HOME

TheInfoList




Prostitution is the business or practice of engaging in
sexual activity Human sexual activity, human sexual practice or human sexual behaviour is the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality Human sexuality is the way people experience and express themselves sexually. This involves bio ...
in exchange for
payment A payment is the voluntary tender of money or its equivalent or of things of value Value or values may refer to: * Value (ethics) it may be described as treating actions themselves as abstract objects, putting value to them ** Values (Western p ...

payment
. The definition of "sexual activity" varies, and is often defined as an activity requiring physical contact (e.g.
sexual intercourse Sexual intercourse (or coitus or copulation) is a sexual activity Human sexual activity, human sexual practice or human sexual behaviour is the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality Human sexuality is the way ...

sexual intercourse
,
non-penetrative sex by Franz von Bayros showing an act of fingering Non-penetrative sex or outercourse is Human sexual activity, sexual activity that usually does not include sexual penetration. It generally excludes the penetrative aspects of vaginal, anal, ...
,
oral sex Oral sex, sometimes referred to as oral intercourse, is sexual activity Human sexual activity, human sexual practice or human sexual behaviour is the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality Human sexuality is ...
, etc.) with the customer. The requirement of physical contact also creates the risk of transferring diseases. Prostitution is sometimes described as sexual services, commercial sex or, colloquially, hooking. It is sometimes referred to euphemistically as "the
world's oldest profession The oldest profession in the world (or the world's oldest profession) is a phrase that, unless another meaning is specified, refers to prostitution Prostitution is the business or practice of engaging in sexual activity in exchange for ...
" in the
English-speaking world Speakers of English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the Wo ...
. A person who works in this field is called a prostitute, or more inclusively, a
sex worker A sex worker is a person who is employed in the sex industry The sex industry (also called the sex trade) consists of business Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling Product (busin ...
. Prostitution occurs in a variety of forms, and its legal status varies from country to country (sometimes from region to region within a given country), ranging from being an enforced or unenforced crime, to unregulated, to a regulated profession. It is one branch of the
sex industry The sex industry (also called the sex trade) consists of businesses that either directly or indirectly provide Sex worker, sex-related products and services or adult entertainment. The industry includes activities involving direct provision of se ...
, along with pornography,
stripping
stripping
, and
erotic dancing up Josephine Baker in a legendary cabaret dance routine">cabaret.html" ;"title="Josephine Baker in a legendary cabaret">Josephine Baker in a legendary cabaret dance routine An erotic dance is a dance that provides erotic entertainment and whos ...
.
Brothel A brothel, bordello, ranch, or whorehouse is a place where people engage in with s. Technically, any premises where commonly takes place qualifies as a brothel. However, for legal or cultural reasons, establishments often describe themselv ...
s are establishments specifically dedicated to prostitution. In escort prostitution, the act may take place at the client's residence or hotel room (referred to as out-call), or at the escort's residence or a hotel room rented for the occasion by the escort (in-call). Another form is
street prostitution Street prostitution is a form of sex work in which a sex worker solicitation, solicits customers from a public place, most commonly a street, while waiting at street corners or walking alongside a street, but also other public places such as parks, ...
. There are about 42 million prostitutes in the world, living all over the world (though most of Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa lack data, studied countries in that large region rank as top
sex tourism Sex tourism refers to the practice of traveling to different countries or continents with the intention of engaging in sexual activity or relationships in exchange for money. This practice predominantly operates in countries where sex work is leg ...
destinations). Estimates place the annual revenue generated by prostitution worldwide to be over $100 billion. The majority of prostitutes are female and have male clients. The position of prostitution and the law varies widely worldwide, reflecting differing opinions. Some view prostitution as a form of exploitation of or
violence against women Violence against women (VAW), also known as gender-based violence and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), are violent Violence is the use of physical force so as to injure, abuse, damage, or destroy. Other definitions are also use ...
, and
children Biologically, a child (plural children) is a being between the stages of and , or between the of and puberty. The legal definition of ''child'' generally refers to a , otherwise known as a person younger than the . Children generally have ...
, that helps to create a supply of victims for
human trafficking Human trafficking is the trade Trade involves the transfer of goods or services from one person or entity to another, often in exchange for money. Economists refer to a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interre ...
. Some critics of prostitution as an institution are supporters of the "
Nordic model#REDIRECT Nordic model The Nordic model comprises the economic An economy (from Greek language, Greek οίκος – "household" and νέμoμαι – "manage") is an area of the Production (economics), production, Distribution (economics), d ...
" that decriminalizes the act of selling sex and makes the purchase of sex illegal. This approach has also been adopted by
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, Pacific and northward into the Arctic Oce ...
,
Iceland Iceland ( is, Ísland; ) is a Nordic Nordic most commonly refers to: * Nordic countries, written in plural as Nordics, the northwestern European countries, including Scandinavia, Fennoscandia and the List of islands in the Atlantic Ocean#N ...
,
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...
,
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...
,
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian (Norwegian: ''norsk'') is a Nort ...
,
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...
and
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe.The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's fo ...
. Others view sex work as a legitimate occupation, whereby a person trades or exchanges sexual acts for money.
Amnesty International Amnesty International (also referred to as Amnesty or AI) is a non-governmental organization File:Europe in a suitcase - UK.jpg, upright=1.3, alt=A roomful of people, Europe-Georgia Institute head George Melashvili addresses the audience at th ...

Amnesty International
is one of the notable groups calling for the decriminalization of prostitution.Q&A: policy to protect the human rights of sex workers
Amnesty International. Retrieved 23 November 2017.


Etymology and terminology


General

''Prostitute'' is derived from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...

Latin
''prostituta''. Some sources cite the verb as a composition of "''pro''" meaning "up front" or "forward" and "''stituere''", defined as "to offer up for sale". Another explanation is that ''prostituta'' is a composition of ''pro'' and ''statuere'' (to cause to stand, to station, place erect). A literal translation therefore is: "to put up front for sale" or "to place forward". The ''
Online Etymology Dictionary The ''Online Etymology Dictionary'' is a free online dictionary In computer technology and , online indicates a state of connectivity and offline indicates a disconnected state. In modern terminology, this usually refers to an , but (especia ...
'' states, "The notion of 'sex for hire' is not inherent in the etymology, which rather suggests one 'exposed to lust' or sex 'indiscriminately offered.'" The word ''prostitute'' was then carried down through various languages to the present-day Western society. Most sex worker activists groups reject the word ''prostitute'' and since the late 1970s have used the term ''sex worker'' instead. However, ''sex worker'' can also mean anyone who works within the sex industry or whose work is of a sexual nature and is not limited solely to prostitutes. A variety of terms are used for those who engage in prostitution, some of which distinguish between different types of prostitution or imply a value judgment about them. Common alternatives for ''prostitute'' include '' escort'' and ''whore''; however, not all professional escorts are prostitutes. The English word ''whore'' derives from the
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language ...
word ''hōra'', from the
Proto-Germanic Proto-Germanic (abbreviated PGmc; also called Common Germanic) is the reconstructed Reconstruction may refer to: Politics, history, and sociology *Reconstruction (law), the transfer of a company's (or several companies') business to a new ...
''*hōrōn'' (prostitute), which derives from the
Proto-Indo-European Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( ...
root In vascular plant Vascular plants (from Latin ''vasculum'': duct), also known as Tracheophyta (the tracheophytes , from Greek τραχεῖα ἀρτηρία ''trācheia artēria'' 'windpipe' + φυτά ''phutá'' 'plants'), form a large group ...
''*keh₂-'' meaning "desire", a root which has also given us Latin ''cārus'' (dear), whence the French ''cher'' (dear, expensive) and the Latin ''cāritās'' (love, charity). Use of the word ''whore'' is widely considered
pejorative A pejorative or slur is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (linguistics), meaning ...
, especially in its modern slang form of ''ho''. In Germany, however, most prostitutes' organizations deliberately use the word ''Hure'' (whore) since they feel that ''prostitute'' is a bureaucratic term. Those seeking to remove the social stigma associated with prostitution often promote terminology such as ''
sex worker A sex worker is a person who is employed in the sex industry The sex industry (also called the sex trade) consists of business Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling Product (busin ...
'', ''commercial sex worker'' (CSW) or ''sex trade worker''. Another commonly used word for a prostitute is ''hooker''. Although a popular etymology connects "hooker" with
Joseph Hooker Joseph Hooker (November 13, 1814 – October 31, 1879) was an American Civil War general for the Union, chiefly remembered for his decisive defeat by Confederate States Army, Confederate Full General (CSA), General Robert E. Lee at the Battle o ...

Joseph Hooker
, a Union general in the
American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by Names of the American Civil War, other names) was a civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865, fought between northern U.S. state, states loyal to the Union (American Civil War), Union and sout ...
, the word more likely comes from the concentration of prostitutes around the shipyards and ferry terminal of the
Corlear's Hook The Lower East Side, sometimes abbreviated as LES and sometimes referred to as Loisaida, is a neighborhood in the southeastern part of the New York City borough (New York City), borough of Manhattan, roughly between the Bowery and the East River f ...
area of
Manhattan Manhattan (), known regionally as ''The City'', is the most densely populated and geographically smallest of the five boroughs 5 is a number, numeral, and glyph. 5, five or number 5 may also refer to: * AD 5, the fifth year of the AD era ...

