The legal status of prostitution varies from country to country (sometimes from region to region within a given country), ranging from being permissible but unregulated, to an enforced or unenforced crime, or a regulated profession. It is sometimes referred to euphemistically as the world s oldest profession in the English-speaking world.   Estimates place the annual revenue generated by prostitution worldwide to be over $100 billion.
 Prostitution occurs in a variety of forms. Brothels 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. Although the majority of prostitutes are female and have male clients, a prostitute can be, and have clients, of any gender or sexual orientation.
There are about 42 million prostitutes in the world, living all over the world (though most of Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa lacks data, studied countries in that large region rank as top sex tourism destinations).  Sex tourism refers to the practice of traveling to engage in sexual relations with prostitutes in other countries. Some rich clients may pay for long-term contracts that may last for years.   Some view prostitution as a form of exploitation of or violence against women  and children,  and helps to create a supply of victims for human trafficking.  Some critics of prostitution as an institution are supporters of the Swedish approach, which has also been adopted by Canada, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Norway and France. Contents 1 Etymology and terminology 1.1 Other meanings 2 History 2.1 Ancient Near East 2.2 Ancient Hebrew culture 2.3 Ancient Greece 2.4 Ancient Rome 2.5 Asia 2.6 Middle Ages 2.7 16th–17th centuries 2.8 18th century 2.9 19th century 2.10 20th century 2.11 21st century 3 Payments and salaries 4 Laws 4.1 Attitudes 4.2 Legality 4.3 Advertising 5 Socio-economic issues 5.1 Illegal immigration 5.2 Survival sex 5.3 Use of children 5.4 Violence 5.5 Human trafficking 6 Types 6.1 Street 6.2 Brothels 6.3 Escorts 6.4 Sex tourism 6.5 Virtual sex 7 Prevalence 8 Medical situation 9 See also 10 References 11 External links Etymology and terminology Prostitute is derived from the Latin prostituta.
Some sources cite the verb as a composition of pro meaning up front or forward and situere , 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 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.  The Procuress by Dirck van Baburen (1622) 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 word hōra, from the Proto-Germanic *hōrōn (prostitute), which derives from the Proto-Indo-European root *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, 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, commercial sex worker (CSW), tantric engineer (coined by author Robert Anton Wilson), or sex trade worker. Another commonly used word for a prostitute is hooker. Although a popular etymology connects hooker with Joseph Hooker, a Union general in the American Civil War, the word more likely comes from the concentration of prostitutes around the shipyards and ferry terminal of the Corlear s Hook area of 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 makes appointments by phone, or in recent years, through email or the internet. Correctly or not, use of the word prostitute without specifying a sex may commonly be assumed to be female; compound terms such as male prostitution 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. Organizers of prostitution may be known as pimps (if male) and madams or Mama-san (if female). More formally, one who is said to practice procuring is a procurer, or procuress.
The clients of prostitutes are also known as johns or tricks in North America and punters in the British Isles. 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 English-speaking countries, in an effort to maintain anonymity. In some places, men who drive around red-light districts for the purpose of soliciting prostitutes are also known as kerb crawlers. 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, Holden Caulfield 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 screenplays is morally debasing. Sex work researcher and writer Gail Pheterson says that this additional definition exists 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 Customer and a prostitute illustrated in the doggie position on an ancient Greek wine cup; an act of prostitution is indicated by the coin purse above the figures In the Ancient Near East along the Tigris–Euphrates river system there were many shrines and temples or houses of heaven dedicated to various deities documented by the Ancient Greek historian Herodotus in The Histories  where sacred prostitution was a common practice.
 It came to an end when the emperor Constantine in the fourth century AD destroyed the goddess temples and replaced them with Christianity.  As early as the 18th century BC, ancient Mesopotamia recognized the need to protect women s property rights. In the Code of Hammurabi, provisions were found that addressed inheritance rights of women, including female prostitutes.  Ancient Hebrew culture According to Zohar and the Alphabet of Ben Sira, there were four angels of sacred prostitution, who mated with archangel Samael.
They were the queens of the demons Lilith, Naamah, Agrat Bat Mahlat and Eisheth Zenunim.  Ancient Greece Both women and boys engaged in prostitution in ancient Greece.  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 hetaera, the Japanese oiran, and also the Indian tawaif. 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 Fresco from the Pompeii brothel, showing the woman in the cowgirl position Prostitution in ancient Rome 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, but as the Empire grew, prostitutes were often foreign slaves, captured, purchased, or raised for that purpose, sometimes by large-scale prostitute farmers who took abandoned children. 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. An oiran preparing herself for a client, ukiyo-e print by Suzuki Haronubu (1765) Asia According to Shia Muslims, 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 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. Sunnis regard prostitution as sinful and forbidden. French prostitutes being taken to the police station.
In the early 17th century, there was widespread male and female prostitution throughout the cities of Kyoto, Edo, and Osaka, Japan. Oiran were courtesans in Japan during the Edo period. The oiran were considered a type of yūjo ( 遊女 ?) woman of pleasure or prostitute. Among the oiran, the tayū ( 太夫 ?) 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. Yoshiwara has a large number of soaplands 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 tawaif was a courtesan who catered to the nobility of South Asia, particularly during the era of the Mughal Empire.
These courtesans danced, sang, recited poetry and entertained their suitors at mehfils. Like the 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 literary tradition.  Middle Ages Main article: Courtesan Throughout the Middle Ages 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 [specific] category 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 [their bodies] , within the confine[s] of a brothel.
 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 life-time career choice for women. Women usually alternated their career of prostitution with petty retailing, and victualing, or only occasionally turning 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 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 St. Augustine 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 based on 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 that 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 and the confinement of prostitutes to red light districts.
 Sumptuary laws became the regulatory norm for prostitutes and included making courtesans 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.  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.   However this did not prevent illegal brothels from thriving.
Furthermore, brothels theoretically banned the patronage of married men and clergy also, but it was sporadically enforced and there is evidence of clergymen present in brawls that were documented in brothels.  Thus it is obvious that 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.