22:31 GMT26 October 2020
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    The op-ed's author argued that sex workers deserve “dignity, autonomy, safety in the work place, fair trade and freedom of employment”.

    Teen Vogue has apparently managed to trigger a veritable storm on social media after the magazine, which targets a female teen audience, published an op ed which presents adult entertainment as “real work”.

    The article's author, Tlaleng Mofokeng, MD, the founder of the South African abortion rights advocacy group Nalane for Reproductive Justice, argued that sex work should be decriminalised around the world, and that continued criminalization of sex work and sex workers is a form of violence by governments and contributes to the high level of stigma and discrimination.

    "I do not believe it is right or just that people who exchange sexual services for money are criminalised and I am not for what I do", she wrote.

    Mofokeng argued that as a medical doctor, she gets paid for providing people with "advice and treatment for sex-related problems; therapy for sexual performance, counselling and therapy for relationship problems, and the treatment of sexually transmitted infections".

    "Isn't this basically sex work?" she inquired. "Is a medical degree really the right measure of who is deserving of dignity, autonomy, safety in the work place, fair trade and freedom of employment? No. This should not be so. Those who engage in sex work deserve those things, too".

    The doctor also noted that "not all sex workers engage in penetrative sex" - which, she conceded, is still "a big part of sex work" - and that "the idea of purchasing intimacy and paying for the services can be affirming for many people who need human connection, friendship, and emotional support".

    The article elicited a mixed response online, as many social media users criticised the media outlet, and some even accusing it of "promoting prostitution” even “grooming young kids".

    A number of people, however, insisted that the article's critics apparently based their assumptions on the headline alone.

    As Breitbart points out, in 2017 Teen Vogue also published an article titled "Anal Sex: What You Need to Know", described as "anal 101, for teens, beginners, and all inquisitive folk" by its author.

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    reaction, social media, article, Sex Work, Teen Vogue
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