It's Wrong To Pay For Sex

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Prostitution Morality Debate

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Debate description coming soon.

  • For the motion

    For

    Melissa Farley

    Clinical and Research Psychologist for Prostitution Research & Education

  • For the motion

    For

    Catharine MacKinnon

    Specialist in Sex Equality Issues

  • For the motion

    For

    Wendy Shalit

    Author, A Return to Modesty: Discovering The Lost Virtue

  • Against the motion

    Against

    Sydney Barrows

    Former Mayflower Madam

  • Against the Motion

    Against

    Tyler Cowen

    Professor of Economics at George Mason University

  • Against the motion

    Against

    Lionel Tiger

    Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University

  • Moderator Image

    Moderator

    John Donvan

    Author and correspondent for ABC News.

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Farley

For The Motion

Melissa Farley

Clinical and Research Psychologist for Prostitution Research & Education

is a clinical and research psychologist with San Francisco based nonprofit Prostitution Research & Education and an associate scholar with the Center for World Indigenous Studies. She wrote Prostitution and Trafficking in Nevada: Making the Connections (2007) and Prostitution, Trafficking, and Traumatic Stress (2003). She has published 22 peer-reviewed articles on prostitution and trafficking. An abolitionist, Farley advocates for alternatives to the institution of prostitution. She manages the Prostitution Research & Education website (prostitutionresearch.com) and cofounded the Nevada Coalition Against Sex Trafficking.

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Catharine McKinnon

For The Motion

Catharine MacKinnon

Specialist in Sex Equality Issues

specializes in sex equality issues under international and constitutional law. She pioneered the legal claim for sexual harassment and, with Andrea Dworkin, created ordinances recognizing pornography as a civil rights violation. The Supreme Court of Canada largely accepted her approaches to equality, pornography, and hate speech. Her scholarly books include Sex Equality (2001) and Are Women Human? (2006). She is one of the most widely-cited legal scholars in English.

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Wendy Shalit

For The Motion

Wendy Shalit

Author, A Return to Modesty: Discovering The Lost Virtue

received her BA in philosophy from Williams College in 1997. Her first book, A Return to Modesty: Discovering The Lost Virtue (1999) argues that modesty is misunderstood as "repression"; and her followup, The Good Girl Revolution: Young Rebels With Self-Esteem and High Standards (2008) showcases a new generation of female role models. Her essays on literary and cultural topics have appeared in Commentary, Slate, the Wall Street Journal and other publications. Through her writing and mentoring, Wendy has worked closely with young women who are trying to escape prostitution.

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Barrows

Against The Motion

Sydney Barrows

Former Mayflower Madam

perhaps better known to millions as the "Mayflower Madam," found herself moonlighting as a phone girl at an escort service after having been fired for refusing to participate in a kickback scheme. Less than a year later she opened up her own agency. Relatively small but very upscale, Cachet prospered for 5 ½ years until New York's Finest closed it down, only to later publicly concede that it was the most honest and professionally run business of its kind ever operated in New York City. Her first book, Mayflower Madam, went right to the top of the New York Times bestseller list, and her fourth will be published in January of 2009. She is now in the information marketing business.

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Cowen

Against The Motion

Tyler Cowen

Professor of Economics at George Mason University

is Holbert C. Harris Professor of Economics at George Mason University and director of the Mercatus Center. He has written numerous books on the relationship between commerce, the arts, and morality, including In Praise of Commercial Culture and most recently Discover Your Inner Economist. He co-writes a blog at www.marginalrevolution.com and writes frequently for the popular press.

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Tiger

Against The Motion

Lionel Tiger

Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University

is the Charles Darwin Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University. Among his books are Men in Groups (1969, 1987), which introduced and developed the concept of male bonding, The Imperial Animal (1971,1989), The Pursuit of Pleasure (1992),and The Decline of Males (2000). He has lectured on all the continents, published widely in general and professional journals and is currently a columnist for Forbes.com.

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Declared Winner: For The Motion

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    4 comments

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    • Comment Link MsCarol420 Monday, 01 September 2014 07:49 posted by MsCarol420

      I am not at all surprised that feminists oppose prostitution. They oppose all heterosexual sex. Feminists are the secular morality police. Prostitution is wrong because of human trafficking. This statement compares apples to oranges and incites pity from the audience to gain support for their view. They should oppose human trafficking and leave prostitution where it belongs between consenting adults. Not all prostitutes are victims of human trafficking

      Feminism lost a follower when Gloria Steinem began speaking out against prostitution, pornography, and heterosexual sex. Rape culture is a false construct This is not South Africa.

      American men do not promote rape or support rapists. Even prisoners consider rapists the bottom of the bucket - only pedophiles rank lower. American men protect women from rape and have been known to go after and kill men who have raped a loved one. The rape culture narrative is exactly like what I witnessed growing up. Black men who were accused of raping a white woman were frequently hung before they could even be arrested. Feminists are on a witch hunt spreading fear and distrust of men and I am tired of it. The new Violence Against Women Act is granting money to PDs to "encourage" arrest of accused rapists. This practice denies men due process of the law and is a civil rights violation. Rape is a crime of violence, I do not support, endorse or condone it. Drunken hookups in college are not the same as rape. Rape is a serious offense with imprisonment and a lifetime label of sex offendet. The public should know the facts about this law. Women should learn to be responsible for their own behavior.

    • Comment Link Lizzy Wednesday, 21 May 2014 13:27 posted by Lizzy

      I agree with Shelby, the against side started off with bias and didn't argue the points well at all. I feel like when they did make a good point, such as Sydney making the point about the man buying a girl enough drinks to get her drunk and take advantage of her being the worse than giving her money straight up should have been brought up sooner. What about trophy wives? They are obviously in it for the money. I'm also shocked that no one brought up pornography. Is it not the same concept, except the guy paying you isn't the one you're having sex with?

      I also want to say that weather or not prostitution is legal has never and will never have any bearing on the CHILD sex slave and prostitution market. There will always be this problem as long as there is a demand for it.

    • Comment Link Philip Saturday, 20 October 2012 14:34 posted by Philip

      What I meant was that the paper could not yell “rape!” because clraely they did not have the specific claim that she was.On the surface, this is a convincing argument. It's the same reaction I had both to this and to much of the other raped by elves stuff I've seen in the archives here. The thing is that if you take a step back you realise that this is completely ludicrious.To take a completely random example, on the BBC news website at the moment, there is an article about the theft of some pigs. The description of the crime is: More than 500 pigs have been stolen from a farm in south Staffordshire . The newspaper isn't worried about being sued in case it turns out the pigs went missing of their own accord. If we applied the no specific legal terminology rule to thefts, this article would have to read 500 pigs walked off of a farm in Staffordshire .The difference between rape and theft is that if 500 pigs go missing, everybody accepts that a crime has been committed, the only question is by whom. It's only in the case of rape that we take presumption of innocence to mean presumption that a crime has not taken place at all.

    • Comment Link ShelbySweet Wednesday, 12 September 2012 16:14 posted by ShelbySweet

      Wow.. I can't believe how much your selection of speakers "against" the motion poisoned the well. Tyler Cowen and Sydney Barrows both make excellent points, but it looks so bad to have three feminists on one side of the debate and a man and a madam on the other side. Couldn't you find any sex-positive feminists, or better yet, current working girls who like what they do?
      I do not like the representation of the pro-sex side of the debate, i think it creates bias.

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