Manhattan
in the 1820s, who came to be referred to as "hookers". A ''streetwalker'' solicits customers on the streets or in public places, while a ''
call girl A call girl or female escort is a sex worker who (unlike a street walker) does not display her profession to the general public, nor does she usually work in an institution like a brothel Image:Pascha Köln.jpg, 250px, The former Pascha ...
'' makes appointments by phone, or in recent years, through email or the internet. Correctly or not, the use of the word ''prostitute'' without specifying a sex may commonly be assumed to be female; compound terms such as ''
male prostitution Image:Samurai kiss.jpg, Miyagawa Isshō, ''Samurai kisses male actor'', ca. 1750 Male prostitution is the act or practice of men providing sexual services in return for payment. It is a form of sex work. Although clients can be of any gender, t ...
'' or ''male escort'' are therefore often used to identify males. Those offering services to female customers are commonly known as ''gigolos''; those offering services to male customers are ''hustlers'' or ''rent boys''.


Procuring

Organizers of prostitution, may be known colloquially as ''
pimp Procuring or pandering is the facilitation or provision of a prostitute Prostitution is the business or practice of engaging in sexual activity Human sexual activity, human sexual practice or human sexual behaviour is the man ...
s'' if male or ''madams'' if female. More formally, one who is said to practice procuring is a ''procurer'', or ''procuress''. They may also be called ''panderers'' or ''brothel keepers''. Examples of procuring include: * deriving financial gain from the prostitution of another. * operating a prostitution business; *
trafficking Smuggling is the illegal transportation of objects, substances, information or people, such as out of a house or buildings, into a prison A prison (also known as a jail or gaol (dated, British, Australian, and to a lesser extent Canadian ...
a person into a country for the purpose of soliciting sex; * transporting a prostitute to the location of their arrangement;


Clients

Clients of prostitutes, most often men by
prevalence In epidemiology Epidemiology is the study and analysis of the distribution (who, when, and where), patterns and risk factor, determinants of health and disease conditions in defined populations. It is a cornerstone of public health, and shapes p ...

prevalence
, are sometimes known as ''johns'' or ''tricks'' in North America and ''punters'' in Britain and Ireland. These slang terms are used among both prostitutes and law enforcement for persons who solicit prostitutes. The term ''john'' may have originated from the frequent customer practice of giving one's name as "John", a common name in countries, in an effort to maintain anonymity. In some places, men who drive around
red-light district A red-light district or pleasure district is a part of an urban area where a concentration of prostitution and sex industry, sex-oriented businesses, such as sex shops, strip clubs, and adult theaters, are found. In most cases, red-light districts ...
s for the purpose of soliciting prostitutes are also known as ''
kerb crawlerA kerb crawler (or curb A curb (North American English), or kerb (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English except Canada; American and British English spelling differences, see spelling differences), the edge where a raised ...
s''. Female clients of prostitutes are sometimes referred to as ''janes'' or ''sugar mamas''. Honwana, Alcinda. "Changing Patterns of Intimacy among Young People in Africa." African Dynamics in a Multipolar World (2013): 29-47.


Other meanings

The word "prostitution" can also be used metaphorically to mean debasing oneself or working towards an unworthy cause or "selling out". In this sense, "prostituting oneself" or "whoring oneself" the services or acts performed are typically not sexual. For instance, in the book ''
The Catcher in the Rye ''The Catcher in the Rye'' is a novel by J. D. Salinger, partially published in serial form in 1945–1946 and as a novel in 1951. It was originally intended for adults but is often read by adolescents for its themes of angst, alienation, and ...
'',
Holden Caulfield Holden Morrisey Caulfield is a fictional character in author J. D. Salinger's 1951 novel ''The Catcher in the Rye''. Since the book's publication, Holden has become an icon for teenage rebellion and angst, and is considered among the most import ...
says of his brother ("D.B."): "Now he's out in Hollywood, D.B., being a prostitute. If there's one thing I hate, it's the movies. Don't even mention them to me." D.B. is not literally a prostitute; Holden feels that his job writing
B-movie A B movie or B film is a low-budget A low-budget film or low-budget movie is a motion picture shot with little to no funding from a major film studio or private investor. Many independent films are made on low budgets, but films made on the ...
screenplays are morally debasing. The prostitution metaphor, "traditionally used to signify political inconstancy, unreliability, fickleness, a lack of firm values and integrity, and venality, has long been a staple of Russian political rhetoric.Riabova, Tatiana and Riabova, Oleg (2015) "Gayromaidan" in Fedor, Julie; Portnov, Andriy; and Umland, Andraes (eds.) ''Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society: Sociographic Essays on the Post-Soviet Infrastructure for Alternative Healing Practices, Volume 1, Issue 1'' Columbia University Press
p.105
Accessed: 14 March 2017
One of the famous insults of
Leon Trotsky Lev Davidovich Bronstein. ( – 21 August 1940), better known as Leon Trotsky; uk, link= no, Лев Давидович Троцький; also transliterated ''Lyev'', ''Trotski'', ''Trotskij'', ''Trockij'' and ''Trotzky''. (), was a Ukrainian ...

Leon Trotsky
made by
Vladimir Lenin Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. ( 1870 – 21 January 1924), better known by his alias Lenin,. was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as the first and founding head of government The head of government is e ...

Vladimir Lenin
was calling him a "political prostitute".
Leon Trotsky Lev Davidovich Bronstein. ( – 21 August 1940), better known as Leon Trotsky; uk, link= no, Лев Давидович Троцький; also transliterated ''Lyev'', ''Trotski'', ''Trotskij'', ''Trockij'' and ''Trotzky''. (), was a Ukrainian ...

Leon Trotsky
used this epithet himself, calling German Social Democracy, at that time "corrupted by Kautskianism", a "political prostitution disguised by theories". In 1938, he used the same description for the
Comintern The Communist International (Comintern), also known as the Third International, was an international organization founded in 1919 that advocated world communism, headed by the Soviet Union. The Comintern resolved at its Second Congress to "str ...
, saying that the chief aim of the Bonapartist clique of
Stalin Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin * ka, link=no, იოსებ ბესარიონის ძე სტალინი. ( – 5 March 1953) was a Georgians, Georgian revolutionary and Soviet political leader who governed the Soviet Unio ...
during the preceding several years "has consisted in proving to the imperialist 'democracies' its wise conservatism and love for order. For the sake of the longed alliance with imperialist democracies has brought the Comintern to the last stages of political prostitution." Besides targeting political figures, the term is used in relation to organizations and even small countries, which "have no choice but to sell themselves", because their voice in world affairs is insignificant. In 2007, a Russian caricature depicted the Baltic states as three "ladies of the night", "vying for the attentions of Uncle Sam, since the Russian client has run out of money". Usage of the "political prostitute" moniker is by no means unique to the Russian political lexicon, such as when a ''
Huffington Post ''HuffPost'', formerly ''The Huffington Post'' until 2017 and sometimes abbreviated ''HuffPo'', is an American news aggregator In computing, a news aggregator, also termed a feed aggregator, feed reader, news reader, RSS reader or simply a ...
'' contributor expressed the opinion that
Donald Trump Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American politician A politician is a person active in party politics A political party is an organization that coordinates candidate A candidate, or nominee, is the prospective reci ...

Donald Trump
was "prostituting himself to feed his ego and gain power" when he ran for President of the United States. Sex work researcher and writer Gail Pheterson writes that these metaphorical usages exist because "the term "prostitute" gradually took on a Christian moralist tradition, as being synonymous with debasement of oneself or of others for the purpose of ill-gotten gains".


History


Ancient Near East

In the
Ancient Near East The ancient Near East was the home of early civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratification, a form of government, and symbol A symbol is a mark ...
along the
Tigris–Euphrates river system The Tigris–Euphrates river system is a large river system in Western Asia which discharges into the Persian Gulf. Its principal rivers are the Tigris and Euphrates along with smaller tributaries. From their sources and upper courses in the ...
there were many shrines and temples or "houses of heaven" dedicated to various
deities A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the . This term is attributed to , such as s, s, , and . It also includes claimed abilities embodied in or provided by suc ...
documented by the
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
historian
Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an Classical Greece, ancient Greek writer, geographer, and historian born in the Greek city of Halicarnassus, part of the Achaemenid Empire, Persian Empire (now Bodrum, Turkey). He ...
in '' The Histories'' where
sacred prostitution Sacred prostitution, temple prostitution, cult prostitution, and religious prostitution are general terms for a rite A rite is an established, Ceremony, ceremonial, usually religious, act. Rites in this sense fall into three major categories: * r ...
was a common practice. It came to an end when the emperor
Constantine Constantine most often refers to: * Constantine the Great Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was a Roman emperor from 306 to 337. Born in Naissus, Dacia Mediterra ...

Constantine
in the fourth century AD destroyed the
goddess A goddess is a female Female (symbol: ♀) is the sex of an organism, or a part of an organism, that produces non-mobile ovum, ova (egg cells). Barring rare medical conditions, most female mammals, including female humans, have two X chromo ...

goddess
temples and replaced them with Christianity. As early as the 18th century BC, ancient
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
recognized the need to protect women's property rights. In the
Code of Hammurabi The Code of Hammurabi is a Babylonian legal text composed 1755–1750 BC. It is the longest, best-organised, and best-preserved legal text from the ancient Near East. It is written in the Old Babylonian dialect of Akkadian, purportedly by Ham ...

