THE HISTORY OF PROSTITUTION by Vern L. Bullough

THE HISTORY OF PROSTITUTION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The occupational history of this specialty trade has been sadly neglected. The author, a medical historian, reports that respectable historians have always avoided the subject and his research was hampered by the lack of monographs and studies. This work is confined to female prostitution and the working definition includes everyone who has made love for a living from the volume trade of the common prostitute to the selective long term mistress. Dr. Bullough's approach is chronological. Beginning with primitive societies and the Near East and progressing through the Greco/Roman civilizations to Western and Oriental societies of the past and the present, the various attitudes of each era, religion and society toward women is examined and the typical form of prostitution that it produced is described. The control and regulations of prostitutes seems always to have been a part of governments, but the greatest impetus for law and reform came from a plague' of syphilis that swept 15th and 16th century Europe. The responsibility of reigning monarchs who paid well for sex thus encouraging imitation gets ample space and the 19th and 20th centuries are analyzed for the evidences of change related to new economic and political freedom for women. Dr. Bullough concludes that prostitution has always been ""more or less"" condoned. Although he essays the occasional academic joke, his book is soberly readable and lengthily documented with footnotes and bibliography.

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 1964
Publisher: University Books