Functionalism is the best theory for looking at prostitution. It allows us to see how prostitution changes along with other aspects of society. Some ask why prostitution spreads like a wildfire through our cities and streets. This is an easy question for functionalists, prostitution flourishes because it satisfies sexual needs that are not able to be met elsewhere(Henslin 51). Prostitutes almost seem to serve as an outlet for sexually frustrated men.
When a man is unable to find a partner he always holds the option of paying for sexual pleasure. A functionalist, Kingsley Davis, concluded that prostitutes provide a sexual outlet for men who: have difficulty in establishing sexual relationships, cannot find long-term partners, have a broken relationship, want sexual gratification that is defined as immoral, desire quick sexual gratification without attachment, are curious, and are sexually dissatisfied in marriage. From this it is shown that by meeting such needs prostitution functions as a form of social control over sexual behavior. This is beneficial because it brings men with sexual desires away from unwilling partners to partners that are willing but for a certain price.
This undoubtedly helps bring down the number of rapes and sexual assault for any given society. Also it brings in trashy hookers or prostitutes that seem to degrade any given city or society. The functionalist theory is the best way to view prostitution through a sociological perspective. Functionalists see prostitution as a means of controlling or channeling sexual behaviors (Henslin 53).
Prostitutes meet the needs of men who otherwise do not have women always available to them. Also it meets the needs of a man because it is inexpensive, non emotional and a fleeting relationship. Through looking at prostitution we see that it persists because it serves social functions. This works by servicing people who are sexually frustrated. Prostitutes relieve pressures that otherwise might be placed on people who are unwilling to participate. Without the aid from prostitutes stimulating the un-stimulated, there might be other social problems that become bigger issues such as, rape sexual assault, kidnap and many more.
Functionalism allows seeing each function that prostitution serves in a society. Since prostitution serves as a function in a bigger problem there are a couple different strategic ways of tackling this social problem. The first way is the most obvious and that would be to legalize prostitution. Legalizing prostitution would have a couple of impacts on society. Much the same as it is today men would be satisfied for a price, but that is better than men trying to get satisfaction from the unwilling. Second the government could tax the business just as it would any other business in the United States.
Third the women or prostitutes could have actual jobs instead of having to watch and run from the police as they work their job. Though this seems as a good solution, it may back fire. With this being such a major social problem it is hard to make it seem “OK” to the larger society. If prostitution was legalized it would allow more poorly dressed women to be roaming the streets. Which then leads to lower class males swarming these areas, which leads to more corruption and a higher crime rate. This then leads to another social problem created, a seemingly never ending dilemma.
The only solution is to leave prostitution at the place it is at today. It is not legal by any means, but the punishment is not overly harsh. There should be a ticket given to prostitutes for committing these acts. At the same time it should not be stopped because prostitution aids a bigger social problem, rape and sexual assault. It is true, prostitution satisfies the sexual needs of men which are not otherwise satisfied.
If we took prostitution completely away we would just be beginning a greater social problem within itself. .