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Our very own Department of Philosophy Professor, Dr. Laurie Shrage, was recently a distinguished speaker at the Parr Center for Ethics at the University of North Carolina and gave a talk on “Contract Sex: Decriminalization vs. Legalization.

Dr. Shrage’s issue of focus does not receive much public support such as other social issues like the legalization of marijuana or abortion. Contract sex is meaning sex done under an agreement by individuals in a business-like or formal manner. During her talk, Dr. Shrage advocated for the decriminalization of sex work over the legalization of sex work as she finds criminalizing sex work is monitored in lower-income and minority neighborhoods.

Upon writing her paper and advocating for the decriminalization of sex acts, Dr. Shrage has received a lot of pushback from not only feminist but from sex worker rights groups. She believes it is important to make progress on this issue and have others involved to make this more of a group process. Shrage did close her talk by advocating education about human and civil rights abuse that occurs when contractual sex acts are a criminal defense and voiced the need for a plan of legalization after decriminalization.

When asked during an interview, where she would direct others to learn more about the topic she encouraged learning more about other organizations and what they are doing such as sex workers rights organizations.

Read the full story and hear Dr. Shrage’s interview to learn more about contract sex.