Depending on the jurisdiction, prostitution law may deem commercial sex to be legal or illegal.A person who works in this field is called a prostitute, and is a type of sex worker.Sex work researcher and writer Gail Pheterson writes that these metaphorical usages exist because "the term "prostitute" gradually took on a Christian moralist tradition, as being synonymous with debasement of oneself or of others for the purpose of ill-gotten gains".In the Ancient Near East along the Tigris–Euphrates river system there were many shrines and temples or "houses of heaven" dedicated to various deities documented by the Ancient Greek historian Herodotus in The Histories As early as the 18th century BC, ancient Mesopotamia recognized the need to protect women's property rights.Prostitution is one branch of the sex industry, along with pornography, stripping, and erotic dancing.The legal status of prostitution varies from country to country (sometimes from region to region within a given country), ranging from being permissible but unregulated, to an enforced or unenforced crime, or a regulated profession.
There are about 42 million prostitutes in the world, living all over the world (though most of Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa lacks data, studied countries in that large region rank as top sex tourism destinations).
For instance, in the book The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield says of his brother ("D. Usage of the "political prostitute" moniker is by no means unique to Russian political lexicon, such as when a Huffington Post contributor expressed the opinion that Donald J.
Trump was "prostituting himself to feed his ego and gain power" when he ran for President of the United States.
Common alternatives for prostitute include escort and whore; however, not all professional escorts are prostitutes.
The English word whore derives from the Old English word hōra, from the Proto-Germanic *hōrōn (prostitute), which derives from the Proto-Indo-European root *keh₂- meaning "desire", a root which has also given us Latin cārus (dear), whence the French cher (dear, expensive) and the Latin cāritās (love, charity).