The Prostitution Argument
Due to the emergence of the Ipswich serial killer it has now become acceptable for the economists and social commentators to come out in favour of fully legalised prostitution without a public flailing.
Here are two countering views.
In favour: Chris Dillow
In opposition: Seth Freedman
Whilst appreciating some of Seth's sentiments I entirely agree with Chris. Seth's point sinks on two occasions. First his opening premise "The only thing that separates having sex with a prostitute from rape is a cash transaction" which is missing something. The cash doesn't make the separation, permission does. Second is comparing prostitution with child abuse. The mammoth difference is that adults are recognised as capable of making adult decisions for themselves where children are not.
As someone who is an advocate of aiming for perfect solutions this may take some explaining. To many, it might not seem obvious that a perfect world would have legalised prostitution. The simple answer being that the only things that should be illegal are the things which are certain to cause harm to participants and bystanders.
I am also an advocate of tackling a problem at its source as working around the real issue is inefficient.
As a single event:
- If a woman wishes to sell their body and a man is willing to buy
- The exchange ends with both parties end up happier than how they started
- It harms no-one
In effect, that means that prostitution itself isn't the problem. The law in the UK currently has a mixed message where the act of selling your body is not illegal but most of the actions surrounding it are.
The problems are actually based around what leads to an undesirable transaction taking place. The men for making a market and the women for providing.
Typical reasons for women entering the trade are:
- feeding a drug habit
- raising children with no other means of income available.
- wouldn't be able to have sex any other way
- wouldn't be able to have the type of sex they are after with their partner
- want to conduct violence against women
- break the drug habit
- help feed, clothe and house the children,
- help with the male self esteem needed to seek a partner
- stop a violent man wanting to be violent