Definition and Facts of Prostitution
Cheryl M. Toth
According to Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary
prostitution is the act or practice of indulging in promiscuous sexual
relationships in exchange for money (1).
In 1949, the United Nations adopted a resolution
in favor of the decriminalization of prostitution, which has been ratified
by fifty countries (3).
The average age of someone entering into prostitution
is 14 years (2).
At least 75% of prostitutes were sexually and
physically abused children (2).
The majority of prostitutes become addicted to
alcohol or drugs (2).
The National Task Force on Prostitution suggests
that over one million people in the US have worked as prostitutes (3).
Estimates in some larger cities found that 20-30%
of prostitutes are male (3).
70% of prostitutes have experienced multiple
rapes by their customers, pimps and strangers (2).
One report cites 60% of the abuse against street
prostitutes perpetrated by clients, 20% by police, and 20% in domestic
Some prostitutes are raped between 8 and 10 times
a year or more (3).
Of those raped, only 7% seek help and only 4%
report the rape to the police (3).
A recent study showed that, in cases of rape
and abuse, 5% of the perpetrators identified themselves as police officers,
often producing badges and police identification (3).
Some researchers suggest that prostitutes, in
general, suffer from ‘negative identities’ or lack of self esteem (3).
According to a study, 76% of call girls considered
In a study in London, 50% of clients were married
or cohabiting (3).
70% of adult men have engaged in prostitution
at least once (3).
Average prostitution arrests include 70% females,
20% males and 10% customers (3).
85-90% of those arrested work on the street (3).
Average arrest, court and incarceration costs
amount to nearly $2,000 per arrest (3).
Cities spend an average of 7.5 million dollars
on prostitution control every year, ranging
from 1 million dollars to 23 million dollars (3).
Prostitution in the US is a 14.5 billion dollar
a year business (2).
Collegiate Dictionary. Tenth Edition. Massachusetts. Merriam-Webster,
Education Network. "Prostitution in The United States- The Statistics."
For Women Escaping Prostitution. "Facts About Prostitution."
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