Code of Hammurabi
, provisions were found that addressed inheritance rights of women, including female prostitutes.


Ancient Greece

Both women and boys engaged in
prostitution in ancient Greece Prostitution Prostitution is the business or practice of engaging in sexual activity Human sexual activity, human sexual practice or human sexual behaviour is the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality ...
. Female prostitutes could be independent and sometimes influential women. They were required to wear distinctive dresses and had to pay taxes. Some similarities have been found between the Greek '''', the Japanese ''
oiran was a specific category of high ranking courtesan Courtesan, in modern usage, is a euphemism for a prostitute, particularly one with wealthy, powerful, or influential clients. The term historically referred to a courtier, a person who attended ...

oiran
'', and also the Indian ''
tawaif A ''tawaif'' was a highly successful entertainer who catered to the nobility of the Indian subcontinent, particularly during the Mughal Mughal or Moghul may refer to: * The Mughal Empire of South Asia ** Mughal dynasty ** Mughal emperors ** ...
''. Some prostitutes in ancient Greece, such as Lais were as famous for their company as their beauty, and some of these women charged extraordinary sums for their services.


Ancient Rome

Prostitution in ancient Rome Prostitution in ancient Rome was legal and licensed. In ancient Rome, even Social class in ancient Rome, Roman men of the highest social status were free to engage prostitutes of either sex without incurring moral disapproval, as long as they demo ...
was legal, public, and widespread. A registered prostitute was called a meretrix while the unregistered one fell under the broad category ''prostibulae''. There were some commonalities with the Greek system, and as the Empire grew, prostitutes were often foreign
slaves Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as their property. Slavery typically involves the enslaved per ...
, captured, purchased, or raised for that purpose, sometimes by large-scale "prostitute farmers" who took
abandoned children Child abandonment is the practice of relinquishing interests and claims over one's offspring in an illegal way with the intent of never resuming or reasserting guardianship. The phrase is typically used to describe the physical abandonment of a chi ...
. Indeed, abandoned children were almost always raised as prostitutes. Enslavement into prostitution was sometimes used as a legal punishment against criminal-free women. Buyers were allowed to inspect naked men and women for sale in private and there was no stigma attached to the purchase of males by a male aristocrat.


Asia

According to
Shia Shia Islam or Shi'ism is the second largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam. It holds that the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad designated Ali, Ali ibn Abi Talib as his Succession to Mu ...
Muslims,
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
sanctioned fixed-term marriage—''muta'a'' in Iraq and '' sigheh'' in Iran—which has instead been used as a legitimizing cover for sex workers, in a culture where prostitution is otherwise forbidden.
Sunni Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch Image:Tree Leaves.JPG, The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany as a ramus) is a woody structural member connected to but not part o ...
Muslims, who make up the majority of Muslims worldwide, believe the practice of fixed-term marriage was abrogated and ultimately forbidden by either Muhammad, or one of his successors,
Umar ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb ( ar, عمر بن الخطاب; 3 November 644), also spelled Omar, was the second Rashidun, Rashidun caliph, reigning from 634 until his assassination in 644. He succeeded Abu Bakr (632–634) as the second caliph ...

Umar
. Sunnis regard prostitution as sinful and forbidden. Some Western writers have argued that ''mut'ah'' approximates prostitution. and Nikah misyar Julie Parshall writes that ''mut'ah'' is legalised prostitution which has been sanctioned by the Twelver Shia authorities. She quotes the Oxford encyclopedia of modern Islamic world to differentiate between marriage (nikah) and ''mut'ah'', and states that while nikah is for procreation, ''mut'ah'' is just for sexual gratification. According to Zeyno Baran, this kind of temporary marriage provides Shi'ite men with a religiously sanctioned equivalent to prostitution. According to Elena Andreeva's observation published in 2007, Russian travellers to Iran consider ''mut'ah'' to be "legalized profligacy" which is indistinguishable from prostitution. Religious supporters of ''mut'ah'' argue that temporary marriage is different from prostitution for a couple of reasons, including the necessity of
iddah In Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is ...
in case the couple have sexual intercourse. It means that if a woman marries a man in this way and has sex, she has to wait for a number of months before marrying again and therefore, a woman cannot marry more than 3 or 4 times in a year. In the early 17th century, there was widespread male and female prostitution throughout the cities of
Kyoto Kyoto (; Japanese language, Japanese: , ''Kyōto'' ), officially , is the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture in Japan. Located in the Kansai region on the island of Honshu, Kyoto forms a part of the Keihanshin, Keihanshin metropolitan area along w ...

Kyoto
,
Edo Edo ( ja, , , "bay-entrance" or "estuary"), also Romanization of Japanese, romanized as Jedo, Yedo or Yeddo, is the geographical renaming, former name of Tokyo. Edo, formerly a ''jōkamachi'' (castle town) centered on Edo Castle located in Musas ...

Edo
, and
Osaka is a designated city in the Kansai region The or the , lies in the southern-central region of Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , ...

Osaka
, Japan.
Oiran was a specific category of high ranking courtesan Courtesan, in modern usage, is a euphemism for a prostitute, particularly one with wealthy, powerful, or influential clients. The term historically referred to a courtier, a person who attended ...

Oiran
were
courtesan Courtesan, in modern usage, is a euphemism for a "kept" mistress (lover), mistress or prostitute, particularly one with wealthy, powerful, or influential clients. The term historically referred to a courtier, a person who attended the Royal cour ...

courtesan
s in Japan during the
Edo period The or is the period between 1603 and 1867 in the history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a c ...
. The oiran were considered a type of "woman of pleasure" or prostitute. Among the oiran, the was considered the highest rank of courtesan available only to the wealthiest and highest ranking men. To entertain their clients, oiran practiced the arts of dance, music, poetry, and calligraphy as well as sexual services, and an educated wit was considered essential for sophisticated conversation. Many became celebrities of their times outside the pleasure districts. Their art and fashions often set trends among wealthy women. The last recorded oiran was in 1761. Although illegal in modern Japan, the definition of prostitution does not extend to a "private agreement" reached between a woman and a man in a
brothel A brothel, bordello, ranch, or whorehouse is a place where people engage in sexual activity Human sexual activity, human sexual practice or human sexual behaviour is the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality ...
.
Yoshiwara was a famous (red-light district) in Edo, present-day Tokyo, Japan. Established in 1617, Yoshiwara was one of three licensed and well-known red-light districts created during the early 17th century by the Tokugawa shogunate, alongside Shimab ...
has a large number of
soapland Prostitution in modern Japan, as defined under Japanese law, is the illegal practice of sexual intercourse with an 'unspecified' (unacquainted) person in exchange for monetary compensation, which was criminalised in 1965 by the introduction of arti ...
s that began when explicit prostitution in Japan became illegal, where women washed men's bodies. They were originally known as toruko-buro, meaning
Turkish bath A hammam ( ar, حمّام, translit=ḥammām, tr, hamam) is a type of steam bath 350px, Geothermal steam bath in Iceland. A steam bath is a steam-filled room for the purpose of relaxation and cleansing. It has a long history, going back to G ...
. A
tawaif A ''tawaif'' was a highly successful entertainer who catered to the nobility of the Indian subcontinent, particularly during the Mughal Mughal or Moghul may refer to: * The Mughal Empire of South Asia ** Mughal dynasty ** Mughal emperors ** ...
was a
courtesan Courtesan, in modern usage, is a euphemism for a "kept" mistress (lover), mistress or prostitute, particularly one with wealthy, powerful, or influential clients. The term historically referred to a courtier, a person who attended the Royal cour ...

courtesan
who catered to the nobility of the Indian subcontinent, particularly during the era of the
Mughal Empire The Mughal, Mogul, or Moghul Empire was an early modern The early modern period of modern history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's past. It is understood through archaeology, anthropology, ge ...
. These courtesans danced, sang, recited poetry and entertained their suitors at
mehfil Mehfil (also spelled ''mahfil'') is a celebration, typically with music. Or an evening of courtly entertainment poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek language, Greek ''poiesis'', "making") is a form of literature that uses aesthetics, aesth ...

mehfil
s. Like the
geisha {{Culture of Japan, Traditions, Geisha {{nihongo, Geisha, 芸者 ({{IPAc-en, ˈ, ɡ, eɪ, ʃ, ə; {{IPA-ja, ɡeːɕa, lang), also known as {{nihongo, , 芸子, geiko (in Kyoto and Kanazawa) or {{nihongo, , 芸妓, geigi are a class of female Ja ...

geisha
tradition in Japan, their main purpose was to professionally entertain their guests, and while sex was often incidental, it was not assured contractually. High-class or the most popular tawaifs could often pick and choose between the best of their suitors. They contributed to music, dance, theatre, film, and the
Urdu Urdu (; ur, , ALA-LC ALA-LC (American Library Association The American Library Association (ALA) is a nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonpr ...

Urdu
literary tradition.


