An Ontario Superior Court judge recently declared that the province’s prostitution laws endangered the very women it was meant to protect. The ruling made headlines across Canada, and now the Angus Reid pollsters have checked how Canadians feel on the issue.
Overall, Canadians are leaning towards agreeing with the Court’s decision, with 48% in favor and 34% opposed. On the larger issue of prostitution, 49% would opt for decriminalization, 24% would prohibit prostitution entirely, while a mere 15% would preserve the status quo.
On the issue of who, if anyone, should be punished for prostitution, 59% of men would answer ‘no one.’ That same view is shared by only 32% of women. Overall, 45% of Canadians would punish no one, 36% would punish prostitute and client, 10% would punish clients only, and an exceptionally tight-assed 1% would punish only the prostitute.
When looked at in terms of age, the poll revealed something interesting. More than half of men aged 35 and older favored decriminalizing prostitution, but that number dropped to just 39% among men aged 18-34. Can it be that the younger generations have become more conservative than their baby-boomer/Gen X’er forebears?
We don’t think so. We just think that most younger men may not have considered prostitution necessary. They’re in their prime, able to go out on the weekend and pull some nubile young thing for the price of a few cocktails and cab fare. Wait until they become old, grey, tired, out of shape, probably divorced guys with nothing left but money, Viagra and an increasing sense of their own mortality. (Not us, of course. We’re all still remarkably energetic and virile. Seriously.)