Last updated on: 6/1/2009 | Author:

Rebecca Whisnant, PhD Biography

Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Director of Women's and Gender Studies Program at the University of Dayton
Con to the question "Should Prostitution Be Legal?"

“I would just add that, even if we grant for the sake of argument that some few women engage in prostitution, stripping, or pornography without being harmed by it, that does not erase the fact that these practices cause enormous harm to the vast majority of women within them (as well as to women in general). To me, that seems like adequate grounds for opposing them. It doesn’t seem complicated to me. Even if this is okay for a few women, these industries’ costs to other women are simply too great…

The single most obvious and predictable thing that happens when prostitution is legalized is that there is more prostitution overall… If… one believes that prostitution is intrinsically harmful and abusive, then this cannot be a good thing.

The law is an incredibly powerful tool for shaping social perceptions, as well as controlling behavior. With this in mind, like most radical feminists, I support the decriminalization of prostituted persons, and the strict enforcement of laws against pimps and Johns.”

Off Our Backs, July-Aug. 2005

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Assistant Professor, Philosophy, University of Dayton, 2003-present
  • Director, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, University of Dayton
  • Assistant Professor, Philosophy and Political Science, University of Southern Indiana, 2001-2003
  • Publications Representative, Feminists Ethics and Social Theory (FEAST)
  • PhD, Philosophy, University of North Carolina, 2001
  • MA, Philosophy, University of North Carolina
  • BA, Philosophy, Oberlin College, 1989
  • None found
Quoted in:
  1. Is Pornography Prostitution?