The University of New Hampshire Law Review


[Excerpt] “Throughout history many people have viewed sodomy and prostitution as moral evils, because sex has often been linked to sin and, therefore, to immorality and guilt. For example, in ancient Hebrew, a sodomite was known as a qadhesh, a male temple prostitute who was associated with heathen deities and impure forms of worship. The female version of qadhesh, qedheshah, is translated directly as prostitute. This archaic view of labeling prostitution and sodomy as impure has been challenged over time, and both topics are still a source of great controversy. […]

This note is a comparative analysis of sodomy and prostitution. This note will examine the history of both topics in the United States and, to a limited extent, in other countries. The primary focus will be on the laws and regulations governing people who engage in either practice, as well as the moral arguments used in opposition to either practice. The note will also look at the change in sodomy laws after Lawrence, current arguments for changing prostitution laws, as well as examine the effect the reasoning of Lawrence may have on future challenges to anti-prostitution laws.

This note is intended to show similarities between the moral justifications for banning sodomy and prostitution, as well as the heterosexist influence on society concerning both issues. This note does not advocate for a change in prostitution laws.

This note concentrates on a limited aspect of both sodomy and prostitution. In dealing with sodomy, the note discusses only consensual sodomy. Sodomy perpetrated upon a person in the context of rape or coercion is not discussed in this note. Additionally, consensual and voluntary prostitution between adults is the only form of prostitution covered by this note. This note will not address the prostitution of underage people, forced prostitution, or human trafficking.

Part II focuses on a general overview of American regulations that are based on moral arguments. Part III provides an overview of sodomy and prostitution, specifically addressing how regulations are used to address moral issues.”

Repository Citation

Nicole A. Hough, Sodomy and Prostitution: Laws Protecting the “Fabric of Society”, 3 Pierce L. Rev. 101 (2004), available at http://scholars.unh.edu/unh_lr/vol3/iss1/7