Vice Squad
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
The BBC Embraces Some Controversial Topics

A friend of Vice Squad sends us a pointer to this BBC article on disabled people, some of whom have very limited options for 'normal' romantic relationships, paying to have sex with prostitutes. The article focuses on one 25-year-old disabled British man who went to a legal Spanish brothel for sex. Later, he returned with two other disabled men, and BBC cameras (funded by the taxes paid by television owners in Britain) came along. The disabled apparently tend to favor the legalisation of prostitution, if one survey referred to in the article can be believed:
A survey for the Disability Now website in 2005 suggested that 75% of disabled people believed in the legalisation of prostitution, with 62.5% of men and 19.2% of women saying they would use trained sex workers. It's a situation that exists in the Netherlands where a voluntary group provides just such a service for disabled people. Most clients pay for it themselves but some local authorities subsidise the service.
Recall that prostitution per se is already legal in Britain, though associated activities such as solicitation are illegal; the Netherlands has even more liberal laws regarding prostitution.

The article gives time to people who do not support legal prostitution for the disabled or for anyone else, and it has attracted many interesting comments, also on both sides of the issue.

Speaking of interesting uses for the tv tax revenues, the BBC is showing "Fanny Hill," a two-hour adaptation of the famous 18th-century erotic (or indecent, if you prefer) novel, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, by John Cleland. The book was banned in both Britain and the colonies (er, the US) for more than 200 years after it first appeared. But Cleland's novel has been available legally in Britain since 1970, and is now adapted for publicly-financed tv!

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