Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Brothel Myth

We are often asked to produce the law or ordinance which prohibits more than a certain number of unrelated females from living together, as such an arrangement would be considered a brothel. As far as we can determine, no such law exists, but apparently the myth is widespread. In Urban Legends Reference Page: College, explains the history of the myth, but suggests that no proof has ever been produced that a law exists anywhere which prohibits more than four or six unrelated females from living together under a “brothel law.” “We routinely hear from students who are convinced their particular university lacks a sorority because of this non-existent law. Their vehemence aside, none have yet produce a copy of the statute they so firmly believe in, an act that would earn their city and institution of higher learning a measure of fame in the world of contemporary lore.” The Massachusetts lodging house law is Mass. General Laws, Chapter 140, Section 22, and the brothel law is Chapter 140, Section 26, "Permitting immoral conduct; defense; evidence".