Middle Ages

Throughout the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
the definition of a prostitute has been ambiguous, with various secular and canonical organizations defining prostitution in constantly evolving terms. Even though medieval secular authorities created legislation to deal with the phenomenon of prostitution, they rarely attempted to define what a prostitute was because it was deemed unnecessary "to specify exactly who fell into that pecificcategory" of a prostitute. The first known definition of prostitution was found in Marseille's thirteenth-century statutes, which included a chapter entitled De meretricibus ("regarding prostitutes"). The Marseillais designated prostitutes as "public girls" who, day and night, received two or more men in their house, and as a woman who "did business trading heir bodies within the confine of a
brothel A brothel, bordello, ranch, or whorehouse is a place where people engage in sexual activity Human sexual activity, human sexual practice or human sexual behaviour is the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality ...
." A fourteenth-century English tract, Fasciculus Morum, states that the term ''prostitute'' (termed ' meretrix' in this document), "must be applied only to those women who give themselves to anyone and will refuse none, and that for monetary gain". In general prostitution was not typically a lifetime career choice for women. Women usually alternated their career of prostitution with "petty retailing, and victualing," or only occasionally turned to prostitution in times of great financial need. Women who became prostitutes often did not have the familial ties or means to protect themselves from the lure of prostitution, and it has been recorded on several occasions that mothers would be charged with prostituting their own daughters in exchange for extra money. Medieval civilians accepted without question the fact of prostitution, it was a necessary part of medieval life. Prostitutes subverted the sexual tendencies of male youth, just by existing. With the establishment of prostitution, men were less likely to collectively rape honest women of marriageable and re-marriageable age. This is most clearly demonstrated in 's claim that "the removal of the institution would bring lust into all aspects of the world." Meaning that without prostitutes to subvert male tendencies, men would go after innocent women instead, thus the prostitutes were actually doing society a favor. In urban societies there was an erroneous view that prostitution was flourishing more in rural regions rather than in cities, however, it has been proven that prostitution was more rampant in cities and large towns. Although there were wandering prostitutes in rural areas who worked according to the calendar of fairs, similar to riding a circuit, in which prostitutes stopped by various towns based on what event was going on at the time, most prostitutes remained in cities. Cities tended to draw more prostitutes due to the sheer size of the population and the institutionalization of prostitution in urban areas which made it more rampant in metropolitan regions. Furthermore, in both urban and rural areas of society, women who did not live under the rule of male authority were more likely to be suspected of prostitution than their oppressed counterparts because of the fear of women who did not fit into a stereotypical category outside of marriage or religious life. Secular law, like most other aspects of prostitution in the Middle Ages, is difficult to generalize due to the regional variations in attitudes towards prostitution. The global trend of the thirteenth century was toward the development of positive policy on prostitution as laws exiling prostitutes changed towards
sumptuary laws Sumptuary laws (from Latin language, Latin ''sumptuāriae lēgēs'') are laws that try to regulate consumption. ''Black's Law Dictionary'' defines them as "Laws made for the purpose of restraining luxury or extravagance, particularly against inordi ...
and the confinement of prostitutes to
red light districts A red-light district or pleasure district is a part of an urban area where a concentration of prostitution and sex industry, sex-oriented businesses, such as sex shops, strip clubs, and adult theaters, are found. In most cases, red-light districts ...
. Sumptuary laws became the regulatory norm for prostitutes and included making
courtesans Courtesan, in modern usage, is a euphemism for a prostitute, particularly one with wealthy, powerful, or influential clients. The term historically referred to a courtier, a person who attended the Royal court, court of a Monarchy, monarch or oth ...
"wear a shoulder-knot of a particular color as a badge of their calling" to be able to easily distinguish the prostitute from a respectable woman in society. The color that designated them as prostitutes could vary from different earth tones to yellow, as was usually designated as a color of shame in the Hebrew communities. These laws, however, proved no impediment to wealthier prostitutes because their glamorous appearances were almost indistinguishable from noble women. In the
14th century As a means of recording the passage of time Time is the continued of and that occurs in an apparently succession from the , through the , into the . It is a component quantity of various s used to events, to compare the duration of ...
, London prostitutes were only tolerated when they wore yellow hoods. Although brothels were still present in most cities and urban centers and could range from private bordelages run by a procuress from her home to public baths and centers established by municipal legislation, the only centers for prostitution legally allowed were the institutionalized and publicly funded brothels. This did not prevent illegal brothels from thriving. Brothels theoretically banned the
patronage Patronage is the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows on another. In the history of art, arts patronage refers to the support that kings, popes, and the wealthy have provided to artists su ...

patronage
of married men and clergy, but it was sporadically enforced and there is evidence of clergymen present in brawls that were documented in brothels. Thus the clergy were at least present in brothels at some point or another. Brothels also settled the "obsessive fear of the sharing of women" and solved the issue of "collective security." The lives of prostitutes in brothels were not cloistered like that of nuns and "only some lived permanently in the streets assigned to them." Prostitutes were only allowed to practice their trade in the brothel in which they worked. Brothels were also used to protect prostitutes and their clients through various regulations. For example, the law that "forbid brothel keepers
rom Rom, or ROM may refer to: Biomechanics and medicine * Risk of mortality The risk of mortality (ROM) provides a medical classification to estimate the likelihood of inhospital death for a patient. The ROM classes are minor, moderate, major, and ex ...

rom
beatthem." However, brothel regulations also hindered prostitutes' lives by forbidding them from having "lovers other than their customers" or from having a favored customer. Courts showed conflicting views on the role of prostitutes in secular law as prostitutes could not inherit property, defend themselves in court, or make accusations in court. However, prostitutes were sometimes called upon as witnesses during trial. According to the medieval Jewish literary works of
Zohar The ''Zohar'' ( he, זֹהַר, lit. "Splendor" or "Radiance"; yi, דער זוהר, der Zoyer) is a foundational work in the literature of Jewish mystical thought known as Kabbalah Kabbalah ( he, קַבָּלָה, links=no ''Qabālā'', l ...

Zohar
and the
Alphabet of Ben Sira The ''Alphabet of ben Sirach'' (''Alphabetum Siracidis'', ''Otijot ben Sira'', ''Alpha Beta la-Ben Sira'') is an anonymous text of the Middle Ages inspired by the Hellenistic Judaism, Hellenistic work known as the ''Sirach''. Its date of authorshi ...
, there were four
angel An angel is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the . This term is attributed to , such as s, s, , and . It also includes claimed abilities embodied in or provided by such ...

angel
s of
sacred prostitution Sacred prostitution, temple prostitution, cult prostitution, and religious prostitution are general terms for a rite A rite is an established, Ceremony, ceremonial, usually religious, act. Rites in this sense fall into three major categories: * r ...
, who mated with
archangel An archangel is an angel of high Christian angelic hierarchy, rank. The word "archangel" itself is usually associated with the Abrahamic religions, but beings that are very similar to archangels are found in a number of religious traditions. T ...

archangel
Samael Samael ( he, סַמָּאֵל, ''Sammāʾēl'', 'Venom of God, Poison of God' or 'Blindness of God, Left Hand of God'; ar, سمسمائيل, ''Samsama'il'' or ar, سمائل, label=none, ''Samail''; alternatively Smal, Smil, Samil, or Samiel ...
. They were the queens of the demons
Lilith Lilith (; he, Wiktionary:לילית, לִילִית, Līlīṯ) is a demonic figure in Jewish mythology, Judaic mythology, supposedly the primordial she-demon and alternatively first wife of Adam. She is presumed to be mentioned in Biblical He ...
,
NaamahNaamah or Na'amah can refer to: Religion * Naamah (Genesis), the daughter of Lamech the Cainite * Naamah, Noah's wife in some extra-Biblical traditions * Naamah (wife of Solomon), mother of Rehoboam * Naamah, a city of Canaan, listed in Joshua a ...
, Agrat Bat Mahlat and .


16th–17th centuries

By the end of the 15th-century attitudes seemed to have begun to harden against prostitution. An outbreak of
syphilis Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), also referred to as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and the older term venereal disease, are infection An infection is the invasion of an orga ...
in
Naples Naples (; it, Napoli ; nap, Napule ), from grc, Νεάπολις, Neápolis, lit=new city. is the regional capital of and the third-largest city of , after and , with a population of 967,069 within the city's administrative limits as of ...

Naples
1494 which later swept across Europe, and which may have originated from the
Columbian Exchange #REDIRECT Columbian exchange#REDIRECT Columbian exchange native plants. Clockwise, from top left: 1. Citrus (Rutaceae); 2. Apple An apple is an edible fruit produced by an apple tree (''Malus domestica''). Apple fruit tree, trees are agr ...
, and the prevalence of other
sexually transmitted diseases Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), also referred to as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and the older term venereal disease, are infection An infection is the invasion of an organism's body tissues by disease-causing agents, th ...

sexually transmitted diseases
from the earlier 13th century, may have been causes of this change in attitude. By the early 16th century, the association between prostitutes, plague, and contagion emerged, causing brothels and prostitution to be outlawed by secular authority. Furthermore, outlawing brothel-keeping and prostitution was also used to "strengthen the criminal law" system of the sixteenth-century secular rulers.
Canon law Canon law (from grc, κανών, , a 'straight measuring rod, ruler A ruler, sometimes called a rule or line gauge, is a device used in geometry and technical drawing, as well as the engineering and construction industries, to measure dis ...
defined a prostitute as "a promiscuous woman, regardless of financial elements." The prostitute was considered a "whore … who available for the lust of many men," and was most closely associated with promiscuity. The Church's stance on prostitution was three-fold: “acceptance of prostitution as an inevitable social fact, condemnation of those profiting from this commerce, and encouragement for the prostitute to
repent Repentance is reviewing one's actions and feeling contritionIn Christianity, contrition or contriteness (from the Latin ''contritus'' 'ground to pieces', i.e. crushed by guilt Guilt may refer to: *Guilt (emotion), an emotion that occurs when a p ...

repent
." The Church was forced to recognize its inability to remove prostitution from the worldly society, and in the fourteenth century "began to tolerate prostitution as a lesser evil." However, prostitutes were to be excluded from the Church as long as they practiced. Around the twelfth century, the idea of prostitute saints took hold, with
Mary Magdalene Mary Magdalene, sometimes called Mary of Magdala, or simply the Magdalene or the Madeleine, was a woman who, according to the four s, traveled with as one of his followers and was a witness to and . She is mentioned by name twelve times in t ...

