Religions have consistently condemned other forms of prostitution in which the activity is purely for personal pleasure, and severe penalties have been imposed on the prostitutes, although usually not on their clients.
The general tolerance of prostitution was for the most part reluctant, and many canonists urged prostitutes to reform.
Originally, prostitution was widely legal in the United States.
Prostitution also occurs in some massage parlors; in Asian countries some barber shops offer sexual services for an additional tip.
Municipality based "Commissions for the struggle against venereal diseases and prostitution" are in charge of issuing such licenses.
Prostitution is legal for citizens in Denmark, but it is illegal to profit from prostitution.
In Brazil and Costa Rica prostitution per se is legal, but taking advantage or profit from others' prostitution is illegal.
Studies of prostitution have estimated a mean number of 868 male sexual partners per prostitute per year of active sex work.
When the people of Israel conquered Canaan, she left prostitution, converted to Judaism, and married a prominent member of the people.
There has been long and widespread debate as to whether the toleration of prostitution similar to that seen in the Netherlands and Germany should be extended.
Feminists who believe that prostitution is inherently exploitative, such as author Andrea Dworkin, herself an ex-prostitute, have argued that commercial sex is a form of rape enforced by poverty (and often overt violence by pimps).
The Dutch legalization of prostitution has similar objectives, as well as improving health and working conditions for the women and weakening the link between prostitution and criminality.
Similarly, in Bulgaria prostitution itself is legal, but most activities around it (such as pimping) are outlawed.
According to this report, "after initiation as devadasis, women migrate either to nearby towns or other far-off cities to practice prostitution" (p. 200).
In Canada, prostitution itself is legal, but most other activities around it are not.
Prostitution remained legal in Alaska until 1953 (while not yet a U.S. state), and is still legal in some counties of Nevada.
Prostitution has often been described as "the world's oldest profession," and there is evidence of prostitution occurring throughout history in all societies.
One of the earliest forms was sacred prostitution, supposedly practiced among the Sumerians.
Many early laws and Church doctrine focused on "quickening," when a fetus began to move on its own, as a way to differentiate when an abortion became impermissible.
Proponents of this view reject the idea that prostitution can be reformed.
Rules vary as to which roles in prostitution are illegal: Being a prostitute, being a client, or being a pimp.
Goals of such regulations include controlling sexually transmitted disease, reducing sexual slavery, controlling where brothels may operate and dissociating prostitution from crime syndicates.
In 1917, the legally defined prostitution district Storyville in New Orleans was closed down by the Federal government over local objections.
Adultery, promiscuity, and prostitution, with its accompanying disease and exploitation, lead to untold misery and human alienation.
Some jurisdictions have responded to sex worker activism by decriminalizing prostitution.
A similar type of prostitution was practiced in Cyprus (Paphos) and in Corinth, Greece, where the temple counted more than a thousand prostitutes (hierodules), according to Strabo.
By the very end of the fifteenth century, attitudes hardened against prostitution.
Beginning in the late 1980s, many states increased the penalties for prostitution in cases where the prostitute is knowingly HIV-positive.
Prostitution, however, has continued to exist since the earliest societies, and human trafficking in the twentieth century brought countless women and children across national boundaries for slave labor in this profession.
Such approaches are often, but not always taken with the stance that prostitution is impossible to eliminate and thus these societies have chosen to regulate it in ways that reduce the more undesirable consequences.
Prostitution describes sexual intercourse in exchange for remuneration.
Due to the illegal and underground nature of sex trafficking, the exact numbers of women and children forced into prostitution is unknown.
Still later it became common in the major towns and cities of Southern Europe to establish civic brothels, whilst outlawing any prostitution taking place outside these brothels.
Banning prostitution tends to drive it underground, making treatment and monitoring more difficult.
Governments that have decriminalized or legalized prostitution find that they become a destination for international sex traffic, replacing one set of harms with another.
The legal status of prostitution varies in different countries, from punishable by death to complete legality.
During the Middle Ages prostitution was commonly found in urban contexts.
Early forms of prostitution involved "sacred prostitution," in which the sexual act was performed for a religious purpose with a person other than one's spouse.
Prostitution was common in ancient Israel, despite being tacitly forbidden by Jewish Law.
In ancient Greek society, prostitution was engaged in by both women and boys.
Prostitution has often been associated with the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as HIV.
Prostitution appears to have little effect as a vector of STDs when safer sex practices are applied consistently.
Sacred prostitution was revered highly among Sumerians and Babylonians.
Organizers of prostitution are typically known as pimps (if male) and madams (if female).
Like Greece, Roman prostitution was highly categorized, with titles for prostitutes and their places of trade.
Local police forces have historically alternated between zero tolerance of prostitution and unofficial red light districts.
The reason for this law is to protect prostitutes, as many of them have been forced into prostitution by someone or by economic necessity.
COYOTE's goals include the decriminalization (as opposed to the legalization) of prostitution, pimping and pandering, as well as the elimination of social stigma concerning sex work as an occupation.
The alternative, to accept prostitution as necessary but to deny those practicing this service consideration as valuable members of society, entrenches societal hypocrisy.
Prostitution is sometimes referred to as "the world's oldest profession."
After the decline of organized prostitution of the Roman empire, many prostitutes were slaves.
Augustine of Hippo held that: "If you expel prostitution from society, you will unsettle everything on account of lusts."
Some similarities have been found between the Greek hetaera and the Japanese oiran, complex figures that are perhaps in an intermediate position between prostitution and courtisanerie.
Registering prostitutes makes the state complicit in prostitution and does not address the health risks of unregistered prostitutes.
In ancient sources (Herodotus, Thucydides) there are many traces of sacred prostitution.
In Asia, there has been a tradition of forcing the women of an occupied land into prostitution, as was the case with Japanese-occupied China and Korea in World War II.
Penalties for felony prostitution vary in the states that have such laws, typically with maximum sentences of 10 to 15 years in prison.
Enslavement into prostitution was sometimes used as a legal punishment against criminal free women.
Brothels are establishments specifically dedicated to prostitution, often confined to special red-light districts in big cities.
Regarding the prostitution of children, the laws on prostitution as well as those on sex with a child apply.