Talk:Prostitution

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Former featured article Prostitution is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on May 3, 2004.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
January 26, 2004 Refreshing brilliant prose Not kept
April 10, 2004 Featured article candidate Promoted
December 20, 2004 Featured article review Demoted
Current status: Former featured article

Ancient Middle East[edit]

"It came to an end when the emperor Constantine in the fourth century AD destroyed the goddess temples and replaced them with Christianity.[23]"

I believe this is false. The reference given is Eusebius, but Eusebius's history is almost 2000 years old! History does make progress, and discovers things that were taken as facts are not so. More recent work should be used to back this up (and not other work that simply cites Eusebius!), or it should be deleted. GeneCallahan (talk) 17:45, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

It would probably be more helpful if you had a contemporary source that supports your intuition that this is incorrect information and should be changed. TimothyJosephWood 17:50, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

You are not the first to question Eusebius's biases and accuracy. Per the article on the Church History (Eusebius):

  • "The accuracy of Eusebius' account has often been called into question." In the 5th century, the Christian historian Socrates Scholasticus described Eusebius as writing for “rhetorical finish” and for the “praises of the Emperor” rather than the “accurate statement of facts.” "Drake 2002, p. 365-66; 'Also in writing the life of Constantine, this same author has but slightly treated of matters regarding Arius, being more intent on the rhetorical finish of his composition and the praises of the emperor, than on an accurate statement of facts'
  • "The methods of Eusebius were criticised by Edward Gibbon in the 18th century.
  • In the 19th century Jacob Burckhardt viewed Eusebius as 'a liar', the “first thoroughly dishonest historian of antiquity.”
  • Ramsay MacMullen in the 20th century regarded Eusebius' work as representative of early Christian historical accounts in which “Hostile writings and discarded views were not recopied or passed on, or they were actively suppressed..., matters discreditable to the faith were to be consigned to silence.” As a consequence this kind of methodology in MacMullen's view has distorted modern attempts, (e.g. Harnack, Nock, and Brady), to describe how the Church grew in the early centuries.
  • Arnaldo Momigliano wrote that in Eusebius' mind "chronology was something between an exact science and an instrument of propaganda "
  • Drake in the 21st century treats Eusebius as working within the framework of a "totalizing discourse" that viewed the world from a single point of view that excluded anything he thought inappropriate."

Basically we have sources calling him a flatterer, an outright liar, a dishonest historian, a forger of history, a propagandist, and a censor of historical truth. The problem is that Eusebius is still one of our relatively few primary sources for the 4th century, and we can not ignore his reports in favor of speculation. Dimadick (talk) 18:13, 24 June 2016 (UTC)

Make it more biased, please![edit]

Obviously I'm being ironic. Only a few conservatives and marxist or radical feminists see prostitution as "violence against women". Why the hell do you insert this point of view on the head of the text, but ignores the liberal view of prostitution as an empowering free choice? 152.249.63.189 (talk) 23:20, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