Mary Magdalene
being one of the most popular saints of the era. The Church used Mary Magdalene's biblical history of being a reformed harlot to encourage prostitutes to repent and mend their ways. Simultaneously, religious houses were established with the purpose of providing asylum and encouraging the reformation of prostitution. 'Magdalene Homes' were particularly popular and peaked especially in the early fourteenth century. Over the course of the Middle Ages,
popes This chronological list of pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Diocese of Rome, Rome, chief pastor of the worldwid ...
and religious communities made various attempts to remove prostitution or reform prostitutes, with varying success. With the advent of the
Protestant Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity Western Christianity is one of two sub-divisions of Christianity Christianity is an Abra ...
, numbers of Southern German towns closed their brothels in an attempt to eradicate prostitution. In some periods prostitutes had to distinguish themselves by particular signs, sometimes wearing very short hair or no hair at all, or wearing
veil A veil is an article of clothing or hanging cloth that is intended to cover some part of the head Head Sport GmbH is an American-Austrian manufacturing company headquartered in Kennelbach. It owns the American tennis racket brand Head. Head ...

veil
s in societies where other women did not wear them. Ancient codes regulated in this case the crime of a prostitute that dissimulated her profession. In some cultures, prostitutes were the sole women allowed to sing in public or act in theatrical performances.


18th century

According to
Dervish Dervish, Darvesh, or Darwīsh (from fa, درویش, ''Darvīsh'') in Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "a ...
Ismail Agha, in the ''Dellâkname-i Dilküşâ,'' the
Ottoman Ottoman is the Turkish spelling of the Arabic masculine given name Uthman (name), Uthman (Arabic: عُثْمان ''‘uthmān''). It may refer to: Governments and dynasties * Ottoman Caliphate, an Islamic caliphate from 1517 to 1924 * Ottoman Empi ...
archives, in the
Turkish bath A hammam ( ar, حمّام, translit=ḥammām, tr, hamam) is a type of steam bath 350px, Geothermal steam bath in Iceland. A steam bath is a steam-filled room for the purpose of relaxation and cleansing. It has a long history, going back to G ...
s, the masseurs were traditionally young men, who helped wash clients by soaping and scrubbing their bodies. They also worked as
sex workers A sex worker is a person who is employed in the sex industry.Oxford English Dictionary, "sex worker" The term is used in reference to all those in all areas of the sex industry, including those who provide direct sexual services. Some sex workers ...
. The
Ottoman Ottoman is the Turkish spelling of the Arabic masculine given name Uthman (name), Uthman (Arabic: عُثْمان ''‘uthmān''). It may refer to: Governments and dynasties * Ottoman Caliphate, an Islamic caliphate from 1517 to 1924 * Ottoman Empi ...
texts describe who they were, their prices, how many times they could bring their customers to
orgasm Orgasm (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxim ...

orgasm
, and the details of their sexual practices. During the
East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Com ...
's rule in India from 1757 until 1857, it was initially fairly common for European soldiers serving in the
presidency armies The presidency armies were the armies of the three presidencies of the East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Com ...
to solicit the services of Indian prostitutes, and they frequently paid visits to local ''
nautch The nautch (; meaning "dance" or "dancing")Scott A. Kugle, 2016When Sun Meets Moon: Gender, Eros, and Ecstasy in Urdu Poetry p.230. was a popular court dance performed by girls (known as "nautch girls") in India India, officially the R ...
'' dancers for purposes of a sexual nature. As European females began arriving to the Indian subcontinent in large numbers from the early to mid-19th century, it became increasingly uncommon for European soldiers to visit Indian prostitutes, and interracial relationships became taboo altogether after the events of the
Indian Rebellion The Indian Rebellion of 1857 was a major, but ultimately unsuccessful, uprising in India in 1857–58 against the rule of the British East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (H ...

Indian Rebellion
in 1857.


19th century

In the 19th century, legalized prostitution became the center of public controversy as the
British government ga, Rialtas na Ríochta Aontaithe sco, Govrenment o the Unitit Kinrick , image = HM Government logo.svg , image_size=220px, date_established = , state = United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, comm ...
passed the
Contagious Diseases Acts The Contagious Diseases Acts (CD Acts) were originally passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1864 (27 & 28 Vict. c. 85), with alterations and editions made in 1866 (29 & 30 Vict. c. 35) and 1869 (32 & 33 Vict. c. 96). In 1862, a commi ...
, legislation mandating pelvic examinations for suspected prostitutes; they would remain in force until 1886. The
French government The Government of the French Republic (french: Gouvernement de la République française ) exercises executive power ''Executive Power'' is Vince Flynn's fifth novel, and the fourth to feature Mitch Rapp, an American agent that works for t ...
, instead of trying to outlaw prostitution, began to view prostitution as a necessary evil for society to function. French politicians chose to regulate prostitution, introducing a "Morals Brigade" onto the streets of Paris. A similar situation did in fact exist in the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical empire that extended across Eurasia and North America from 1721, succeeding the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad that ended the Great Northern War. ...
; prostitutes operating out of government-sanctioned brothels were given yellow internal passports signifying their status and were subjected to weekly physical exams. A major work, '' Prostitution, Considered in Its Moral, Social, and Sanitary Aspects'', was published by William Acton (doctor), William Acton in 1857, which estimated that the County of London had 80,000 prostitutes and that 1 house in 60 was serving as a brothel. Leo Tolstoy's novel ''Resurrection (Tolstoy novel), Resurrection'' describes legal prostitution in 19th-century Russia. During this period, prostitution was also very prominent in the Barbary Coast, San Francisco as the population was mainly men, due to the influx from the Gold Rush. One of the more successful madams was Belle Cora (Arabella Ryan), Belle Cora, who inadvertently got involved in a scandal involving her husband, Charles Cora, shooting US Marshal William H. Richardson. This led to the rise of new statutes against prostitution, gambling and other activities seen as "immoral".


20th century

The leading theorists of Communism opposed prostitution. Communist governments often attempted to repress the practice immediately after obtaining power, although it always persisted. In contemporary Communist countries, it remains illegal but is nonetheless common. The economic decline brought about by the collapse of the Soviet Union led to increased prostitution in many current or former Communist countries. Originally, prostitution was widely legal in the United States. Prostitution was made illegal in almost all states between 1910 and 1915 largely due to the influence of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. On the other hand, prostitution generated much national revenue in South Korea, hence the military government encouraged prostitutes in South Korea for the U.S. military, prostitution for the U.S. military. In 1956, the United Kingdom introduced the Sexual Offences Act 1956. While this law did not criminalise the act of prostitution in the United Kingdom itself, it prohibited such activities as running a brothel. Soliciting was made illegal by the Street Offences Act 1959. These laws were partly repealed, and altered, by the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and the Policing and Crime Act 2009. Beginning in the late 1980s, many states in the US increased the penalties for prostitution in cases where the prostitute is knowingly HIV-positive. Penalties for felony prostitution vary, with maximum sentences of typically 10 to 15 years in prison. Sex tourism emerged in the late 20th century as a controversial aspect of Western tourism and globalization.


21st century

In the 21st century, Afghans, Afghans revived a method of prostituting young boys which is referred to as "bacha bazi". Since the break up of the Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Soviet Union, thousands of eastern European women end up as prostitutes in China, Western Europe, Israel, and Turkey every year. Some enter the profession willingly; many are tricked, coerced, or kidnapped, and often experience captivity and violence. There are tens of thousands of women from eastern Europe and Asia working as prostitutes in Dubai. Men from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates form a large proportion of the customers. India's devadasi girls are forced by their poor families to dedicate themselves to the Hindu goddess Renuka. The BBC wrote in 2007 that devadasis are "sanctified prostitutes". History of prostitution#Biblical information, Historically, and currently, church prostitutes exist, and the practice may be legal or illegal, depending on the country, state or province.


Economics

Prostitutes' salaries and payments fluctuate according to the economic conditions of their respective countries. Prostitutes who usually have foreign clients, such as business travelers, depend on good foreign economic conditions. Payment may vary according to regulations made by pimps, brothel keepers, madams, and procurers, who usually take a slice out of a prostitute's income. Prices may further depend on demand; popular, high-end prostitutes can earn significant amounts of money (upwards of $5,000 per client), and virgins may receive even higher payments.


