Prostitution is a social fact deplorable in the eyes of moralists, sociologists and, we believe, the great majority of ordinary people. But it has persisted in many civilisations throughout many centuries, and the failure of attempts to stamp it out by repressive legislation shows that it cannot be eradicated through the agency of the criminal law. It remains true that without a demand for her services the prostitute could not exist, and that there are enough men who avail themselves of prostitutes to keep the trade alive. It also remains true that there are women who, even when there is no economic need to do so, choose this form of livelihood. For as long as these propositions continue to be true there will be prostitution, and no amount of legislation directed towards its abolition will abolish it.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Nothing new under the sun
Allan Horsfall has a knock-out riposte to yesterday's floating of government plans to criminalise the purchasing of sex. Lord Wolfenden wrote 50 years ago in his report that revolutionised UK sex laws: