doesn’t want prostitutes that are minors even more than it doesn’t want prostitutes, but I doubt harsh punishments for violators will have the effect that we want. That said, I’m not sure this law will improve the situation from that perspective, either. (Frankly, being a perspective I find little merit for, I’m not sure how to appease it, anyway.)

Not sure what you’re asking. There is a juvenile court to handle the crimes committed by kids/teenagers but the crimes themselves are not regulated out of existence. At some point age is a determining factor regarding the ability to recognize cmininality but I don’t think that’s what where discussing.

To me, this law looks like a recruiting poster for underage prostitutes. It will be Thailand with the blessing of the the Governor/Legislators.

I’m assuming that underaged prostitutes are seen as victims and thus not as criminals. I don’t know that. (Of course how true that is is strictly a case by case basis.)

I’ve never understood the illegality of prostitution for those who are of age and consenting. I understand regulating it, zoning it, subjecting it to taxes and requiring regular STD testing, etc., but not illegalizing it for males or females. It’s just the ultimate oddity that it’s legal to give it away; it’s even legal for a 19 year old to shag a guy who’s 3 times his/her age whose last name s/he can barely remember because he lets you drive his Ferrari and use his credit cards, but cash-charge transactions are illegal.