Why Is Prostitution Justified

1949 Words 8 Pages
Brittany Delgado
Phil 005
Professor R. Majeed
Is prostitution ever morally justified? Discuss with reference to Lars O. Ericsson’s (1980) paper, ‘Charges Against Prostitution’ in Ethics.

A myriad of definitions for prostitution exist, but simply put it’s the act of selling and buying sex. A second description is that it involves an exchange of money for sex between two people who have no legal, moral, or emotional attachment to one another (). There are many different modern day types of prostitution such as escorts, streetwalkers, and people who are pimped/trafficked. Whether prostitution is ever morally justified is a hot topic for debate among many, including philosophers. Although several ethical theories have added to this debate,
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Leviticus 19:29 states “Do not degrade your daughter by making her a prostitute”. Clearly this expresses the belief that being a prostitute is degrading and also that no one is allowed to make her/force her to be one. This quote also provides a great lead into the debate of whether or not prostitution is degrading to women. According to scripture it most definitely is and a second passage exemplifies it. The degradation involved in prostitution is so serious that Leviticus 21:9 declares, “If a priest’s daughter defiles herself by becoming a prostitute, she disgraces her father; she must be burned in the fire.” By partaking in prostitution a woman ruins herself and brings disgrace to her family. These actions are repulsive to God, meaning that by DCT beliefs they are also immoral. Simply put, P1) If an action is not commanded by God, then it is morally unjustifiable P2) Prostitution is not commanded by God C) Prostitution is morally unjustifiable. Moreover, the reference to daughter in the two examples function to remind us that each prostitute is someone’s daughter. She is not just some object with sexual attributes and is immensely important to her family and parents. Her well being is their wish and her misfortune is their worry. Reference to familial ties and the idea that a woman is more than a sexual object seek to remind people that a man who uses a prostitute is not only degrading a “woman”, but also a “daughter”. A counterargument to the unacceptability of prostitution can be found in Lars O. Ericsson’s paper, in which he presents the idea that prostitution can sometimes be economically liberating. In comparison to a housewife, at least call girls are financially independent from their male counterparts. Further, in instances when she has a pimp, she is the “breadwinner” of the two. Being able to take care of yourself on your own can be empowering, and some prostitutes view their way of

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