Prostitution and the Sex Trade

Sunday, December 28, 2014
First Aired: 
Sunday, October 14, 2012

What Is It

Some consider the commodification of sexual services inherently wrong, something that ought to be abolished outright. Others claim that prostitution is a legitimate form of commerce and that changing its legal status would reduce or eliminate most harms to sex workers. So in a just society, are there any conditions under which buying and selling sex are morally acceptable? Does the sex trade inevitably involve coercion of some kind, or can becoming a sex worker ever be a free, fully autonomous choice? John and Ken explore the complexities of the world's oldest profession with novelist, columnist, and former sex worker Tracy Quan, author of the best-selling Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl. This program was recorded live at the Public Radio Program Directors Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Comments (2)


Harold G. Neuman's picture

Harold G. Neuman

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 -- 2:03 PM

Let me get this straight.

Let me get this straight. Prostitution and 'the sex trade' are the same issue? I understand the term, human trafficking. I think. That is, whether it be for sex or no. If someone is forced into slavery, it is slavery. Whether or not prostitutes choose to be so is their choice. This is,, unpopularly, free will. ' I didn't know what else to do'. (Ding!) Now, there are all sorts of choices available today. For anyone who has enough sense; access to 'resources' and a desire for change, there are opportunities. Not for all, I am sure. But, of course, this is not philosophy. It deals more with mass and popular culture. Because, ' at the end of the day' ( Voltaire), we make our own problems. We are just not willing to accept responsibility for our actions. We are philosophers, I think. Not doctors, of any sort.

Harold G. Neuman's picture

Harold G. Neuman

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 -- 2:04 PM

Let me get this straight.

Let me get this straight. Prostitution and 'the sex trade' are the same issue? I understand the term, human trafficking. I think. That is, whether it be for sex or no. If someone is forced into slavery, it is slavery. Whether or not prostitutes choose to be so is their choice. This is,, unpopularly, free will. ' I didn't know what else to do'. (Ding!) Now, there are all sorts of choices available today. For anyone who has enough sense; access to 'resources' and a desire for change, there are opportunities. Not for all, I am sure. But, of course, this is not philosophy. It deals more with mass and popular culture. Because, ' at the end of the day' ( Voltaire), we make our own problems. We are just not willing to accept responsibility for our actions. We are philosophers, I think. Not doctors, of any sort.