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Regardless of age, sex is a topic that has been extensively covered and is well known to most people. Many people have sex with one another for a variety of reasons. Others are forced to do it with or without their agreement, while others do it for the sheer joy of it. The history of the sex trade goes all the way back to prehistoric times. It entails engaging in sexual activity in exchange for money or favors. The debate in this essay will center on the morality of having sex for money. Having sex to get money is only unethical if any other person not involved in the intercourse is benefiting.
Many people have sex for money. In the United States, about 30% of women have been paid to have sex at some point in their life. People view it as wrong to have sex for money. If a woman has sex and takes pleasure in it and benefits from it, it is not immoral. The most important aspect of the act is for both individual engaging in it to benefit and it majorly involves pleasure. Sex is meant to be pleasurable. Apart from that, a woman may be benefiting regarding money from the act. It is right if she consents to the sex and agrees to the cash before or afterward. Consent is another crucial matter related to sex (Fight The New Drug par.14). The act of having sex without one’s consent is considered as rape. Also when paying it is essential for both parties to consent. It is very degrading for a woman to be paid after sex without her consent.
Sex for money can only be considered immoral if the woman is forced into it by work or she is not receiving a full share of what she earns from it. Many women are forced by circumstances to work as sex workers. They work just to make income and to be able to support themselves or their families. About 80% of the women perform sex for money, most of them are between the ages of thirteen years to twenty-five years old (Coy 192). They start at an early age because their families solely depend on them or they have no options themselves. The girls involved in prostitution are pimped by businessmen or women who have the aim of benefiting from them. This is immoral because the women involved, only receive a share from the sex they perform.
A few people enjoy the work they do on a day to day basis; many wish they were doing different jobs from their current ones. To work for sex is the same, it’s not something they want to do on a daily basis, but they have to. Sex is only pleasurable in moderation, excessive of it only becomes tiresome and annoying. The women that perform the act for money do not enjoy it most of the time or at all. Having been forced into it by work is wrong since it exposes the women to many risks. Diseases and complications are among the issues that come with having to be, a sex worker for money.
Sex for money not only involves prostitution. It also consists of the making of adult films. The actors are paid to have sex in front of the camera. In the same way, the act is what earns them an income. The films are considered immoral and demining of our social values. Sex is supposed to be among individuals participating in it and not a public display. This more so makes the act of sex for money more wrong. The acts get paid for acting but are not the only ones that benefit from the sex. The crew that is involved in making the film, directors, producers, editors, and assistants also get paid. They are then distributed all over to be for viewing. People watching also benefit from the sex performed by the actors in the adult movies. Sex should only benefit two people involved in it and not others who watch or get a share from the act. It should also be real and consensual (Fight The New Drug par.14). By doing this, it is immoral.
The women that involve themselves in sex for money are viewed as evildoers. People in the society fail to understand them and deem them as offenders. In the United States, prostitution is illegal. A woman that has sex for money is considered a prostitute, hence violating the law. In many cases, they are arrested and charged. According to various religions, it is deemed to be sinful. An example in the Bible is when a prostitute cleans the feet of Jesus. His followers try to push her away since she was a sinner and could not touch their master. But Jesus tells them not to since the woman has now repented and changed her ways. Just in the same way, people in the society do not want to associate themselves with these type of women (Coy 190). The women are considered bad examples in the community and are often stigmatized.
Those that pay they continuously abuse most women. This is because they degrade them and view them to have lost their dignity (Nussbaum 257). They also regard them as not valuable in the society, and they are just after their money. Not only do the men assault the sex workers, but also other women. The prostitutes are observed as home breakers who destroy the stability of households by luring men from their wives. As a result, most married women gang up to act on the sex workers to discourage them from their acts. The society has both people who see wrong for what it is and those that try to correct the wrong. Some of the communities have come up with programs to take in prostitutes to help them rebuild themselves. They consider a second chance for these women and try to keep them busy from withdrawing to their previous lives.
Average women that are not in the sex industry are treated and viewed differently by men. They are often viewed respectable and are treated with the same respect. The men regard a woman not in the sex industry as a worth courting. She is seen to have high standards and has respect for herself including her body. They have and play a significant role in the society. Men often want to be associated with such ladies, usually end up marrying and making them the mother of their kids.
Objectification can be considered as the degradation of a person to the status of just a mere thing. Several ideas are involved in this notion. The ideas include instrumentality, denial of autonomy, inertness, fungibility, violability, ownership, and denial of subjectivity (Nussbaum 257). Instrumentality means where a person, in most cases the man, treats a woman as a tool for his purposes and desires. Inertness is where the man treats the woman as an object that cannot exert power. Fungibility is where a person treats the object as something that can be replaced with another one. Ownership is the person has total control of the object and can sell or buy it. Denial of subjectivity involves treating an object as something that can endure anything without considering what it is undergoing. Denial of autonomy is where the object lacks self-determination (Nussbaum 257). Finally, violability involves treating an object with no boundaries. With the ideas it possible to identify how women in the sex industry such as prostitution and adult entertainment are objectified.
In the adult entertainment, it involves both women and men having intercourse which is then filmed and distributed. The men and women are often nude, but in a way, the woman is usually objectified. They are often made to reveal their body parts. Their bodies are made more salient given more attention than their needs. They are taken advantage of and dominated (FIGHT THE NEW DRUG par.3). They are exploited on the camera as well as of the camera. Most women involved in the adult film entertainment have spoken out their experiences regarding objectification. The idea that a woman’s pleasure depends on the man’s enjoyment is continuously passed across. Women are made to do degrading acts just to please the man behind the scenes.
Women are regarded as objects to provide sexual gratification and consumption. Most of the directors and producers of this adult entertainment are men. So the films are more purposely made for men. About 89% portray physical violence towards women. They are teased and even forced to extreme acts. This influences violence towards ladies among men (FIGHT THE NEW DRUG par.8). The body language of girls is depicted as vulnerable and passive while that of a man is shown with dignity and strength. As a result, men watching adult movies end up not respecting or valuing women. Instead, they view them as items to provide pleasure whenever it is fit for them without considering their needs.
In Prostitution, women are entirely objectified. The men have no considerations of the woman and are concerned with what they are to get. They ensure they utilize what they have paid. Furthermore, they go to the extent of mistreating the women just to fulfill their sexual urges and fantasies (Coy 186). Whether the woman is enjoying the act or at the end fulfilling her pleasure is not a matter of concern when it comes to prostitution. They have no say in what is performed to them. Some are beaten, pissed on, and assaulted just because they have been paid. Acts of violence go a long way to reveal how women are objectified since they are sex workers.
In conclusion, it is not immoral to have sex for money when the persons involved are the only ones benefitting. However, it is unethical to have the act to gain money to benefit others not engaged in the action. This can be considered as exploitation, and it is not fit to be practiced. It is also wrong to perform sex as a job. It is degrading to social, cultural and religious views on matters regarding sex.
Coy, Madeleine. "The consumer, the consumed and the commodity: Women and sex buyers talk about objectification in prostitution." Demanding sex: Critical reflections on the regulation of prostitution (2008): 181-198.
FIGHT THE NEW DRUG. How Porn Dehumanizes Women Through Sexual Objectification. 15 June 2017. https://fightthenewdrug.org/how-watching-porn-erodes-views-of-women/ Accessed on: 14 Dec. 2017.
Nussbaum, M. C. Objectification. Philosophy & Public Affairs, Vol. 24, No. 4 (Autumn, 1995), pp. 249-291, http://lindsayrettler.weebly.com/uploads/5/1/0/2/51024555/nussbaum_martha-_objectification__1995_.pdf
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