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History of Prostitution in India: Analytical Essay – Free Essay Example


This research paper focuses on Prostitution. It focuses on the history of prostitution in India, types of prostitutes, prostitution in various places in India, prostitutes’ story, causation of prostitution in India, prostitution’s impact, legal perspective of prostitution, remedial measures, agencies for rehabilitation of prostitutes, and conclusion.

Prostitution is legal in India. What is illegal is soliciting sex in a public place or keeping a brothel.[footnoteRef:2]A large number of sex workers are driven to earn their livelihood by indulging in prostitution. Many prostitutes are said to be under-aged and have been drawn into sex trade at a young and impressionable age. The girls are often exploited by middlemen and pimps. They are an easy target for alcohol and drug abuse on one hand and the growing HIV/AIDS menace on the other. Immoral traffic is undisputedly repugnant to the human dignity and self-respect of the individual concerned. Prostitution involves added threats for women, dangers of rape and/or other forms of attack specifically affected by gender[endnoteRef:2]. [2: ] [2: ]


Prostitution, flesh trade, whoredom, is one of the world’s oldest profession. Prostitution has been given a meaning under section 2(f) to refer to the sexual exploitation or abuse of persons for commercial purposes and the expression ‘prostitute’ shall be construed accordingly. A new definition has been coined for the word “prostitution” within the government of India’s” Prevention of immoral traffic act” (enacted in Jan 1987); which suggests that “sexual exploitation or abuse of persons for business purpose. The previous definition of prostitution within the “Suppression of immoral Traffic in ladies and ladies Act (1956)” was “an act of a woman providing her body for promiscuous sexual issues for rent etc., has been completely discarded. Public place as defined under section 2(h) means any place intended for use by, or accessible to, the public and includes any public conveyances. Example –

  1. Keeping a brothel or allowing premises to be used as a brothel.
  2. Living on the earnings of prostitution.
  3. Procuring, inducing or taking a person for the sake of prostitution.
  4. Detaining a person on premises where prostitution is carried on.
  5. Prostitution in or in the vicinity of public places.
  6. Seducing or soliciting for purpose of prostitution.
  7. Seduction of a person in custody.

General society and the governing bodies see prostitution as being basically about sex outside the bounds of marriage, degenerate sex, sex without the expectation to repeat, paid sex. This perspective has been overwhelming in forming the legitimate reaction to prostitution-that is, its criminalization. Venereal illness was both a genuine general well-being concern and, similar to prostitution, an image of social contamination. Syphilis and gonorrhea were known to cause birth abandons, newborn child visual deficiency, and general paresis (loss of motion and craziness). Be that as it may, the venereal malady was in excess of a physical well-being risk; it spoke to a danger to the social request also. Prostitutes, as potential ailment bearers, were portrayed as subversives, much like political dissidents or adversary agents. According to the P.I.T Act also in light of the fact that the S.I.T Act, prostitution naturally of itself isn’t an illicit movement. It’s the misuse of Prostitution. The trading of cash makes what she does unlawful, and the trading of cash is the reason she does it that is illicit and wrongdoing. Anyway, basically prostitution doesn’t exist without misuse. The cause of prostitution is camouflaged ever. Global participation to end the traffic in women for the point of prostitution started in 1899. In 1921, the League of nations set up the council on Traffic in women and adolescents, and in 1949, the worldwide association General Assembly received a tradition for the concealment of prostitution. All through Asia, the exchange keeps on prospering transparently till the mid-twentieth century, prostitution for all intents and purposes was the just occupation that was open defenseless and corrupted women who wished to win their very own keep. In nations generally, prostitution is a urban downside, anyway in the Republic of India, a greater part of prostitutes are in provincial moreover as urban regions. Female prostitutes are on a regular basis monetarily denied, are commonly unwed, and need aptitudes to help themselves. Many are drawn at an early age in to the social gathering of prostitution and related violations. They’re as a rule related with a male procurer, or pimp, or with a place of prostitution, or massage parlor, overseen by an administrator, or madam. In return for living arrangements, and security, a prostitute should share an outsized bit of her profit alongside her pimp or madam. Well-being dangers to female prostitutes epitomize pardonable sicknesses, non-inheritable through aimless sexual contact, and, in certain subcultures, sedate maltreatment.

