The Moral Significance of Sex Workers and People With Disabilities

Tauriq Moosa in Big Think:

ScreenHunter_50 Aug. 25 16.05When prostitution cases are brought before a judge in Britain, a particular kind of “John” (or customer) will almost always have the case tossed out of court: that is, if the customer is a person with a disability. So explains a member of the groupTLC Trust to me: a group that defends and promotes the interaction between sex workers and people with disabilities – TLC, as you’ll see, and similar groups, has become my new favourite advocacy group. This powerful statement, of judges dismissing almost out of hand any prostitution cases involving persons with a physical disability, sets an important moral precedent that I think we all ought to follow.

For many, voluntary sex work – that is, done by people who do it without being physically forced* or blackmailed into it – is inherently wrong for reasons I find extremely wanting (unless they mean sex trafficking, in which case we're not talking about the same thing. Please see the notes below for more). But many, including judges, accept that there is a unique situation when it comes to the relationship between sex workers and people with disabilities**. However, what I perceive from sex workers and this relationship is an element of morality worth emulating and promoting; and thus ultimately treating both sex workers and people with disabilities with the respect both groups deserve, as persons with interests, that warrant wider respect and, indeed, admiration.

More here.