Sex and the Limits of Enlightenment :The Irrationality of Legal Regimes to Control Prostitution

To assess the reasonableness of projects to improve the governance of commercial sex, the author explores how rationality in its current hegemonic Western sense is a cultural construction, perceived differently across time and space within Europe. The author examines some aspects of how varying conclusions are reached about which legal prostitution regime to impose, taking into account therole of cultures, worldviews, and interpretation. The author avoids the conventional classification of policy by country that results in unsubtle and overdetermined nationalistic explanations. Current projects to govern prostitution show how the traditional Western idea of rationality fails to lead to social betterment.

Worldwide, social policy on prostitution tends to follow Western cues, in seeming acceptance that West is the best, with the most progressive, most enlightened approach. The rational project is, therefore, not limited to European geography.

Year of publication: 
2008
Author: 
Laura Agustín