Numerous young ladies swing to prostitution to fund-raise for their families or out of the requirement for cash to manage an obligation or an issue identified with their spouses. Some town young ladies are deceived into entering the exchange the urban areas with guarantees of good cash or another sort of occupation. One review found that 33% of all whore enter the exchange as a result of destitution and in excess of a forward move toward becoming whores after conjugal issues.

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Research Methodology

  1. To know the history of prostitution in India.
  2. Prostitution, disease, and the state
  3. Familiarity with the illicit
  4. To comprehend the causes and outcomes of prostitution in the Republic of India.
  5. To comprehend the classifications of whores in the Republic of India.
  6. To comprehend the impact of prostitution on society.
  7. To comprehend the methods of sex utilized,
  8. To know the healing measures.

History of prostitution in the Republic of India.

The calling of prostitution in the Republic of India is as fast as in some of the different nations in the world. ‘The starting point of this foundation is covered in a riddle, anyway, some of the experts on the issues partner it with profound practices, that inside the start were of a standard sort. The clarification for disgrace kept it for a period from deteriorating into the permit, yet the string tide of situation constrained it into a hired fighter affair.’Various endeavors were made in the past to capture its development by the state through enactment with almost no outcome. There was the isolation of prostitutes in a very city and a stock of them kept by the state. Kautilya set down the establishments keeping the open women (whores) in check. The relevant of prostitutes also comes in religious content and Jataka stories, and all Hindu Shastrakaras like Manu, Gautam, and Hindu god prescribed for the concealment of prostitution. Amid Mohammad King had their quarters. In any case, the quick urbanization and industrialization all through a people sum expanded this malice, and beyond any doubt, authoritative measures were taken to stop it.

Type of prostitutes that exist in our society in today’s life are:

  • The call girl
  • The streetwalker
  • Bar prostitutes
  • Brothel prostitutes
  • Camp followers
  • Interracial prostitutes
  • The Fleabag
  • Dance hall prostitutes
  • Beat prostitutes
  • Adolescent
  • Child prostitutes
  • Elderly prostitutes

The prostitutes are introduced to “the line” either by associating with, and/or being persuaded and convinced by other’ “sisters’ already in the profession’ “ madams”, contacts or persons involved in the activities; “friends” and “acquaintances” who are in the ‘sex trade. The ‘novice’ learns the techniques of their ‘sex trade’ form well-established prostitutes or the madams who have long passed the age for having sexual intimacy, but who are experienced or either by associating Dealers/procurers/pimps. These are the people who accumulate a number of young and attractive ladies. Ladies loosing procuring limits are before long supplanted by the ‘new merchandise’. A qualification has been drawn between a ‘procurer’, and a ‘pimp’. ‘A procurer is an individual whose business is to discover an unfaltering supply of young ladies, think about the interest in the zone they are serving, look for their unfortunate casualties in troubled regions of towns and villages, dismiss the individuals who have lost their appeal and freshness furthermore, have maybe turned out to be sick and supplant them with new exploited people though the pimp is one who conveys to every whorehouse the proper customer – the person would realize where to suit the unique inclinations of the client, publicize the charms of the detainees of the exceptional hands, and entice the strides of those who need amusement to a certain particular house. The secures are frequently the old whores who have surrendered the calling, while the pimps might be cab drivers, rickshaw pullers, tongwala’s or specialists working. ‘Pimps are for different sorts, for example, I. some of them are found in the nights in the whorehouses territories, round the image houses, lodgings or on the other hand at the ocean shores.’ ii. There are other people who don’t wander about but, just sit at home and supply data to the clients who approach them for the ‘merchandise’. They are extremely cunning and frequently entangle clients while on the train or somewhere else. These procurers and pimps have been portrayed as the ‘dirtiest, filthiest parcel in the creation, by Dr. Edwards; Reginald Bennet calls them ‘the Monarchs of Industry’.

One Prostitute’s story –

Manju Biswas, a whore from Calcutta, revealed to Newsweek she didn’t enter her calling by decision. When she was 13 she was sold for $30 by a corrupt neighbor to a house of ill-repute attendant and after that medicated and assaulted and showcased as a youngster prostitute, ‘These men, 10 to 15 per day, would come to visit me.’ She additionally said she was roughed up and embarrassed by neighborhood punks. ‘In the event that I challenged they would remove my cash as well as stub out cigarettes all over and arms.’

