Institutionalized Hypocrisy: Sex, Money and Law

Authors

  • Jacek Kurczewski University of Warsaw

Keywords:

Sexwork, legal regulation, public attitudes to sexwork in Poland, profiting from sexwork, Trabajo sexual, regulación jurídica, actitudes públicas hacia el trabajo sexual en Polonia, beneficiarse del trabajo sexual

Abstract

This paper draws on analysis by social historians ranging from the late Middle Ages and Renaissance in France to recent administrative history in Poland to illustrate basic contradictions in Western thought about sexuality. These have resulted over time in policies which range from prohibition of sex work to tolerance of the need to meet physical needs accompanied by an appreciation of the financial profits to be obtained by the state as well as the individual, combined with abhorrence of female adultery. The paper closes with original data on current public attitudes towards the impact on reputation of a range of behaviours in Poland, including sexual activities, and finds a high level of agreement about the damaging impact on reputation of not sexwork itself but of living off the proceeds of sexwork.

Este artículo se basa en los análisis de historiadores sociales de Francia de finales de la Edad Media y el Renacimiento, así como en la historia administrativa reciente de Polonia, para ilustrar contradicciones básicas en el pensamiento occidental sobre la sexualidad. Éstas, a lo largo del tiempo, han producido políticas que van desde prohibir el trabajo sexual hasta tolerar la satisfacción de necesidades físicas, acompañado por el aprecio de los beneficios económicos que obtienen el Estado y los individuos, combinado con la repulsa al adulterio femenino. El artículo se cierra con datos originales sobre actitudes públicas contemporáneas en Polonia sobre el impacto en la reputación de una serie de comportamientos, y halla una gran unanimidad sobre el impacto negativo, no del trabajo sexual en sí, sino de vivir del producto del trabajo sexual.

Available from: https://doi.org/10.35295/osls.iisl/0000-0000-0000-0987

Author Biography

Jacek Kurczewski, University of Warsaw

Professor Jacek Kurczewski is Chair of Sociology and Anthropology of Custom and Law, Institute of Applied Social Sciences, University of Warsaw. He trained as a sociologist and his main areas of interest are sociology and anthropology of law, political representation, local-level politics. In 1997/98 he was elected as Academic Director, International Institute for the Sociology of Law, Oñati, Spain. He is editor of Societas/Communitas. Among other monographs in English, he has published Living Sociology of Law (Warsaw, 2010) and Resurrection of Rights in Poland (Oxford, 1993), and in Polish Paths of Emancipation (2009), He has co-edited in English (with J.Arcimowicz) Dependence or Cooperation? Dialectics of Official Practices (Warsaw 2011); (with M.Maclean) Family Law and Family Policy in New Europe, (Aldershot 1997) and Families, Politics, and Law in West and East (Oxford 1994). He was advisor to Solidarność (1981-) and to Lech Wałesa (1988-1991), is a former MP (1991-3), 1993-2000 and is member of the Programme Council of Polish Public Television.

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How to Cite

Kurczewski, J. (2018) “Institutionalized Hypocrisy: Sex, Money and Law”, Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 8(8), pp. 1151–1163. Available at: https://opo.iisj.net/index.php/osls/article/view/1088 (Accessed: 5 December 2021).