Canada’s Conservative government is following the wrong lead on prostitution

Aug 12, 2014
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Whom is it safe to hate? One of the reasons the cause of same-sex civil marriage has gained so much ground in recent years is that it is no longer socially acceptable to hold gay couples in contempt. Many if not most opponents of same-sex marriage harbour no ill will toward lesbians and gays, yet opposition to the expansion of civil rights for gay people has long profited from deep-seated prejudice against them. As this prejudice has grown less common and less intense, it isn’t terribly surprising that proponents of same-sex marriage have gained the upper hand. Similarly, opposition to cannabis legalization has long rested on the belief that stoners are losers who can and should be kept on the margins of society. Now that marijuana use is associated in the public mind with cancer-stricken grandmothers and foxy celebrities, there is no going back. The stigma against marijuana use is dying, and support for keeping marijuana illegal has been slowly dying with it.

It's clear why the Conservative government likes the Swedish model of fighting prostitution. But it's also clear that it simply won't work.

It’s clear why the Conservative government likes the Swedish model of fighting prostitution. But it’s also clear that it simply won’t work.

Sex work is a different story. The stigma associated with selling sex remains strong, as is the stigma against buying it. This is despite the growing evidence that decriminalizing the buying and selling of sex has significant public health benefits. A pair of economists, Scott Cunningham and Manisha Shah, recently found that when Rhode Island accidentallydecriminalized indoor prostitution due to a quirk of statutory language, cases of female gonorrhea plummeted, as did the number of rape offences. A recent study drawing on data from Vancouver, B.C., found that the decriminalization of sex work has the potential to greatly reduce the spread of HIV. So will Americans soon start clamoring for legalized prostitution? I doubt it, because it’s going to be very hard for people to stop looking down on those who buy and sell sex.

Keep reading at the National Post…

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[…] Sex work is a different story. The stigma associated with selling sex remains strong, as is the …read more     […]

Ernest Greene
Ernest Greene
6 years ago

We’re next. Some local governments are already instituting variations of the Nordic Model with the entirely predictable results showing a rise in arrests of sex workers and violence against sex workers. It would be nice if some major national media outlets would pay a visit to Sweden and talk to some sex workers there. They’re the ones who know best what a bad idea this really is, having lived with it the longest. The results there are all bad, predictably, because the movers behind this global Hail Mary to prohibit sex work everywhere under the guise of protecting women don’t… Read more »

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