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Social Theory and Practice


published on June 26, 2018

Sascha Settegast

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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