John Lowman

September 24, 1997

“I challenge politicians at every level of government in the country to respond to research and arguments I will present at the award ceremony,” say John Lowman as the 1997 recipient of the Sterling Prize for Controversy.

A Professor in the SFU School of Criminology and a Canadian authority on prostitution, John Lowman, through his work, has challenged attitudes and understandings held by the general public, justice agencies and politicians. The fact that prostitution is legal in Canada, while soliciting is not, exemplifies the hypocrisy addressed by Lowman’s work.

“To reduce harm to all concerned, we urgently need to cut the hypocrisy and work out what we want prostitution law and social policy to accomplish,” Lowman contends. Dr. Lowman calls on Canadians to commit to four goals in a decriminalization process: for prevention of sexual procurement of children and youth; for protection of prostitutes from pimp coercion and customer violence; for encouragement of prostitute self-employment, cooperatives or non-profit management; and for protection of bystanders and of neighbourhoods from nuisance.