December 3, 2013 11:24AM

This Month at Cato Unbound : Sex Work and the Law

This month’s Cato Unbound tackles an issue as old as humanity, and maybe even older: Sex work has been a part of nearly all human societies, even despite frequent prohibitions. Well, some say, we should allow it — but we should regulate it very heavily.

Lead essayist Maggie McNeill takes a much more libertarian view: simply allow it. Sex work is “not a crime, nor a scam, nor a ‘lazy’ way to get by, nor a form of oppression,” she writes. “It is a personal service, akin to massage, or nursing, or counseling, and should be treated as such.” As a former call girl and madam, she draws on personal experience, as well as the remarkable body of knowledge found at her blog, The Honest Courtesan

Obviously we wouldn’t be a journal of debate without some vigorous dissent, and it will come this month from a panel of three other experts in the field: Ronald Weitzer is a sociologist at the George Washington University; Dianne Post is an international legal advocate who works on gender‐​based violence; and Steven Wagner is the president of Renewal Forum, a nonprofit opposed to human trafficking. 

Be sure to stop by and see what they have to say over the coming week; feel free to reply in the comments. And if you like what you read, you should also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates.