The real harms of prostitution

Why would we legalise what women who have experienced it call ‘paid rape’ and voluntary slavery’? What is prostitution really like for the person in it? Recently The Economist ran a debate online about legalising prostitution. Putting the case against was San Francisco psychologist Melissa Farley, who is also the founder of Prostitution Research and Education. In view of the relentless campaign to legalise prostitution on the ground that it would then be essentially harmless and a matter of choice, MercatorNet invited Dr Farley to set out the facts of the matter as she knows them from 15 years of research and dealings with prostituted and trafficked women.

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