Why Some Things Should Not Be For Sale

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Prostitution is sometimes referred to as “the world’s oldest profession,” with the first record of its practice dates back to Ancient Near East civilizations. Despite its age-old existence, not until relatively recently that researches and studies have been conducted in an attempt to obtain a better understanding of and more liberal perspective on a taboo widely perceived as too degrading and immoral to even talk about. When writing about commercial sex in her book “Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale,” Debra Satz challenges many of the bases on which society justifies its censure and outlawing of prostitution and its objectification and alienation of sex workers. She also criticizes the prohibition of prostitution, recognizes the core problems with sex selling, and suggests an alternative, possibly more effective, way in which prostitution should be addressed. According to Satz, the act of prostituting oneself, or exchanging sex for money or other financially valuable goods, is morally wrong, but not for many reasons that many of us tend to believe. Satz explains her disapproval of the popular criticisms of commercial sex by economists and essentialists, claiming that their reasoning is “incomplete,” if not irrelevant. The economic approach to prostitution attributes the same quality to the goods sold in all sexual transactions. It fails to take into consideration individual prostitutes’ “background,” evaluating the costs of prostitution solely on the social drawbacks

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