Well for one thing, there are enough conservatives, Marxists, and radical feminists who support legalization that I suspect either you're just using those groups as boogiemen, or you don't really know what you're talking about. That makes it hard to know how serious to take this, but the position that prostitution is connected to both violence and general exploitation is relatively common across many ideologies. Even among supporters of legalization, the correlation is widely acknowledged. If you would like to make a specific proposal, it should be supported by reliable sources. Keep in mind that there are already multiple articles about this issue, such as Feminist views on prostitution, Sex workers' rights, and others. Grayfell (talk) 00:49, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
I know what I'm talking about. Maybe there are some conservatives and radical feminists which support legalization, but they're, obviously, minorities. Radical feminists tend to support the "Swedish Model" where for a woman to prostitute herself is legal, but for a man to buy for sex is illegal. I honestly can't understand how a radical feminist would defend legalization (the "Swedish Model" is regarded as "abolitionist"), because it would be extremely contradictory as they see prostitution as one of the pillars of the patriarchy.
And, well, first, even though many people may see some cases of prostitution as violence and or explotation, it doesn't mean that they view prostitution as a whole as inherently violent and/or exploitative. The article doesn't clarify that. And, besides, "violence against women" is a much narrower concept than "violence". It's not only violence that affects women, but violence that is somehow motivated by gender relations. And the number of people that see prostitution as a form of "violence against women" is even smaller than the one of those who only see prostitution as inherently violent. Anyway, my central point here is that such positioning is on the head of the article, while others, equally present and important, aren't featured on such a notorious place. By the end of the day, the article ends up being kinda biased and tendentious.
(I'm Brazilian, so sorry for any eventual grammar/ orthography mistakes) 152.249.63.189 (talk)
Lumping all who hold this relatively common view into a few ideologies would be a violation of WP:NPOV. We should be especially cautious of this, because those ideologies are frequently demonized by those who hold opposing views for reasons that have nothing to do with prostitution. Grouping them all together doesn't improve the article. They are "obviously minorities"?, Well, maybe, but so what? There are plenty of non-Marxist feminists, non-conservatives, and non-radical feminists who also hold the view that prostitution is closely linked to exploitation and violence. How many view it as inherently violent/exploitative? That's subjective, so qualifying that would be editorializing, but if you would like to propose a better wording, go for it.
As for being against women specifically, this should only be presented in the article according to it's prominence in reliable sources. The article already explains that most prostitutes are women who sell to men, and as Violence against prostitutes makes clear, female prostitutes are more likely to experience violence than male prostitutes. Of course, violence against anyone is a serious problem, and a minority should not be excluded from the discussion just because of vague statistics, so if you would like to make an actual proposal for how to change the lead, please do. Again, it should be supported by reliable sources. Grayfell (talk) 22:27, 25 June 2016 (UTC)
Well, do you think it'd be okay not to remove or modify this part of the text, but instead to add another paragraph, also in the head of the article, addressing the existence of a more liberal point of view regarding prostitution (I don't know if "liberal" is the right word, as they mean kinda different things in both Brazil and the US)? I'm not getting annoyed by the fact that the "prostitution is a form of violence against women" perspective is being addressed in the text. I actually find it great since well, it's free speech. I just dislike the absence of a contradictory perspective featured on such a visible place (as the article's head). I think it's the absence of said contradictory element that makes the article look like it is biased and was written by some person within the ideological groups I cited before.
PS.: My IP is different now since I'm on a mobile connection.187.97.78.234 (talk) 05:39, 27 June 2016 (UTC)
There are many benefits to creating an account, by the way: Wikipedia:Why create an account?.
The content in the article isn't free speech. Wikipedia is a private website, and the article is a collaborative effort which doesn't necessarily represent the speech of any one individual. What you say on a talk page may represent your own speech to some degree, but what the article says can and must be limited by Wikipedia's goals, policies, etc. Editorial restraint isn't censorship, it's just editing. Wikipedia:Free speech explains this in detail, if you're curious. Anyway...
Adding material just because it's contrary to an existing viewpoint strikes me as false balance. There are several reasons why this should not be done on Wikipedia: one is that it implies that both sides are equally common, which needs to be supported by a reliable source. Another problem is that by listing two sides it's excluding the possibility of a third (or fourth) point of view. A case could be made for expanding the liberal approach (that word mostly works here, but you're right, it has many conflicting meanings) but that should be done in accordance with reliable sources and WP:DUE, absolutely not just because it's contradictory. Grayfell (talk) 06:06, 27 June 2016 (UTC)
I'm going to create an account as soon as I have time to. But well, saying that prostitution is a form of exploitation and violence isn't the same as saying that the Earth is round. You're talking about reliable sources, but where is the reliable source that points, unequivocally, that this point of view is more common than the one of prostitution as a free, empowering, choice? Thinking that this approach is prevalent is completely arbitrary. There are other articles, even here on Wikipedia, that point the coexistence of what I said that is a contradictory point of view, and show its validity and notoriety. And one more thing: I honestly can't think of a third or fourth point of view on this issue.187.97.65.1 (talk) 21:33, 27 June 2016 (UTC)
Nowhere does the article say that it's more common, but it doesn't have to. The lead already mentions the existence of multiple models of legalized prostitution before mentioning the criticisms. The article does mentions legalization advocates, but within that spectrum there is a wide range of views and attitudes. "Empowerment" is only one slice of a larger pie. The lead summarizes the body of the article, it is not the place to add new content. There are many sourced statements discussing problems and issues associated with prostitution, and the lead is an attempt to summarize that. It's imperfect, but that's expected. If you want to include a counter-argument, you should find reliable sources, or should propose a specific change based on existing sources.
The idea that all legalization advocates are unified in opposition to all abolitionists is a false paradigm. Those who argue for heavy regulation are not in the same 'side' as those who argue for total deregulation. Likewise, those who argue for criminalization are not on the same side as those who argue for the Swedish model. Further, all of these models can be proposed for radically different goals, which would mean very different definitions of success. Is the goal to end prostitution as a moral evil, or to end violence, or to end human trafficking, or to end economic exploitation, or some other reason? Setting it up as a pro/con issue is oversimplifying these vitally important nuances, and lumping viewpoints together for convenience is non-neutral. Grayfell (talk) 22:33, 27 June 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I agree that blanket statements are bad as far as they cannot be attributed. I have attempted to change the wording in this article to be more in line with that, as well as WP policies and guidelines. I also agree that you should register an account as that is much easier, if you want to engage in prolonged discussion, for those of use taking part to keep track of who said what.

I have commented on Talk:Feminist views on prostitution and agree with the spirit of your point there. If you have any further objections there is certainly room to make them. Having said that, please review WP:CIVIL and carry on serious conversation without mocking, and you will probably be more effective. TimothyJosephWood 23:59, 27 June 2016 (UTC)

19th century section[edit]

This section, in my opinion, needs more information. The regulation of prostitution by police in France caused human rights violations to occur. This included undue seizure of prostitutes' property, invasive health screenings and the rounding up and incarceration of any woman on the street, regardless of whether or not they were prostitutes. [1] Ehanawal (talk) 02:00, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ Harsin, Jill (1985). Policing prostitution in nineteenth-century Paris. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691054391. 

Edit protected request[edit]

Please add [[World's second oldest profession]] to the ==See also== section. Thanks. 82.132.237.113 (talk) 13:57, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Pppery 16:50, 4 March 2017 (UTC)