Will Wilkinson posted some trendlines on approval of homosexual in major industrialized countries as compared to approval of prostitution. As a liberal-tarian, Wilkinson seeks to avoid all questions of personal judgment and that such actions should not just be legally tolerated but also condoned by society. (As a primer, you can read this dialogue from Reason from last October) Here are my additional reasons:
Numbers: No matter whose numbers you choose to believe, there are certainly more homosexuals than prostitutes. We don’t encounter known prostitutes on a day-to-day basis whereas we have gay relatives, classmates and co-workers.
Lifestyle: Homosexuals are productive members of society, while prostitutes use hard drugs at a much higher rate than the general population and are more likely to engage in other self destructive behaviors. Even the high-priced call girls like Ashlee Dupre typically have emotional problems.
Promiscuity/The value of sex: Related to Wilkinson’s “cash nexus.” Gay people are capable of having long-term monogamous relationships. They value their partners attributes and character while prostitutes mainly value money. They have a harder time valuing sex in a meaningful sense.
Kerry Howley has suggested that prostitution would be seen as more legitimate if it were legalized, but it’s not like going into stripping or pornography are seen as admirable career choices even though both are legal. If you were to someday have a child, would you rather have that child grow up to be gay or grow up to be a prostitute? Let’s say that they would making the same amount of money, in good physical health and not on any drugs. Go solely on your base instinct and you will have your answer to why society as a whole is less comfortable with prostitution.
UPDATE: My apologies to Will for suggesting earlier that he blocked me from his site.