How can pornography be legal and prostitution illegal? What is the moral difference?

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Most Helpful Guys

  • There's a huge difference.

    In pornography, the people engaging in sex are actors. You aren't purchasing their sexual favors. You are purchasing their acting performance which just so happens to contain sex scenes. (*) Furthermore, their sexual performances are meant to be consumed by many persons, but no particular person. Lastly, there is no direct quid pro quo between you and actor; that is, you are not paying them to perform and their performance happens whether you pay them or not.

    In prostitution, there is a quid pro quo: They perform the sex act only if you pay them. You pay them only if they perform the sex act. There sex act is specifically related to your desires. You are the primary/only consumer of their acts which are things that you want and paid for.

    (*) At what point does a motion picture become pornography?
    For instance, in the film "The Terminator", Kyle Reese has sex with Sarah Conner. Is that porn?
    In the film, "The Sessions", actress Helen Hunt is nude and has sex (or is implied to have sex) with the central male character. In fact, in this movie, Helen Hunt is a sex therapist...(**)

    So, how many sex scenes does it take before a movie becomes pornography?
    1? 2? 5? 20?

    (**) A sex therapist gets paid deliberately to have sex with a person as part of therapy and is not a prostitute/gigolo, but a healthcare professional. So, there you go, a person paid to have sex who is not doing pornography but also not doing prostitution.

    Finally, I leave you with this quote from late Associate US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart from his opinion in the 1964 case "Jacobellis v. Ohio":
    supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/378/184/

    I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description ["hard-core pornography"], and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.[3]

    • Isn't most kinds of services quid pro quo tho? That wouldn't make sense as a justifiable reason.

    • @DevikaButts95 Sure. Quid pro quo is just a legal term... "This for that." It means that there is an exchange of things that have value to each side. If you go to the supermarket and buy groceries, that's a legal quid pro quo. If you go to the street corner to buy a blow job, that's an illegal quid pro quo.

    • Right... the question is asking what's the moral difference between porn and prostitution though, so I'm kinda confused on what the point is there?

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  • there is a lot into this, for one there is regulations on it. before in americas past it was actually legal and a reliable way to get the publics interest. if you didn't know, during the westward expansion of the united states, the true "cowboys" were the prostitutes who were "turning tricks" and making more then the people who ran businesses. most of the time it was the women being prostitutes the brought out men to go to different places during the westerward expansion. but these prostitutes were responsible for much of the economy of the wild wild west. the prostitutes were responsible for building up enough money to even start their own businesses, one problem is how prolific stds and what not were. stds is not a new disease and when these prostitutes slept with their tricks they easily got and spread stds as protection of diseases was not as known back then. these are some of my assumptions with what actually did happen, most of this is true except for the std part

Most Helpful Girls

  • Laws against prostitution are outrageous!

    For those opposed to it, please explain why it is fine for a girl to have sex with someone she just met who is free to lavish her with gifts and dinners and movies and drinks and everything else on earth, but not OK if he gives her money... go ahead please... I'm listening.

    The arguments about disease and safety are easy fixes.

    And like alcohol prohibition, this isn't working either and is making it 100 times more unsafe in terms of violence and disease!

    For those of you that think this way, I have a straight jacket and padded cell to help keep you safe from yourself!

    How can pornography be legal and prostitution illegal? What is the moral difference?
  • Tbh it doesn't really make any sense
    The girls n guys in porn do much more dangerous things compared to what we do plus drugs is a must for them but not all prostitutes take drugs though and yet so many checks n bans on us but not on porn... I AM NOT SAYING THEY SHOULD BAN PORN TOO BY THE WAY that would be devastating

    • Thanks for MHO honey

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What Girls & Guys Said

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  • Legal and moral are two VERY different things, and should not be assumed to track together.

    Porn is legal because, as media, it falls under First Amendment protections (unless it's considered obscene, child porn, beastiality, etc.). Prostitution isn't media, it's a service, and so it doesn't enjoy First Amendment protections under the law, and as such, can be regulated or prohibited by the states, which is the case in the US.

  • And prostitution is legal in much of the world so the difference only comes down to interpretation.

  • https://www.youtube.com/embed/PzfbB4dANCY

    Thought of that lol. Morally nothing.

  • @abc3643
    Very well done, excellent read

  • Porn is protected as art, legally. I don't think either is immoral and prostitution would be much safer if legal.

  • Go to Germany it legal there lol

  • My guess is, prostitutes don’t pay taxes on their money. 🤔

  • In the eyes of the law, Prostitution is the exchange for sexual services for monetary value. Pornography is an Expression of Art which is protected by Act of Congress under the First Amendment of the Constitution.

    Here's the thing, Sex is also an act of Expression. Hence freedom of Speech. Why is it treated different? Because of bigoted self-righteous males. Contradictions make a mess of rights.

  • Sexual intercourse. You can’t get pregnant or aids from porn. Also porn generally requires no exchange of money so it’s a non profit organisation 😂 kinda.

    • Also it’s legal here 👍🏾

    • non profit org.. they exchange money just not on scene

    • Fine lines so the government can control the population

  • prostitution isn't illegal. There are many escort agencies worldwide

  • Because porns helps people but prostitution is

    • Immortality

  • No difference

  • Prostitution is interactive. Porn is entertainment.

  • Porn is usually in a controlled environment, performed by paid actors/actresses, everybody knows when enough is enough making it an overall safe experience - hookers have basically zero guarantees of safety... at all

  • I think prostitution should be legal. Honestly it’s just nuts that

    I mean someone could argue that prostitution is illegal because you aren’t sharing it with others. It’s morally wrong not to share. Sharing is caring.

  • Omg! A real question!

  • Prostitution is having sex with random people for money. Porn doesn't even need to he sex. So a girl's tits qualify as porn.

  • Tax? & 1 is televised lol

  • Mainly due to its gambling implications where money is involved.

  • It seems stupid that u can’t pay someone to have sex unless u put a video camera in the room and record it, then it becomes acting.

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