Definition of Prostitution

There are many definition of Prostitution. The simplest definition says that it is an exchange of money for sexual purpose that is offering sexual intercourse for pay or in other words it is an act of sexual intercourse in exchange for money. However, its definition may be extended loosely to include any sexual act for any type of compensation; depending on the location where the act occurs. Therefore the definition can also include the fact that it is performance of any kind of sexual acts for money. Another definition says that prostitution is offering or agreeing to engage in, or engaging in, a sex act with another in return for a fee. The selling of one’s body for sexual purposes can be thus described as an apt definition of prostitution.

Definition of prostitution: The legal angle

Legally, prostitution is also defined as the sale of sexual services which include sexual acts not amounting to copulation and intercourse. Payment can be in the form of money or any other mode except for a reciprocal sexual act. Many feel that this kind of definition with an all inclusive language support selective enforcement of the law as per the whims and fancies of the enforcement agency leading to absolute control of women.

Definition of Prostitution: Facts & Issues

1. It is the world's oldest profession.
2. It existed across cultures and times.
3. Prostitution crosses class lines.
4. A common misconception regarding prostitution is that majority of prostitutes are women.
5. Male homosexual prostitution has also existed alongside female heterosexual prostitution.
6. Most of the times entry into prostitution is for economic and monetary reasons.
7. Sex trade booms because young girls are sold or forced into urban prostitution in order to support families in more rural areas.
8. Patronizing of the sex industry by the society is a open secret.
9. Child prostitution is a major issue across the world.
10. The mythologies surrounding virginity and exploitation of young girls in prostitution and sex industry to supply virgin girls is a leading cause for child prostitution.
11. Exploitative relationship with a pimp or a madam is another dark face of prostitution.
12. Forced prostitution and human trafficking happens across the world especially in the developing countries.
13. Cases of repeated rape leading to prostitution is very common.
14. Social tolerance for prostitution is biased against the provider and is supportive of the customer.
15. Criminalizing prostitution at the expense of the "female provider" but not enforcing the law to nab the "male customer" is a hard truth of selective law enforcement.
16. Methods like raids, undercover police work, moral exhortation and prosecution are biased against the women.
17. Elimination efforts focused only on the prostitutes and not their customers is the norm of the day.
18. Elimination or legalization of prostitution and social issues attached to them are not addressed with an open and compassionate mind.
19. Consensus and resultant action to eradicate child prostitution and forced prostitution is still not there.

Definition of Prostitution: Other major issues related to prostitution

1. Definition of prostitution by PUBLIC Corporations
2. Definition by "private" Corporations
3. Whoring Vs Prostitution
4. Spiritual Prostitution
5. Soul Pollution
6. Prostitution Law Reform
7. Common definitions of legalization
8. Legalization
9. Decriminalization
10. Regulation
11. Abolitionism

Definition of prostitution: Compassionate and balanced view

Prostitution cannot be treated as a weed and ruthlessly rooted out from the society on the whims and fancies of aggressive elimination tactics by the law enforcing agencies as there are social and economic issues attached to this problem which can directly affect the marginalized and economically weak women who are associated with this profession. On the other hand encouraging prostitution overtly can lead to more exploitation and manipulation of the weaker sections of the society. The need is for a balanced view that focuses on the long term emancipation and reorientation of women through education, learning and self-empowerment.

Article by Sanjay Nair


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World prostitution Prostitution in India

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Street prostitution Formal definition US law & legal Prostitution law reform