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In December of 2011, an article published in the New York Times swept the nation. The article featured Barbara Terry, a fifty-two year old Bronx woman, mother of four and self-proclaimed devout Christian. Barbara attended college for two years, training to become a medical lab technician before she and her husband divorced at the age of 21. Stuck alone without a complete college education and four kids, Barbara turned to working the streets of Hunts Point, a neighborhood in the Bronx. Barbara has been in the profession for 31 years and throughout all those years, she says that she has been arrested over one hundred times. Despite all these arrests, she continues to return to the streets as her primary source of income. “There’s so much money out here, you wouldn’t believe it” (Kilgannon, 2011). Barbara has earned enough income via prostitution to put two children through college and buy a house in upstate New York. Barbara’s experience with prostitution is indicative of the growing interest in the practice and legality of prostitution in the United States.
The practice of prostitution is known all throughout the world. The formal definition of prostitution is, “the act or practice of engaging in promiscuous sexual relations especially for money” (Oxford English Dictionary, 2012). The prostitution industry consists of two spectrums of practice: street prostitution and indoor prostitution. Although there is no formal definition of “street prostitution” it is most widely known as the act in which a prostitute advertises themself in a public area such as public streets or sidewalks and gets “picked up” by clients. Street prostitutes typically serve clients in their cars or in public spaces such as alleyways and parks. According to M...

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Works Cited

Craw, Holly. 2010. “A Brief History of Prostitution Laws and the Trafficking Victims Protections Act.” Examiner, Nov. 23.
Department of Elections. 2008. “Election Summary” City and County of San Francisco. Nov. 4.
Kilgannon, Corey. 2011. “52, and Still Working the Streets.” New York Times, Dec. 30.
Marshall, Carolyn. 2004. “Bid to Decriminalize Prostitution in Berkeley.” New York Times, Sept. 14.
Oxford English Dictionary. 2012. Kettering: Northamptonshire.
PBS. 2005. “The Mann Act.” Jan.
Rockefeller Archive Center. 1913. “Bureau of Social Hygiene Archives.”
State of Nevada. 1987. 201.354. Nevada: United States.
U.S. Department of Justice. 2002. Street Prostitution. D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice
Weitzer, Ronald. 2012. Legalizing Prostitution: From Illicit Vice to Lawful Business. New York City: New York University Press.

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