Laws


Attitudes

Roughly speaking, the possible attitudes are: * "Prostitution should be tolerated by society": **decriminalization: "prostitution is labor like any other. Sex industry premises should not be subject to any special regulation or laws", the current situation in New Zealand; the laws against operating a brothel, pimping, and street prostitution are struck down, but prostitution is hardly regulated at all. Proponents of this view often cite instances of government regulation under legalization that they consider intrusive, demeaning, or violent, but feel that criminalization adversely affects sex workers.
Amnesty International Amnesty International (also referred to as Amnesty or AI) is a non-governmental organization File:Europe in a suitcase - UK.jpg, upright=1.3, alt=A roomful of people, Europe-Georgia Institute head George Melashvili addresses the audience at th ...

Amnesty International
is one of the notable groups calling for the decriminalization of prostitution.Sex Workers' Rights are Human Rights
Amnesty International. Published 14 August 2015. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
** legalized and regulated: prostitution may be considered a legitimate business; prostitution and the employment of prostitutes are legal, but regulated; the current situation in the Netherlands, Germany, most of Prostitution in Australia, Australia and parts of Nevada (see Prostitution in Nevada). The degree of regulation varies very much; for example, in the Netherlands, prostitutes are not required to undergo mandatory health checks (see Prostitution in the Netherlands), while in Nevada, the regulations are very strict (see Prostitution in Nevada). * "Prostitution should not be tolerated": **Abolition of prostitution, abolitionism (prostitution itself is not prohibited, but most associated activities are illegal, in an attempt to make it more difficult to engage in prostitution, prostitution is heavily discouraged and seen as a social problem): prostitution (the exchange of sexual services for money) is legal, but the surrounding activities such as public solicitation, operating a
brothel A brothel, bordello, ranch, or whorehouse is a place where people engage in sexual activity Human sexual activity, human sexual practice or human sexual behaviour is the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality ...
and other forms of
pimp Procuring or pandering is the facilitation or provision of a prostitute Prostitution is the business or practice of engaging in sexual activity Human sexual activity, human sexual practice or human sexual behaviour is the man ...
ing are prohibited. This is to some extent the current situation in Great Britain, where prostitution is considered "both a public nuisance and sexual offence", and Italy among others. ** Abolition of prostitution, neo-abolitionism ("prostitution is inherently abusive, both a cause and consequence of inequality, a form of
violence against women Violence against women (VAW), also known as gender-based violence and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), are violent Violence is the use of physical force so as to injure, abuse, damage, or destroy. Other definitions are also use ...
, a violation of human rights, the clients of the prostitutes exploit the prostitutes"): prostitutes are not prosecuted, but their clients and pimps are, which is the current situation in Sweden, France, Norway and Iceland (in Norway the law is even more strict, forbidding also having sex with a prostitute abroad). ** prohibitionism (both prostitutes and clients are criminalized and are seen as immoral, they are considered criminals): the prevailing attitude nearly everywhere in the United States, with a few exceptions in some rural Nevada counties (see Prostitution in Nevada) In some countries, there is controversy regarding the laws applicable to sex work. For instance, the legal stance of punishing pimping while keeping sex work legal but "underground" and risky is often denounced as hypocritical; opponents suggest either going the full abolition route and criminalize clients or making sex work a regulated business. Many countries have sex worker advocacy groups that lobby against criminalization and discrimination of prostitutes. These groups generally oppose Nevada-style regulation and oversight, stating that prostitution should be treated like other professions. In the United States of America, one such group is COYOTE (an abbreviation for "Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics") and another is the North American Task Force on Prostitution. In Australia the lead sex worker rights organisation is Scarlet Alliance. International Sex workers' rights, prostitutes' rights organizations include the International Committee for Prostitutes' Rights and the Network of Sex Work Projects. Other groups, often with religious backgrounds, focus on offering women a way out of the world of prostitution while not taking a position on the legal question. Prostitution is a significant issue in feminist thought and activism. Many feminists are opposed to prostitution, which they see as a form of exploitation of women and male dominance over women, and as a practice that is the result of the existing patriarchal societal order. These feminists argue that prostitution has a very negative effect, both on the prostitutes themselves and on society as a whole, as it reinforces stereotypical views about women, who are seen as sex objects which can be used and abused by men. Other feminists hold that prostitution can be a valid choice for the women who choose to engage in it; in this view, prostitution must be differentiated from forced prostitution, and feminists should support sex worker activism against abuses by both the sex industry and the legal system. In February 2014, the members of the European Parliament voted in a non-binding resolution, (adopted by 343 votes to 139; with 105 abstentions), in favor of the 'Swedish Model' of criminalizing the buying, but not the selling of sex.


Legality

The position of prostitution and the law varies widely worldwide, reflecting differing opinions on victimhood and Exploitation of labour, exploitation, Economic inequality, inequality, gender roles, gender equality, ethics and morality, free will, freedom of choice, historical social norms, and sociology, social costs and benefits. Legal themes tend to address four types of issues: victimhood (including potential victimhood), ethics and morality, freedom of choice, and general benefit or harm to society (including harm arising indirectly from matters connected to prostitution). Prostitution may be considered a form of exploitation (e.g., Sweden, Norway, Iceland, where it is illegal to buy sexual services, but not to sell them — the client commits a crime, but not the prostitute), a legitimate occupation (e.g., Netherlands, Germany, where prostitution is regulated as a profession) or a crime (e.g., many Muslim countries, where the prostitutes face severe penalties). The legal status of prostitution varies from country to country, from being legal and considered a profession to being punishable by death. Some jurisdictions outlaw the act of prostitution (the exchange of sexual services for money); other countries do not prohibit prostitution itself, but ban the activities typically associated with it (soliciting in a public place, operating a brothel, pimping, etc.), making it difficult to engage in prostitution without breaking any law; and in a few countries prostitution is legal and regulated prostitution, regulated. In 1949, the UN General Assembly adopted a Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others, convention stating that "prostitution and the accompanying evil of the traffic in persons for the purpose of prostitution are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person", requiring all signing parties to punish pimps and brothel owners and operators and to abolish all special treatment or registration of prostitutes. As of January 2009, the convention was ratified by 95 member nations including France, Spain, Italy, Denmark, and not ratified by another 97 member nations including Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States.


Advertising

In countries where prostitution is legal, advertising it may be legal (as in the Prostitution in the Netherlands, Netherlands) or illegal (as in Prostitution in India, India). Covert advertising for prostitution can take a number of forms: * by cards in newsagents' windows * by cards placed in public telephone enclosures: so-called tart cards * by euphemistic advertisements in regular magazines and newspapers (for instance, talking of "massages" or "relaxation") * in specialist contact magazines * via the World Wide Web, Internet In the United States, massage parlors serving as a cover for prostitution may advertise "full service", a euphemism for coitus. In Las Vegas Valley, Las Vegas, prostitution is often promoted overtly on the Las Vegas Strip by third party workers distributing risque flyers with the pictures and phone numbers of escorts (despite the fact that prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas and Clark County, Nevada, Clark County, see Prostitution in Nevada). The way in which prostitutes advertise their presence varies widely. Some remain in apartments that have hints or clues outside such as posters with "model" written on them to lure potential customers inside. Others advertise by putting numbers or locations in phoneboxes or in online or newspaper ads. In more sexually permissive societies, prostitutes can advertise in public view, such as through display windows. In sexually restrictive societies it may occur through word-of-mouth and other means.


Socio-economic issues


Illegal immigration

A difficulty facing migrant prostitutes in many developed countries is the illegal residence status of some of these women. They face potential deportation, and so do not have recourse to the law. Hence there are brothels that may not adhere to the usual legal standards intended to safeguard public health and the safety of the workers. The immigration status of the persons who sell sexual services is – particularly in Western Europe – a controversial and highly debated political issue. Currently, in most of these countries, most prostitutes are immigrants, mainly from Eastern and Central Europe; in Spain and Italy 90% of prostitutes are estimated to be migrants, in Austria 78%, in Switzerland 75%, in Greece 73%, in Norway 70% (according to a 2009 TAMPEP report, ''Sex Work in Europe-A mapping of the prostitution scene in 25 European countries''). An article in ''Le Monde diplomatique'' in 1997 stated that 80% of prostitutes in Amsterdam were foreigners and 70% had no immigration papers.


Survival sex

Survival sex is when the prostitute is driven to prostitution by a need for basic necessities such as food or shelter. This type of prostitution is common among the homeless and in refugee camps. The term is used in the sex trade and by Humanitarian aid, aid workers, although some practitioners do not regard the act as exploitative.


Use of children

Regarding the prostitution of children the laws on prostitution as well as those on sex with a child apply. If prostitution, in general, is legal there is usually a minimum age requirement for legal prostitution that is higher than the general age of consent (see above for some examples). Although some countries do not single out patronage of child prostitution as a separate crime, the same act is punishable as sex with an underage person. In India, the federal police say that around 1.2 million children are believed to be involved in prostitution. A Central Bureau of Investigation, CBI statement said that studies and surveys sponsored by the ministry of women and child development estimated that about 40% of all India's prostitutes are children. In Bangladesh, child prostitutes are known to take the drug Oradexon, also known as dexamethasone. This over-the-counter steroid, usually used by farmers to fatten cattle, makes child prostitutes look larger and older. Charities say that 90% of prostitutes in the country's legalized brothels use the drug. According to social activists, the steroid can cause diabetes, high blood pressure and is highly addictive. Thailand's Health System Research Institute reported that children in prostitution make up 40% of prostitutes in Thailand. Some adults travel to other countries to have access to sex with children, which is unavailable in their home country. Cambodia has become a notorious destination for sex with children. Thailand is also a destination for child sex tourism. Several western countries have recently enacted laws with extraterritorial reach, punishing citizens who engage in sex with minors in other countries. As the crime usually goes undiscovered, these laws are rarely enforced.


