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Social Theory and Practice

Volume 44, Issue 3, July 2018

Sascha Settegast
Pages 377-403

Prostitution and the Good of Sex

On some accounts, prostitution is just another form of casual sex and as such not particularly harmful in itself, if regulated properly. I claim that, although casual sex in general is not inherently harmful, prostitution in fact is. To show this, I defend an account of sex as joint action characteristically aimed at sexual enjoyment, here understood as a tangible experience of community among partners, and argue that prostitution fails to achieve this good by incentivizing partners to mistreat each other. To substantiate this claim, I explore ways in which prostitution fails on the virtues of temperance, respect, and sincerity.

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