Prostitution in various places in India

Causation of Prostitution in India

The central reasons for prostitution can be characterized by the following classes:

  • Economic causes: Through the monetary impulses establish the main consideration in the causation of prostitution, it is in no way, shape or form the main and selective reason for the marvel. It isn’t the reason that each whore acknowledges cash for her administrations or that all whores hail from impoverished homes. There are numerous whores who hail from well to – do families. In India, obviously, there are numerous whores who are constrained to embrace prostitution to nourish themselves and their wards. Be that as it may, neediness isn’t the main monetary factor, there are numerous different elements that are monetary. The financial factors are involved: I. destitution, ii. Underage business. iii. Unfortunate working conditions, iv. The contamination and debasement in Industrial focus and v. Indecent traffic in ladies what’s more, kids.
  • Destitution: As alluded to prior, neediness is the primary financial factor in charge of prostitution. A lady who is helpless to get any beneficial business and who has no support should either starve to death or win her vocation through prostitution. The unskilled semiliterate ladies can only with significant effort get business. Usually, they need to explicitly delight their imminent bosses. As a general rule they need to explicitly delight their imminent bosses. Numerous guardians feel so totally defenseless that they prostitute their own youngsters. The cleaning specialist workers are after objects of the desire of their bosses. The idea of destitution anyway is relative. Lady may prostitute herself so as to live well and give top-notch instruction to her youngsters.
  • Under-age business: Many females need to work in inns, officers, and industry and shop at a youthful age, at this naive age they are effectively deluded by desire searchers.
  • Terrible working conditions: In India, numerous ladies can get work through delegates. These go-betweens and specialists enlist ladies and keep them at their leniency at whatever point opportunity offers itself they misuse it completely and regularly prevail in accepting sexual influence. When a lady falls prey to their desire they in a matter of seconds makes an expert out of her.
  • Contamination and Corruption in Industrial Centers: The living conditions in the greater part of the modern focuses are brutal in India. Living settlement is alarm and whatever is accessible is in ghettos. ‘Because of lack of convenience a large portion of the specialists are constrained to disregard their family and live. In the nonattendance of the family, film going betting and so forth. Make prostitute mongers of these people. Modern towns have occupied massage parlors and incalculable whores. In India ladies are paid less wages than men. Along these lines, temporary workers make it a point to enroll most extreme number of ladies in the work drive. These ladies in the work drive. These ladies are simply prey to the desires of contractual workers and their companions. Because of destitution and propensity, the labour ladies wear meager garments and frequently their crude bodies are presented to full perspective on these desire searchers. In ghettos unmarried young ladies need to observe the sexual exercises of their relatives and are regularly tempted rashly. The gifted improvement of sex regularly drives ladies of prostitution.
  • Unethical Traffic in Children Women: Many delicate young ladies are grabbed from their homes by deceitful criminals. They legitimately train them in the craft of prostitution and when these young ladies develop they are sold.
  • The Social Causes: The social causes are critical factors in empowering and advancing prostitution. The social factors are involved: I. family causes, ii. Conjugal components, iii. Terrible neighborhood and iv. Ill-conceived parenthood.
  • Family Factors. Majority of the prostitutes are associated with family inconveniences. Their folks were either living independently or their family relations were strained to the point that as kids they were left to their own plots and got no affection. A disliked kid when she grows up offers all of herself to anyone demonstrating any level of adoration and love. The offspring of lawbreakers demonstrate a checked inclination to turn into whores. It the mother is characterless and needs to convey her undercover contacts, she once in a while gets away from according to her girl. Frequently it occurs, a man laying down with his mother succeeds effectively in tempting the little girl.
  • Conjugal Factors: Many superstitions common in India compel ladies into prostitution. For example, widow remarriage is still disapproved of. Widows helpless to remarry because of social disgrace may end up becoming whores. In India especially in locals and poor, unlawful interchanges are normal. Because of the unpredictable security, and helplessness to satisfy their wants, they accept prostitution if all else fails.
  • Ill-conceived Motherhood: The ladies who end up pregnant because of their contacts and who can’t get premature birth get uncovered in the public eye. No one wants to marry them yet everyone needs to appreciate them explicitly. Such ladies want to wind up normal whores.
  • Natural Factors: The people brought into the world with faulty sex organs or over-dynamic organs may feel constrained to look for sex satisfaction in an odd way.