Among low socio-economic status

Castes are largely hereditary social classes often emerging around certain professions. Lower castes are associated with professions considered "unclean", which has often included prostitution. In pre-modern Korea, women from the Caste system in Korea, lower caste Cheonmin, known as Kisaeng, were trained to provide entertainment, conversation, and sexual services to men of the upper class. In South Asia, Caste system in India, castes associated with prostitution today include the Bedia (caste), Bedias,Rana, U., Sharma, D. & Ghosh, D. Prostitution in northern Central India: an ethnographical study of Bedia community. Int. j. anthropol. ethnol. 4, 2 (2020)

/ref> the Perna caste, the Banchhada, the Nat caste and, in Caste system in Nepal, Nepal, the Badi people.


Among the elderly

Prostitution among the elderly is a phenomenon reported in South Korea where elderly women, called Bacchus Ladies, turn to prostitution out of necessity. They are called that because many also sell the popular Bacchus-F, Bacchus energy drink to make ends meet. State pensions of about () provide a basic income but are often not enough to cover the rising medical bills of old age. It first arose after the 1997 Asian financial crisis when it became more difficult for children and grandchildren to support their elders. Clients tend to be more senior. The use of erection-inducing injections with reused needles has contributed to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.


Violence

Street prostitutes are at higher risk of violent crime than brothel prostitutes and bar prostitutes. In the United States, the homicide rate for female prostitutes was estimated to be 204 per 100,000. There are substantial differences in rates of victimization between street prostitutes and indoor prostitutes who work as escorts, call girls, or in brothels and massage parlors. Violence against male prostitutes is less common. Prostitution may sometimes be associated with illegal, abusive, and dangerous activities. One view maintains that this results from prostitution being stigmatized or illegal, or both. Another, however, believes that legalizing and regulating prostitution does not improve the situation, but instead makes it worse, creating a parallel illegal prostitution industry, and failing to dissociate the legal part of the sex trade from crime.


Sex trafficking

Sex trafficking is defined as using coercion or force to transport an unwilling person into prostitution or other sexual exploitation. The United Nations stated in 2009 that sex trafficking is the most commonly identified form of human trafficking and estimates that about 79% of human trafficking reported is for prostitution (although the study notes that this may be the result of statistical bias and that sex trafficking tends to receive the most attention and be the most visible). Sex trafficking has been described by Kul Gautum, deputy executive director of UNICEF, as "the largest history of slavery, slave trade in history." It is also the fastest growing organized crime, criminal industry, predicted to outgrow drug trafficking. While there may be a higher number of people involved in slavery today than at any time in history, the proportion of the population is probably the smallest in history. “Annually, according to U.S. Government-sponsored research completed in 2006, approximately 800,000 people are trafficked across national borders, which does not include millions trafficked within their own countries. Approximately 80 percent of transnational victims are women and girls and up to 50 percent are minors", estimated the US Department of State in a 2008 study, in reference to the number of people estimated to be victims of all forms of human trafficking. Due in part to the illegal and underground nature of sex trafficking, the actual extent of women and children forced into prostitution is unknown. A statistical analysis of various measures of trafficking found that the legal status of prostitution did not have a significant impact on trafficking. Children are sold into the global sex trade every year. Often they are kidnapped or orphaned, and sometimes they are sold by their own families. According to the International Labour Organization, the occurrence is especially common in places such as Thailand, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nepal, and India. Globally, forced labour generates an estimated $31 billion, about half of it in the industrialized world and around one-tenth in transitional countries, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO) in a report on forced labour ("A global alliance against forced labour", ILO, 11 May 2005). Trafficking in people has been facilitated by factors such as porous borders and advanced communication technologies and has become increasingly transnational in scope and highly financially lucrative. The most common destinations for victims of human trafficking are Thailand, Japan, Israel, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Turkey, and the US, according to a report by the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UN Office on Drugs and Crime). Major sources of trafficked persons include Thailand, China, Nigeria, Albania, Bulgaria, Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine.


Illicit uses

Prostitution, often when it is illegal, is used in extortion and blackmail, which always involves extortion, where the extortionist threatens to reveal information about a victim or their family members that is potentially embarrassing, socially damaging, or incriminating unless a demand for money, property, or services is met. The subject of the extortion may be manipulated into or voluntarily solicit the use of prostitution which is then later used to extort money or for profit otherwise. The film ''The Godfather Part II'' famously depicts the role of Senator Geary who is implicated in the use of prostitution in order to gain his compliance on political issues.


Types


Street

In street prostitution, the prostitute solicits customers while waiting at street corners, sometimes called "the track" by
pimp Procuring or pandering is the facilitation or provision of a prostitute Prostitution is the business or practice of engaging in sexual activity Human sexual activity, human sexual practice or human sexual behaviour is the man ...
s and prostitutes alike. They usually dress in skimpy, provocative clothing, regardless of the weather. In American usage, street prostitutes are often called "streetwalkers" while their customers are referred to as "tricks" or "johns." Servicing the customers is described as "turning tricks." The sex is usually performed in the customer's car, in a nearby alley, or in a rented room. Motels and hotels that accommodate prostitutes commonly rent rooms by half or full hour. In Russia and other countries of the Soviet Union, former USSR, prostitution takes the form of an open-air market. One prostitute stands by a roadside and directs cars to a so-called "tochka" (usually located in alleyways or carparks), where lines of women are paraded for customers in front of their car headlights. The client selects a prostitute, whom he takes away in his car. Prevalent in the late 1990s, this type of service has been steadily declining in recent years. A "lot lizard" is a commonly encountered special case of street prostitution. Lot lizards mainly serve those in the Semi-trailer truck, trucking industry at truck stops and stopping centers. Prostitutes will often proposition truckers using a CB radio from a vehicle parked in the non-commercial section of a truck stop parking lot, communicating through codes based on commercial driving slang, then join the driver in his truck.


Window prostitution

Window prostitution is a form of prostitution that is fairly common in the Netherlands and surrounding countries. The prostitute rents a window plus workspace off a window operator for a certain period of time, often per day or part of a day. The prostitute is also independent and recruits her own customers and also negotiates the price and the services to be provided.


Brothels

Brothel A brothel, bordello, ranch, or whorehouse is a place where people engage in with s. Technically, any premises where commonly takes place qualifies as a brothel. However, for legal or cultural reasons, establishments often describe themselv ...
s are establishments specifically dedicated to prostitution, often confined to special
red-light district A red-light district or pleasure district is a part of an urban area where a concentration of prostitution and sex industry, sex-oriented businesses, such as sex shops, strip clubs, and adult theaters, are found. In most cases, red-light districts ...
s in big cities. Other names for brothels include ''bordello'', ''whorehouse'', ''cathouse'', ''knocking shop'', and ''general houses''. Prostitution also occurs in some massage Massage parlor, parlours, and in Asian countries in some barber shops where sexual services may be offered as a secondary function of the premises.


Escorts

Escort services may be distinguished from prostitution or other forms of prostitution in that sexual activities are often not explicitly advertised as necessarily included in these services; rather, payment is often noted as being for an escort's time and companionship only, although there is often an implicit assumption that sexual activities are expected. In escort prostitution, the act takes place at the customer's residence or hotel room (referred to as out-call), or at the escort's residence, or in a hotel room rented for the occasion by the escort (called in-call). The prostitute may be independent or working under the auspices of an escort agency. Services may be advertised over the Internet, in regional publications, or in local telephone listings. Use of the Internet by prostitutes and customers is common. A prostitute may use adult boards or create a website of their own with contact details, such as email addresses. Adult contact sites, chats, and online communities are also used. This, in turn, has brought increased scrutiny from law enforcement, public officials, and activist groups toward online prostitution. In 2009, Craigslist came under fire for its role in facilitating online prostitution, and was sued by some 40 US state attorneys general, local prosecutors, and law enforcement officials. Reviews of the services of individual prostitutes can often be found at various escort review boards worldwide. These online forums are used to trade information between potential clients, and also by prostitutes to advertise the various services available. Sex workers, in turn, often use online forums of their own to exchange information on clients, particularly to warn others about dangerous clients.


Sex tourism

Sex tourism is travel for
sexual intercourse Sexual intercourse (or coitus or copulation) is a sexual activity Human sexual activity, human sexual practice or human sexual behaviour is the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality Human sexuality is the way ...

sexual intercourse
with prostitutes or to engage in other sexual activity. The World Tourism Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations defines sex tourism as "trips organized from within the tourism sector, or from outside this sector but using its structures and networks, with the primary purpose of effecting a commercial sexual relationship by the tourist with residents at the destination". As opposed to regular sex tourism, which is often legal, a tourist who has sex with a Child prostitution, child prostitute will usually be committing a crime in the host country, under the laws of his own country (notwithstanding him being outside of it) and against international law. Child sex tourism (CST) is defined as travel to a foreign country for the purpose of engaging in commercially facilitated child sexual abuse. Thailand, Cambodia, India, Brazil, and Mexico have been identified as leading hotspots of child sexual exploitation.


