I'm sorry if Will Wilkinson took offense at my query about prostitution and incest. I took him to be comparing sex work to carpentry and writing, and it struck me that this analogy suggested a view of sex as a sufficiently banal, devoid-of-moral-content activity - akin to hammering a nail or writing a blog post - as to render any prohibition on the sexual abuse of children somewhat incomprehensible. In his latest post, Will explains that sex work is "emotionally complicated" and "not always pleasant," and therefore is more like surgery, or policing, or hospice care than like basic carpentry or word processing; thus, teaching your child to give a handjob is wrong because it's the equivalent of asking your child to operate on a gunshot wound victim. I appreciate the clarification - not least because this analogy suggests that Will might be amenable to some sort of regulation on sex work. Perhaps we could require would-be hookers to attend accredited academies, as we do with cops and doctors, and streetwalkers could be prosecuted for practicing without a license. (I believe John Derbyshire has suggested something along these lines, and Ezra Klein seems like he'd be amenable, so the proposal would start out with bipartisan support.)
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