Nicholas Kristof says he used to be for legalizing prostitution, but changed his mind after learning more about conditions in the Netherlands, and now favors something more like Sweden’s approach. I underwent a similar trajectory myself, but it’s occurred to me more recently that rather than looking at the Netherlands as a model, we should probably look at Nevada which is, after all, right here in the USA. Unfortunately, I don’t actually know anything about the subject, but I thought I’d toss it out there.
Meanwhile, it’s striking to me reading various takes on this that absolutely nobody — including The Atlantic’s resident moralizing social conservative — seems to think the actual status quo policy of targeting hookers (rather than their clients) for primary legal sanction makes sense. The main impact of the current policy is, it seems to me, to make it easy for cops to rape prostitutes but hard for prostitutes to get out of bad situations.