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Prostitution is frequently called the world?s oldest profession. Actually the profession of ?shaman? predates it by thousands of years ago. This inaccuracy reflects many of western society?s traditional attitudes about women, e.g. women are property, women are sinful and women?s purpose is to serve the needs of men. Because these attitudes are so ingrained, it is impossible to think of a time when they were not truisms. Prostitution is very ancient and it is even documented in humankind?s earliest written book.

Over the years, there are various theories on why prostitution exist. These various theories break down into four basic categories. The first is that prostitution is inevitable because nature determines certain roles for men and women and one of women?s roles is to serve the sexual needs of men. This theory is shared by both tradition anthropologist and by some modern theorist. The socialist /Marxist view is that prostitution is an inevitable results of capitalism.

A third view, widely held by some anthropologist is that prostitution is a holdover from early matriarchal societies where it was practiced without the negative social stigma that is attached to it today. The final and most reasonable theory is that prostitution is a function of a patriarchal and male-dominated society. This view is held by some traditional anthropologist, who believes that patriarchy is a superior from social structure, and by most modern feminist.

Whatever the origins and causes of prostitution, it has been a social institution throughout the recorded history of humankind. Yet there are many misconceptions concerning prostitutes. In general, it has always been a temporary job where no choice was involved. Most prostitutes left the profession to marry or simply found work of another type. For many years it was a sideline, practiced to supplement their income from other sources. Prostitution...