Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Regulating Prostitution Essay -- Prostitutes Ethics Morals Sex Essays

Regulating Prostitution Historically, although prostitution has been viewed as a threat to the moral order and a danger to public health, the state has tended to legislate for the regulation of prostitution, rather than introducing measures focussed on its elimination. Even early Christian societies did not seek to eliminate prostitution, with the Church fathers justifying this stance by asserting that "Sewers are necessary to guarantee the wholesomeness of palaces." (quoted by de Beauvoir, 1974, 618). St Augustine was adamant that prostitution should be recognised as a necessary social evil, arguing, Suppress prostitution and capricious lusts will overthrow society. (cited in Roberts, 1992, 61). His stance was predicated on a belief in men’s sexual appetites necessitating access to sexual outlets outside of marriage. In order to prevent them committing adultery and threatening their marriages, society should facilitate men’s access to prostitutes. It follows from St Augustine’s argument that two separate classes of women were required - good, virtuous, sexually faithful wives to service men’s procreative needs within marriage, and prostitutes who would cater to their desires and pleasures outside of marriage. Such thinking views prostitution as a necessary social evil, and reinforces the madonna/whore dichotomy. Given the fact that men’s demand for prostitution services has not abated through the ages, the historic response has been to continue to seek its regulation and control rather than its eradication. For instance, in medieval England and Europe the preferred way of regulating prostitution was to restrict prostitutes to working in certain districts and/or requiring that they dress in particular, identifiable, styles. Thus in Paris, prostitutes were confined to working in brothels in particular areas of the town and were required to wear armbands, dye their hair, "or in other ways distinguish themselves from respectable society matrons" (Bullough and Bullough, 1987, 125). Women who violated such codes of behaviour could find themselves expelled from that district, literally being run out of town. Confining the sex industry to specifically designated areas was also seen as economically advantageous in that it enabled municipal councils to share in the profits (Roberts, 1992, 90). By the 17th century the practice of visiting prostitutes was so wid... ...ciety and an Analysis of the Causes and Effects of the Suppression of Prostitution. London, Souvenir Press. Beyer, G. (1999). Change for the Better. Auckland, Random House. Bishop, C. (1931). Women and Crime. London, Chatto and Windus. Boyle, F. M., M. P. Dunne, et al. (1997). "Psychological distress among female sex workers." Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 21(6): 643-646. Brock, D. R. (1998). Making Trouble, Making Work: Prostitution as a Social Problem. Toronto, University of Toronto Press. Brockett, L. and A. Murray (1994). Thai sex workers in Sydney. Sex Work and Sex Workers in Australia. R. Perkins, G. Prestage, R. Sharp and F. Lovejoy (editors). Sydney, University of New South Wales Press. Brookes, B. (1993). "A weakness for strong subjects: the women's movement and sexuality." New Zealand Journal of History 27(2): 140-156. Brothels Task Force (2001). Report of the Brothels Task Force. Sydney, New South Wales Government. Brown, A. and D. Barrett (2002). Knowledge of Evil: Child Prostitution and Child Sexual Abuse in Twentieth-Century England. Cullompton, Devon, Willan Publishing. Brown, K. (1994). "Lesbian sex workers." Broadsheet (202): 32-35.

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