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Liberalism and Prostitution - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Liberalism and Prostitution

Peter de Marneffe


Civil libertarians characterize prostitution as a “victimless crime,” and argue that it ought to be legalized. Feminist critics counter that prostitution is not victimless, since it harms the people who do it. Civil libertarians respond that most women freely choose to do this work, and that it is paternalistic for the government to limit a person's liberty for her own good. This book argues that although most prostitution is voluntary, paternalistic prostitution laws in some form are nonetheless morally justifiable. If prostitution is commonly harmful in the way that feminist critics maintain ... More

Keywords: prostitution, liberalism, paternalism, individual rights, liberty, moralism, government neutrality

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780195383249
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195383249.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Peter de Marneffe, author
Arizona State University