Mary was a Whore: Prostitution, the Law, and Ethics
by Princess Consuela Bananahammok on February 9, 2015 - 12:09pm
Very few issues have been debated by mankind for as long as prostitution. The subject can be polarizing which makes it difficult for governments to legislate upon. It would be ridiculous to try and summarize the issue into a single moral dilemma. But since it has to be done let's look at it this way: there are two manners of considering prostitutes: as sex workers or as victims, whether they are seen as one or the other is often the main factor in determining sex trade policies. There are surely many possible solutions, but ultimately they all seem to somehow fit into two categories: make prostitution a fully legal profession or treat it as a social problem that must be dealt with.
If a government takes a deontological approach to the issue, it may consider the sale of sex immoral. This type of thinking would lead to laws criminalizing either the sex workers or their "Johns" creating unsafe working conditions and a life of hiding from law enforcement even when one may need help. Leaving the industry entirely underground and thus making its professionals into victims not of the trade but of the law.
If the same body of legislators was to look at the sex trade from a teleological perspective, it would be treated simply as another profession, a mean to an end the end being happiness. Therefore, prostitution would not only be legalized, it would be protected under the law and taxed to redistribute its created wealth to society benefitting the greater good. At the same time, a system of checks and balances would be in place to prevent any unwilling participation into such activities.
The solution appears to be evident. Legalize the sale of sex and treat it like any other profession, because an issue can only be solved by shinning a light upon it and not by shoving it into dark alleys.