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Prostitution Lecture

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Mary Anne Banks

Prostitution Key Questions: How does prostitution fit into our discussion of the philosophy of sex and love? Is prostitution unethical? (to engage in, to purchase, etc.) What kind of relationships can exist between prostitute and client? Facts about prostitution: o 5-20% of sex work takes place on the street o 75-80% of sex workers are females, 25-30% are male and transgendered o Aboriginal women are highly overrepresented in street level sex work among women o Almost all sex buyers are male (99.4% in 2010 study) o Street level sex workers face extremely high rates of violence o Sex workers working indoors are less likely to face violence than those working on the street o Prostitution is not illegal but it is illegal to live off the avails of prostitution, keep a common bawdy-house, or communicate in a public place for the purpose of prostitution For legal prostitution Against legal prostitution  It is a victimless crime that does  The reality of prostitution is that not require anyone to be harmed the prostitutes are harmed (as long as it is between consenting adults)  Might be better than other job  Women ‘choose’ prostitution for options lack of better economic options Feminism and Prostitution o Feminists want to fight for equality and freedom for women but also protect women from exploitation and harm o Prostitution divides feminists because of the tension between these two aims Shrage  Concerned with the connection between prostitution and the social subordination of women in society  Culture specific to prostitution in modern western societies, mostly men purchasing sex from women  The problem with prostitution is not the act of exchanging sex for money  Commonly thought to be bad because of conventions of feminine purity, non- commodification of sex etc.  Instead she argues that prostitution is wrong because it supports beliefs that legitimize women’s social subordination Stewart  Criticism of Shrage’
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