Understanding prostitution policy: The challenges to regulating prostitution and how to harness them

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


In most European countries since the middle of the nineteenth century, prostitution as a social phenomenon cannot be seen apart from the efforts of authorities to prohibit, contain, or regulate it. From the middle of the nineteenth century European states have attempted to control prostitution by restricting the freedom of movement of sex workers and suspending certain basic rights. The challenge of discourse analysis is that although it bears an intuitive relationship with policy formulation and implementation, that relationship is far from obvious. The moral nature of prostitution policy goes a long way in explaining some of the characteristics of contemporary prostitution policy. The domain-specific challenges of prostitution policy are the following. Prostitution is stigmatized. Trading sex for money is considered to be demeaning to women and involving an unacceptable commodification of female sexuality. The Israeli philosopher Avishai Margalit makes an important distinction in this respect between a civilized and a decent society.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge International Handbook of Sex Industry Research
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781351133906
ISBN (Print)9780815354123
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding prostitution policy: The challenges to regulating prostitution and how to harness them'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this