A Chinese company raised an interesting statutory interpretation question with a job advertisement seeking “condom testers” in Shanghai. The ad declared that the company was looking to hire “lively and good-looking women” aged 18 to 25 to work for a salary of up to 3,000 yuan (US$480) per day. A company official identified as Chen insisted that, while the women are required to have sex, they are doing it for research and the company only hired the women because it cannot afford machines.
Chen says that they already have enough men. Chen assured people that “[i]n the tests, women usually don’t have such a tough job as only men are responsible for taking notes and getting test results.”
While the company has since taken down the advertisement, it received dozens of applicants.
In the United States, the standard definition of prostitution is:
(a) A person commits an offense if he knowingly:
(1) offers to engage, agrees to engage, or engages in sexual conduct for a fee; or
(2) solicits another in a public place to engage with him in sexual conduct for hire.
A “condom tester” would seem to be engaged in “sexual conduct for a fee” though the company is paying a “salary” rather than a per act fee. Indeed, this appears to be the distinction drawn by the company. Chen insists that the women were only required to do one “testing” a day and would not receive more pay for additional acts. Moreover, the company could argue that the male is not actually paying for sexual services since both parties are paid by a third party, the company.
Before one dismisses the legal interpretation, keep in mind that we allow people to have sex for money if they do so on film. We call them actors as opposed to prostitutes. What is the difference between paying a salary to “actors” as opposed to “testers”?
Source: Shanghai Daily
Kudos: Professor Don Clarke