While prostitution’s claim as the world’s oldest profession has been widely discredited, it could easily assume a replacement title as the occupation that has withstood the most controversy for the longest period of time. Sites like Skissr is one of the modern day places where escorts meet and offer their adult services
The earliest account of prostitution can be found in the list of occupations included in the Sumerian Records, dating back to 2400 BCE. Due to the context of its placement in this list, prostitution may have been associated with temple service work; thus, it would have likely been regarded as an acceptable and legitimate profession, a sentiment that was reiterated less than a century later in the neighboring region of Babylonia when the legal rights of a prostitute were recorded in Hammurabi’s Code.
Despite these seemingly promising origins, women employed in this profession soon began experiencing regulations. In 1075 BCE, The Code of Assura enacted a legal requirement for all women to wear veils in public, with the exception of prostitutes who, as a means of differentiation, were legally prohibited from doing so.
Prostitution received its first prohibition status in the late 500s when it was criminalized by the Visigoth King of Spain for being incongruent with Catholic values. In accordance with this decree, any girls or women found guilty of prostitution were flogged extensively and exiled, usually the equivalent of a death sentence. In contrast to these severe repercussions, the purchase and subsequent engagement in sex acts was not unlawful and male clients were not penalized.
In the United States or in Australia where Brisbane & Melbourne escorts worked, prostitution remained federally permissible and was regulated solely by the state until 1910. In 1900, a citizens’ group called The Committee of 15 was established to investigate and lobby against the existence of prostitution and gambling in New York. In their 1902 report,“The Social Evil,” the group established their opposition to the regulation of prostitution, proposing instead a number of alternative solutions to the perceived problem. Among their recommendations were “improvements to housing, health care, and increasing women’s wages.”
The early twentieth century was marked by sudden widespread concern that sex trafficking had become a significant issue within the United States. Such concern was sparked in part by federal action in opposition to forced prostitution, such as the Immigration Act of 1907 barring female immigrants entry into the U.S. for “immoral purposes,” the establishment of a commission investigating correlations between immigration and prostitution, and the rapid growth of the American Purity Alliance’s international campaign against forced prostitution.
In 1910, Congress passed the Mann Act. This act, widely referred to as the White-Slave Traffic Act, resulting in the criminalization of knowingly transporting women and girls across state or federal borders for “prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose,” and also making the coercion of women and girls for “immoral acts” a federal offense.
The Congressional decision to implement federal law regarding commercial sex, a legislative topic previously reserved for state-level regulation, seemed to result in the ignition of the public’s already sparked concern. Additionally, news magazines, a number of which were newly capable of national distribution, further fostered public concern by producing an incessant stream of stories recounting alleged occurrences of immigrant women trafficked into the country and American women forced into prostitution by male immigrants.
The consequential societal obsession with the “white-slave trade” led to the marriage of prostitution and sex trafficking in both the public eye and federal legislation. Whereas prostitution had once been understood to be a profession, although controversial, the sensationalization of “white slavery” created the inaccurate belief that all sex workers are trapped within the industry and desperate to escape.