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Should sex work be decriminalised?
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Normalising the act of purchasing sex reinforces the cultural narrative that women's bodies are a commodity that can be bought and sold

With the motto "sex sells" running rampant in advertising and human socialization, prostitution only serves to emphasize that women are only worth their bodies.

The Argument

Prostitution contributes towards the validation of traditional gender roles and the frequent sexual subordination of women. While sex work is, in theory, a valid form of labor available to both genders, the demographics of those purchasing and selling sex remain consistent: men buy what women are selling. It is rarely the women selling themselves, but more likely a pimp or brothel using them as a subset of their overall product. Younger and younger women are buying into the idea that they can profit off of a "sexualized economy."[1] The cultural narrative of women's bodies has been written and rewritten throughout human history, but the female form is frequently used as an advertising product, with the unwritten assumption that they are tempting the buyer with the potential of sex.[2] Women's bodies are tossed between two extremes: sinful temptation or flagrant sensuality. One is condemned, the other is rewarded through capitalism, but yet again, it is rarely women themselves seeing the profits of their body's exploitation.[3] Both of these options, the "prude" and the "hustler," lead to social shaming and societal consequences. Sex work is a mere extension of those values being forced upon women. In a society where women's bodies are commodified, we only reinforce the idea that their bodies can inevitably be bought for some price, whether intentionally or not.

Counter arguments

Stigmatizing women's bodies through the criminalization of sex work and prostitution also contributes to commodification by emphasizing scarcity as a selling point.



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 22:09 UTC

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