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Why Legislating Sex Work Is Problematic

In light of California’s mandatory condom laws for adult performers, I’ve been thinking about why governments feel the need to step in and legislate sex work (I say legislate when often it is criminalized, but here I’ll be focusing on laws that regulate rather than prohibit). First, let’s think of people we categorically make laws about. Children: they have to go to school, they have to be under a legal guardian until they reach a certain age, and so on. Prisoners: they do not have full legal rights, but they retain many other rights, such as access to basic minimum living standards. The poor: there’s a whole body of laws, historically dating back to the Elizabethan era in England, governing employment and aid opportunities for the underprivileged. Continue Reading →