Virtual sex

Virtual sex, that is, sexual acts conveyed by messages rather than physically, is also the subject of commercial transactions. Commercial phone sex services have been available for decades. The advent of the Internet has made other forms of virtual sex available for money, including computer-mediated cybersex, in which sexual services are provided in text form by way of chat rooms or instant messaging, or audiovisually through a webcam (see camgirl).


Prevalence

According to the paper "Estimating the prevalence and career longevity of prostitute women", the number of full-time equivalent prostitutes in a typical area in the United States (Colorado Springs, CO, during 1970–1988) is estimated at 23 per 100,000 population (0.023%), of which some 4% were under 18. The length of these prostitutes' working careers was estimated at a mean of 5 years. According to a 2012 report by ''Fondation Scelles'' there are between 40 and 42 million prostitutes in the world. In 2003, it was estimated that in Amsterdam, one woman in 35 was working as a prostitute, compared to one in 300 in London. The number of men who have used a prostitute at least once varies widely from country to country, from an estimated low of between 7% and 8.8% in the Prostitution in the United Kingdom, United Kingdom, to a high of between 59% and 80% in Cambodia. A study conducted by ProCon.org, ProCon – a nonpartisan nonprofit organization – estimated the percentage of men who had paid for sex at least once in their lives, and found the highest rates in Cambodia (between 59 and 80% of men had paid for sex at least once) and Thailand (an estimated 75%), followed by Italy (16.7–45%), Spain (27–39%), Japan (37%), the Netherlands (13.5–21.6%), the United States (15.0–20.0%), and China (6.4-20%). Nations with higher rates of prostitution clients display much more positive attitudes towards commercial sex. In some countries, such as Cambodia and Thailand, sex with prostitutes is considered commonplace and men who do not engage in commercial sex may be considered unusual by their peers. In Thailand, it has been reported that about 75% of men have visited a prostitute at least once in their lifetimes. In Cambodia, that figure is 59% to 80%. In the United States, a 2004 TNS poll reported 15% of all men admitted to having paid for sex at least once in their life. However, a paper entitled "Prostitution and the sex discrepancy in reported number of sexual partners" concluded that men's self-reporting of prostitutes as sexual partners provides a serious underestimate. In Australia, a survey conducted in the early 2000s showed that 15.6% of men aged 16–59 reported paying for sex at least once in their life, and 1.9% had done so in the past year. Reports disagree on whether prostitution levels are growing or declining in developed countries. Some studies indicate that the percentage of men engaging in commercial sex in the United States has declined significantly in recent decades: in 1964, an estimated 69–80% of men had paid for sex at least once. Some have suggested that prostitution levels have fallen in sexually liberal countries, most likely because of the increased availability of non-commercial, non-marital sex or, for example in Sweden, because of stricter legal penalties. Other reports suggest a growth in prostitution levels, for example in the US, where again, sexual liberalisation is suggested as the cause. As Norma Ramos, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women says "The more the commercial
sex industry The sex industry (also called the sex trade) consists of businesses that either directly or indirectly provide Sex worker, sex-related products and services or adult entertainment. The industry includes activities involving direct provision of se ...
normalizes this behavior, the more of this behavior you get". Prostitutes have long plied their trades to the military in many cultures. For example, the British naval port of Portsmouth had a flourishing local sex industry in the 19th century, and until the early 1990s there were large
red-light district A red-light district or pleasure district is a part of an urban area where a concentration of prostitution and sex industry, sex-oriented businesses, such as sex shops, strip clubs, and adult theaters, are found. In most cases, red-light districts ...
s near American military bases in the Philippines. The notorious Patpong entertainment district in Bangkok, Thailand, started as an R&R (military), R&R location for US troops serving in the Vietnam War in the early 1970s. Washington D.C. itself had Murder Bay which attracted the military of the American Civil War, Civil War. The village of Vadia (Banaskantha), Vadia, India is known locally as the ''village of prostitutes'', where unmarried women are involved in prostitution. Mass weddings for children of prostitutes in the village are held to protect them from being pushed into prostitution.


Medical situation

In some places, prostitution may be associated with the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Lack of condom use among prostitutes and their clients has been cited as a factor in the spread of HIV in Asia: "One of the main reasons for the rapid spread of HIV in Asian countries is the massive transmission among sex workers and clients". As a result, prevention campaigns aimed at increasing condom use by sex workers have been attributed to play a major role in restricting the spread of HIV. One of the sources for the spread of HIV in Africa is prostitution, with one study finding that encounters with prostitutes produced 84% of new HIV infections in adult males in Accra, Ghana. The spread of HIV from urban settings to rural areas in Africa has been attributed to the mobility of farmers who visit sex workers in cities, for example in Ethiopia. Some studies of prostitution in urban settings in developing countries, such as Kenya, have stated that prostitution acts as a reservoir of STDs within the general population. Typical responses to the problem are: * banning prostitution completely * educating prostitutes and their clients to encourage the use of barrier contraception and greater interaction with health care * introducing a system of Licensure, registration for prostitutes that mandates health checks and other public health measures Some think that the first two measures are counter-productive. Banning prostitution tends to drive it underground, making safe sex promotion, treatment, and monitoring more difficult. Registering prostitutes makes the state complicit in prostitution and does not address the health risks of unregistered prostitutes. Both of the last two measures can be viewed as harm reduction policies. In countries and areas where safer sex precautions are either unavailable or not practiced for cultural reasons, prostitution is an active disease vector for all STDs, including HIV/AIDS, but the encouragement of safer sex practices, combined with regular testing for sexually transmitted diseases, has been very successful when applied consistently. As an example, Thailand's condom program has been largely responsible for the country's progress against the HIV epidemic. It has been estimated that successful implementation of safe sex practices in India "would drive the [HIV] epidemic to extinction" while similar measures could achieve a 50% reduction in Botswana. In 2009, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged all countries to remove bans on prostitution and homosexual sex, because "such laws constitute major barriers to reaching key populations with HIV services". In 2012, the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, which was convened by Ban Ki-moon, and which is an independent body, was established at the request of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS, and supported by a Secretariat based at the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, reached the same conclusions, also recommending decriminalization of
brothel A brothel, bordello, ranch, or whorehouse is a place where people engage in sexual activity Human sexual activity, human sexual practice or human sexual behaviour is the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality ...
s and Procuring (prostitution), procuring.U.N. Commission Calls for Legalizing Prostitution Worldwide
Amanda Swysgood, CNS News, 23 July 2012
AIDS used as reason to legalize prostitutes
Cheryl Wetzstein, The Washington Times, 2 August 2012
Nevertheless, the report states that:"''The content, analysis, opinions and policy recommendations contained in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations Development Programme''." The COVID-19 pandemic has Sex_work#History, had an impact on sex work. During the COVID-19 pandemic, contact professions (which includes prostitution, amongst others) had been banned (temporarily) in some countries. This has resulted in a local reduction of prostitution.


See also

* A Vindication of the Rights of Whores * Barbary Coast, San Francisco *
Brothel A brothel, bordello, ranch, or whorehouse is a place where people engage in with s. Technically, any premises where commonly takes place qualifies as a brothel. However, for legal or cultural reasons, establishments often describe themselv ...
* Common prostitute * Drugs and prostitution * Empathy and Prostitution * Fallen woman * Index of prostitute articles * International Day of No Prostitution * International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers * International Whores' Day * Lady in Red (ghost), Lady in Red * List of prostitutes and courtesans * Mann Act (White-Slave Traffic Act) * Prostitution among animals * Prostitution statistics by country * Recreation and Amusement Association * Social_Credit_System, Red light violations under the SCS * Sanky-panky * Street prostitute * Treating (social activity)


References

Notes Bibliography * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Further reading *Vern Bullough, Bullough, Vern et al. (1977) ''A Bibliography of Prostitution''. New York: Garland *Campbell, Russell. ''Marked Women: Prostitutes and Prostitution in the Cinema'', 2005 University of Wisconsin Press. * Cunningham, Scott and Manisha Shah (eds). 2016.
The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Prostitution
'. Oxford University Press. * * Keire, Mara L. ''For Business and Pleasure: Red-Light Districts and the Regulation of Vice in the United States, 1890–1933'' (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010); 248 pages; History and popular culture of districts in such cities as New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, El Paso, Hartford, Conn., and Macon, Ga. * * * Michael, R. T., Gagnon, J. H., Laumann, E. O., & Kolata, G. ''Sex in America'', Boston: Little, Brown, 1994.
Mirbeau, Octave, ''The love of a venal woman''
* Perlongher, Néstor Osvaldo. ''O negócio do michê, prostituição viril em São Paulo'', 1st edition 1987, editora brasiliense. * Philip, Neil (1991) ''Working Girls: an illustrated history of the oldest profession''. London: Bloomsbury * Phoenix, J. ''Making Sense of Prostitution'', Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001. * Preston, John. ''Hustling, A Gentlemen's Guide to the Fine Art of Homosexual Prostitution'', Badboy Books, 1997. * * The UN ''Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others'' (1949) ** Full text
Status of ratifications, reservations, and declarations
*


External links

{{Authority control Prostitution, Casual sex Human sexuality Illegal occupations Occupations Organized crime activity Sex industry