Prostitution in a recession: Is the economy ruining morality?

It seems like 2008 was the year when America started to rethink its stand on prostitution.

Traditionally, the world's oldest profession has been a definite no-no in the U.S., constrained to shady streets, dark alleys, and the occasional legal brothel in Nevada. In 2008, however, it seemed to wander into the open and, in many ways, stopped being the dividing line between "good" girls and "bad" girls.

While Ashley Dupree's interview with Diane Sawyer was hardly surprising (after all, turning tricks for a politician has always been a short route to 15 minutes of fame), it's interesting that so many people rushed to blame Spitzer while letting Dupree off relatively Scott-free. Similarly, responses to Natalie Dylan's decision to auction off her virginity were almost equally divided between horror and admiration: some presented her as a victim of societal pressures, while others hailed her as a feminist hero.