There now exists a mountain of empirical research, not only from feminist social scientists, but also from psychologists, clinicians, nurses, anthropologists and economists, of the harms of prostitution for women. These harms include post-traumatic stress disorder, genital and other physical injuries, pregnancy, depression and anxiety, and social isolation.
It has been known since the late 1970s that a major precursor of women’s entry into prostitution is childhood sexual abuse. There is also empirical evidence of the damage to women’s social status, and the negative impact on women’s connection to local community, of the sex industry.
Overwhelmingly, the social science and health literature condemns prostitution as a source of harm to women, as well as children.
For liberals to successfully frame prostitution as ”work”, rather than commercially mediated sexual abuse, they must close their eyes to this evidence.