Religious and Cultural Factors:

In India there has been religious assent to prostitution. In south, every family was expected to offer one little girl to the sanctuary where clearly she should serve divine beings with all her commitment. They were known as devadasis – god-slaves. Yet, in real practice, they carried on with a real existence of prostitution. In old and medieval Indian whores delighted in the status of prostitutes, that is, joy young ladies of retainers and rulers. Their mistresses appreciated high status in the public arena. Polyandry and polygamy authorized by numerous social orders are sophistications of prostitution.

Impact of Prostitution

  1. Prostitution causes individual, family and social disruption. The prostitutes experience the ill effects of disintegration. The prostitute and the individual who approaches her lead a kind of ‘twofold life’. They experience the ill effects of good breakdown and free their status and position. Therefore, the pimp and the whore move toward becoming ‘abhorred and secluded ‘. They lead an existence with their own meaning of indiscriminate and wanton sex.
  2. The man who approaches a prostitute might be polluted with venereal infections. Whenever wedded may spread the illness to other and kids. There is clinical and psychoanalytic proof to demonstrate that numerous young fellows who had pre-military sex – association with whores experience the ill effects of ‘clairvoyant – impotence in wedded life.

What does Indian Penal Code say about Prostitution?


  • Section – 354: A penalty of two years imprisonment or fine or both was given for the offense of assault or use of criminal force upon a woman with an intent to outrage her modesty.
  • Section -366: Kidnapping or abducting a woman, in order that she may be forced or reduced to illicit intercourse with any person, including a woman to go from any place in order that she may be reduced to illicit intercourse by criminal intimidation or by an abuse of authority or under any other compulsion inducing a girl who is under 18 years of age, by any other means, go to from any place or to do any act, in order that she may be forced or reduced to illicit intercourse, kidnapping or abducting any person in order that she may be subjected to the unnatural list of any person, each of these was a grave offence punishable with imprisonment of either description for 10 years or fine or both.
  • Section 372: Selling, Letting for hire or otherwise disposing of. Or buying, hiring or other obtaining possession of any girl under 18 years of age for any unlawful or immoral purpose was made an offence.
  • Section 375: Sexual intercourse with a woman under 16 years of age was treated as rape notwithstanding that she may have consented to it and punishable for rape was up to 10 years.
  • Section 497: Sexual intercourse by a person with the wife by another man without the consent or connivance of that man constituted the offense of adultery punishable with imprisonment up to 5 years or fine or both.
  • Section 498: The woman herself was declared free from any liability as an abettor. Enticing a married woman, in order that she may have illicit intercourse with any person or concealing or detaining her with such an intent with imprisonment for 2 years or fine or both.

The above-given arrangements made in the Indian Penal Code did not make prostitution unlawful, nor did it make acquiring a criminal offense under all condition. However, to the extent grown-up females were concerned the arrangement was that it must be joined by abducting or criminal terrorizing. Though it was an offense on account of minor young women under 18 years old for their purchasing and utilizing for corrupt purposes, bringing into India young ladies under 21 years old for corrupt purposes. In this manner, the endeavors with respect to the Government of India to check prostitution were helpful. The credit goes to Bombay state when the Bombay Prevention of Prostitution Act was passed in 1923. Some different acts were additionally passed to secure certain young ladies who were made prostitutes under certain social customs. These demonstrations were the U.P. Naik Girls Protection Act 1929, the Bombay Devdasi Protection Act 1934, Madras Devdasi (Prevention of Dedication) Act 1947. Notwithstanding all these Acts, The issues of prostitution couldn’t be effectively handled.

