Article Text

Download PDFPDF
The harms of prostitution: critiquing Moen's argument of no-harm
  1. Anna Westin
  1. Correspondence to Anna Westin, School of Theology, Philosophy and History, St. Mary's University College, Waldegrave Road, Strawberry Hill, London TW1 4SX, UK; canadianna{at}


In this short critical analysis, the author examines the recent argument by Moen in his article ‘Is Prostitution Harmful?' In highlighting why prostitution does not cause harm to either member involved in the act, Moen argues that prostitution is not an ethical concern. However, while Moen is able to clearly challenge contemporary objections to prostitution, the author of this review will suggest that Moen's argument is itself incomplete as it does not address essential key ontological issues. This critical analysis will briefly suggest why this omission weakens Moen's argument. Finally, it will conclude with examining why prostitution differs substantially from other professions through the type of harm that it causes to the moral agents involved.

  • Philosophical Ethics
  • Sexuality/Gender
  • Applied and Professional Ethics
  • Feminism

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles

Other content recommended for you