Essay on Prostitution in Pompeii

2761 Words 12 Pages
Prostitution, as stated by Flemming, is known as a form of sexual activity, a kind of sexual style or category, and a form of economic activity, a way of making a living through the provisions of certain services, by behaving in accordance with, or falling into such a category (39). This definition, though, is controversial. While conducting research for this project, we found that most topics regarding prostitution and its affiliates were controversial. Each author gave a differing interpretation for the same data. Due to this, our project centered on the female prostitutes, even though there is evidence of male prostitutes.
"Virtue is something lofty, elevated and regal, invincible and indefatigable; Pleasure is something lowly and
…show more content…
The woman's sexual honor also represented the honor of her family. It was the man's job to protect the family's honor and; therefore, the sexual integrity of the women within the family (McGinn, 10-11). Women were expected to remain sexually faithful to their husbands, while men were free to sleep with prostitutes and slaves as they wished.
Prostitutes and Pimps
Prostitutes were seen as both useful and unsavory at the same time (Flemming, 44). Men's nature required a setting aside of a class of degraded women to service them (McGinn, 214). The Augustan Laws regarding prostitution are a good illustration of the sheer hypocrisy men displayed with regard to the women in their society. For example, the Tax legitimized prostitution as a legal entity, while the Registration stigmatized women, making them ineligible for respectable work and isolating them to the lower class of society (McGinn, 212 & 287). The authoritarian elite of the Roman Empire regarded prostitution as an institution through which women were made and marketed as sexual objects of a certain, approved type for the general populace (Flemming, 56). In general, prostitution was seen like everything else, to be enjoyed in moderation (Flemming, 44). Pimps and procuresses were seen as even more disagreeable because of the widespread belief that they exploited the weak, and were merchants of dishonor (McGinn, 136). Basically, laws were established to make prostitution legal but
Open Document