Remedial Measures Universal concern: The global participation to end the traffic in ladies for reasons for prostitution started in 1899. In 1921, the League of Nations designated an advisory group, The board of trustees on the Immoral Traffic in Women and Children. In 1949 the United Nations General Assembly embraced a tradition for the concealment of prostitution. In 1977 in America’s Los Angeles a universal gathering was sorted out. Around 1000 sex specialists took an interest in this meeting. It drew global consideration toward prostitution and the issue of whores

Preventive Measures to Tackle the Problem of Prostitution

Numerous endeavors have been made to close places that support prostitution. The enactments have been instituted. Furthermore, some fundamental measures that are taken are:

Sex Education:

Both types of people ought to be instructed about and perils of venereal ailments or explicitly transmitted infections and the wellsprings of such ailments and their negative sway on conjugal and well-known relations, there are different advances to instruct individuals. The estimations of restraint ought to be instructed at an early age. There ought to be an arrangement for sex instruction to youngsters in schools and universities. Appropriate writing for sex instruction ought to be dispersed to the youthful ones by a few social welfare offices. The sex instruction is additionally useful in keeping away from undesirable pregnancies prior to marriage and furthermore after marriage.

Business open doors for Women:

Girls and ladies are compelled to take up this calling due to extreme destitution. Consequently, preparation and training ought to be given to them. Bestowing instruction, preparation and abilities will expand the employability of ladies in occupation showcase. Financial strengthening can keep the poor ladies from entering this debased calling.

Annulment of Certain Social Customs:

Widow Remarriage ought to be supported. With Window, Remarriage Act window turned out to be allowed to wed. The arrangement of endowment which suspended numerous young ladies from getting hitched ought to be disheartened wholeheartedly by and by. There is an earnest need to change the general public’s frame of mind towards widow marriage, share, and devadasi.

Double standards of Morality need to be discouraged:

The Double standard of morality expects women to be chaste and, and anticipates that men should be sporadic and there create endured bad habit’.

Attention and purposeful publicity: Public ought to be edified on the enactments and if any such disturbances in the encompassing regions are discovered at that point, promptly one should approach to report this occasion. In addition, films animating sex intrigue and obscene writing need to be discouraged. Today’s youth has a free access to the Internet. In web there are numerous locales are there that are equipped for cutting down the ethical measures among adolescents, therefore, guardians need to be careful about the web propensities for their children.

Foundation of Venereal Disease Clinics: Special Venereal Sickness Clinics ought to be opened to treat the casualties of venereal infections. Symptomatic offices ought to be given to helpless bunches like whores and lorry drivers.

Notices: Pamphlets ought to be issued to make open mindfulness about substance exchange. Open ought to be encouraged to look for treatment quickly in the event that they are experiencing such venereal infections. In addition, there ought to be free blood test examination and treatment of every single antenatal case to guarantee the birth of ordinary, solid youngsters free from all intrinsic imperfections.

The job of Voluntary Agencies in Rehabilitating Prostitutes

Various associations have approached such ladies. Some vital organizations are effectively attempting to change and restore whores and find their valuable work. They will be They Women Home, Chennai; Shardhanand Anath Ashram, Mumbai; The great shepherd Home, Chennai; Chris pins Home, Poona; The Salvation Army Home, Bengal; Khusalbagh Mission halfway house, Gorakhpur; Mahila Anthalaya And Varanasi, These organizations focus on the restoration of fallen women.


Prostitution being a hydra-headed snake that has numerous features, must be managed at different dimensions and from different edges,. It requires a radical change in the general public. Which would include an extensive survey of the entire issue of social traditions and mores concerning, separate, sex training just as financial conditions, and furthermore developing an appropriate and thorough program to raise the financial dimension and the socio-moral and enthusiastic dimension of the general population. Hence, endeavors need to be made not exclusively to reduce each assortment of mental pressure, but also to give compensatory youth the love, friendship, legitimate information of unavoidable truths that apply to everyone, and feeling of security and belongingness that is fundamental for their ordinary life, we can’t anticipate that them should lead a typical life. One needs to understand that women are the sole owners of their bodies and have the unarguable right to decide what to do with it as long as they don’t physically harm someone. You don’t get to decide what someone else does with their own bodies. Because prostitution per se is not illegal in India, Prostitutes cannot be seen as individuals with half-rights or no rights; the Constitution of India guarantees them all rights as are available to all other citizens of the country; legalize activities of sex workers, but as to how to regulate prostitution in India flesh trade is an $8.4 billion industry in India,? The only good that can be done to uplift the prostitutes from their situation of crises is to acknowledge them as human beings, not only of ‘flesh’ but also of emotions; rights; privileges and liberties; and to make them realize that the Constitution of India shields them, protects them and embraces them, as it does to all other citizens of the country.

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