Challenging the “Prostitution Problem”: Dissenting Voices, Sex Buyers, and the Myth of Neutrality in Prostitution Research
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All research and policymaking on the prostitution system is deliberated and decided in the shadows of fundamentally incompatible positions. We recognize these positions along broadly similar lines as Benoit, Smith, Jansson, Healey, and Magnuson (2018) (although, as we shall discuss, with crucial differences): to legitimate prostitution as a form of labor, or recognize it as a form of male violence against women and girls. Over the past decade, the latter approach has gained significant momentum. The Equality (or Nordic) Model, pioneered in Sweden in 1999, is now in place (with localized variations), in Norway and Iceland (2009), Canada (2014),1 Northern Ireland (2015), France (2016), and the Republic of Ireland (2017) (Bindel, 2017; Tyler et al., 2017). The decriminalization of selling sex, combined with provision of exiting support, criminalization of buying sex, and public education, is rooted in recognition not only that prostitution and trafficking for sexual exploitation are...
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