Sex Week lecture discusses if ‘Selling Your Body’ is morally right

“I don’t think it’s morally wrong at all to engage in sex work,” said Nora Berenstain, assistant professor of philosophy.

Berenstain’s lecture titled, “The Ethics of Sex Work,” was held on April 10, at University Center Crest Room as part of Sex Week 2015.

Dr. Nora Berenstain, assistant professor of philosophy, delivered a lecture titled "The Ethics of Sex Work" at the University Center Crest Room on April 10th. She discussed the negative perception and mistreatment of sex workers by society.
Dr. Nora Berenstain, assistant professor of philosophy, delivered a lecture titled “The Ethics of Sex Work” at the University Center Crest Room on April 10th. She discussed the negative perception and mistreatment of sex workers by society.

The issue of sex workers, perceived negatively and treated unfairly, surrounded the discussion.

Berenstain offered insight into understanding their mistreatment.

“The term sex worker was coined by sex workers as a way to make people start to reconceptualize sex work as just in line with conventional service industry,” Berenstain said.

As sex work is a conventional service, Berenstain added that it is often a last resort to surviving in our capitalist society.

Berenstain used the example of Janet Mock, a black and native Hawaiian trans woman, who engaged in sex work as a minor to pay for her transition surgery.

“Mock says that frequently your body is the only asset that marginalized people have.  One of the things you have is your body that can be used as an asset to make money for the purpose of survival,” Berenstain said.

Isaac Sherman, senior in computer science, provided a first-hand account of sex worker’s treatment.

“I had a friend who was a stripper and she was just treated terribly and I started looking into it, and that seems to be the case anywhere you go in this country with sex workers,” Sherman said. “It’s one horror story after another.”

To read a description of the event’s topics click here.

Edited by Jessica Carr

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