When the brothel ireland Rhode Island legislature inadvertently decriminalized indoor prostitution in escort service san jose the state from 2003 to 2009, it proved beneficial to ucla public policy professor Manisha Shah.
When we started this project, we had to admit to ourselves that we really didn't know what we should expect. .The authors note that the results suggest that decriminalization could have potentially large social benefits for the population at large not just sex market participants.The study has made waves in the media.Some reports include fearful responses from international organizations worried that a case for legalized prostitution will have a potentially negative effect on the treatment of women.Technically, our study has internal validity but not necessarily external validity, Shah said.This reallocation has been considerably costly for local police since the indoor market is more diffuse and hidden.It wasnt until 2009 that new legislation was passed to re-criminalize indoor prostitution.Shah and Cunningham say more work needs to be done to evaluate the full spectrum of costs and benefits associated with Rhode Islands accidental experiment with legalized prostitution.They checked whether prostitution arrests decreased using the FBIs Uniform Crime Reports data.
Given there hasn't been much policy experimentation around this phenomena and almost no causal evidence on the topic, policymakers and academics haven't had quality findings upon which expectations could be based.
Shah and Cunningham also studied rates of gonorrhea incidence post-decriminalization using the Centers for Disease Controls Gonorrhea Surveillance Program data, and data on forcible rape offenses and other crimes comes from the FBIs Uniform Crime Reports.
Their paper, Decriminalizing Indoor Prostitution: Implications for Sexual Violence and Public Health, was published recently in the Working Paper Series by the National Bureau of Economic Research.Shah and her co-author Scott Cunningham of Baylor University examined data from that period, becoming the first social scientists to evaluate the decriminalization of prostitution using a natural experiment.Shah and Cunningham hope that their paper will focus research and policy toward a more rigorous evaluation of prostitution law and policy that moves away from anecdotal work.There also needs to be a better understanding of the exact factors that link the legalization announcement in 2003 and drop in enforcement with reductions in rapes and gonorrhea incidence.But, in that sense, our study is no different from nearly all studies that seek to evaluate some kind of intervention/policy change.Police agencies, lawmakers, and prosecutors all over the.S.Using data from weekly classified advertisements from the adult services sections of The Providence prostitution in edison nj Phoenix as well as data from a popular online review site, the researchers found that the number of massage parlors and online sex workers increased and transaction prices decreased after decriminalization.During those seven years the state saw a large decrease in rapes and a large reduction in gonorrhea incidence for men and women, according to the new study by Shah, an assistant professor of public policy in the ucla Luskin School of Public Affairs, and.What this means is that while we can speak to the effect of decriminalization of prostitution in Rhode Island, we cannot take this and speak out of sample to some other policy environment.For the studys co-authors, the incident provided the highly unusual opportunity in the United States to explore how decriminalizing prostitution affected the rate of sexually transmitted infections and the number of female rapes.