Last updated on: 2/27/2008 | Author:

William Sanger, MD Biography

Former Chief Resident Physician at Blackwell’s Island Hospital
Pro to the question "Should Prostitution Be Legal?"

“It is a mere absurdity to assert that prostitution can ever be eradicated. Strenuous and well-directed efforts for this purpose have been made at different times. The whole power of the Church, where it possessed not merely a spiritual but an actual secular arm, has been in vain directed against it. Nature defied the mandates of the clergy, and the threatened punishments of an after-life were futile to deter men from seeking, and women from granting, sinful pleasures in this world. Monarchs victorius in the field and unsurpassed in the council-chamber have bent all their energies of will and brought all the aids of power to crush it out, but before these vice has not quailed. The guilty women have been banished, scourged, branded, executed; their partners have been subjected to the same punishment; held up to public opinion as immoral; denuded of their civil rights; have seen their offenses visited upon their families; have been led to the stake, the gibbet, and the block, and still prostitution exists….

But if history proves that prostitution can not be suppressed, it also demonstrates that it can be regulated, and directed into channels where its most injurious results can be encountered, and its dangerous tendencies either entirely arrested or materially weakened. This is the policy to which civilized communities are tending… “

History of Prostitution, 1858

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Former Chief Resident Physician, Blackwell’s Island Hospital
  • MD, School unknown
  • Deceased