This article argues that attention to the expressive function of law suggests that the Athenian laws prohibiting former prostitutes from active political participation may have had a much broader practical impact than previously thought. By changing the social meaning of homosexual pederasty, these laws influenced norms regarding purely private conduct and reached beyond the limited number of politically active citizens likely to be prosecuted under the law. Some appear to have become more careful about courting in public while others adopted a conception of chaste pederasty that would not run afoul of the law. The prostitution laws may also have provoked resistance among a particular subset of elites, the apragmones, contributing to this group's deliberate disengagement from public affairs.
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