Moral and ethical principles have become powerful models for guiding societies to achieve their potential and address their challenges. Unfortunately, some issues have remained divisive since they attract both support and objection from community members. A good example of such concerns is that of prostitution. The consequential moral system is opposed to prostitution since it degrades the integrity of women in society, promotes gender-based violence, and increases the risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The purpose of this paper is to apply the consequential ethical system to this moral issue.
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Essence and Characteristics
In terms of essence, prostitution has emerged as a necessary evil for serving societies where community members pursue it for sexual fulfillment outside their marriages. It is a product of civilization whereby women are forced to sacrifice their sanctity. This misbehavior has continued to thrive due to various factors, such as domestic violence, poverty, poor education attainment, and reduced income levels (Jatmikowati 559).
Many people continue to treat it as a stable source of money. Those who engage in it will lie to their relatives about their professions. When it comes to characteristics, prostitutes cannot establish stable families or pursue their careers, remain troubled, encounter untold suffering and abuse, and tend to have increased chances of getting dangerous illnesses. Community members will also be unwilling to be associated with it.
Normative Ethical System
The selected normative ethical system for this discussion is that of consequential theories. According to these models, the acceptability or moral worth of any given action will depend entirely on the anticipated outcomes or repercussions (Joppová 43). This means that the most appropriate action should be able to present desirable consequences in the targeted situation. Although this system does not focus on ethical guidelines, it is capable of informing superior policies that have the potential to transform every society’s welfare.
The consequential ethical framework would be against prostitution since its repercussions are damaging and capable of maximizing human suffering. For instance, it makes it impossible for women to support their children. Prostitution is also associated with impoverished living conditions, STIs that can increase medical costs, and a negative social image. Past studies have presented convincing statistics that condemn this activity. Sex work is known to be a risk factor for HIV and other STIs. Paz-Bailey et al. observed that the prevalence of HIV among prostitutes in the United States was around 17.3 percent (2318). Additionally, around 20 percent of sex workers are between 10 and 18 years (Tiosavljević et al. 351). These individuals find it hard to pursue their academic aims or lead high-quality lives.
When stakeholders take this issue seriously, superior policies will emerge to address the problems of discrimination and poverty. The absence of proper strategies to empower women continues to affect many of them. Abolishing prostitution will address the problem of human trafficking. The consequential moral system is, therefore, capable of supporting powerful laws and sensitizing more people about the dangers of this malpractice (Joppová 48). This is the case since its consequences are degrading and affect the experiences of many citizens.
The above discussion has identified prostitution as a problematic issue that impacts the experiences and outcomes of many people in every community. The application of consequential theories can empower more women to avoid this malpractice since it maximizes unhappiness and presents numerous challenges. A genuine conversation will make it possible for stakeholders to formulate superior laws that illegalize prostitution, fight poverty, and empower more women to realize their potential.
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Jatmikowati, Sri Hartini. “Driving Factors and Their Characteristics of Prostitutes in Indonesia: A Phenomenology Approach.” Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, vol. 6, no. 6, 2015, pp. 554-560.
Joppová, Michaela Petrufová. “Spinozian Consequentialism of Ethics of Social Consequences.” Ethics & Bioethics, vol. 8, no. 1-2, 2018, pp. 41-50.
Paz-Bailey, Gabriela, et al. “Prevalence of HIV among U.S. Female Sex Workers: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” AIDS and Behavior, vol. 20, no. 10, 2016, pp. 2318-2331.
Tiosavljević, Danijela, et al. “Prostitution as a Psychiatric Situation: Ethical Aspects.” Psychiatria Danubina, vol. 28, no. 4, 2016, pp. 349-356.