Sensorship Essay

This essay has a total of 640 words and 4 pages.

sensorship

Prostitution was widespread in preindustrial societies. The exchange of wives by their
husbands was a practice among many primitive peoples. In the ancient Middle East and India
temples maintained large numbers of prostitutes. Sexual intercourse with them was believed
to facilitate communion with the gods.


In ancient Greece prostitution flourished on all levels of society. Prostitutes of the
lowest level worked in licensed brothels and were required to wear distinctive clothing as
a badge of their vocation. Prostitutes of a higher level usually were skilled dancers and
singers. Those of the highest level, the hetaerae, kept salons where politicians met, and
they often attained power and influence.


In ancient Rome prostitution was common despite severe legal restrictions. Female slaves,
captured abroad by the Roman legions, were impressed into urban brothels or exploited by
owners in the households they served. The Roman authorities attempted to limit the spread
of slave prostitution and often resorted to harsh measures. Brothel inmates, called
meretrices, were forced to register with the government for life, to wear garish blond
wigs and other distinctive raiment, to forfeit all civil rights, and to pay a heavy tax.


In the Middle Ages the Christian church, which valued chastity, attempted to convert or
rehabilitate individual prostitutes but refrained from campaigning against the institution
itself. In so doing the church followed the teaching of St. Augustine, who held that the
elimination of prostitution would breed even worse forms of immorality and perversion,
because men would continue to seek sexual contact outside marriage. By the late Middle
Ages, prostitution had reached a high point in Western history. Licensed brothels
flourished throughout Europe, yielding enormous revenues to government officials and
corrupt churchmen. In Asia, where women were held in low esteem and no religious deterrent
existed, prostitution was accepted as natural.


During the 16th century prostitution declined sharply in Europe, largely as the result of
stern reprisals by Protestants and Roman Catholics. They condemned the immorality of
brothels and their inmates, but they were also motivated by the perception of a connection
between prostitution and an outbreak of syphilis, a previously unknown disease. Brothels
in many cities were closed by the authorities. Under a typical ordinance, enacted in Paris
in 1635, prostitutes were flogged, shaved bald, and exiled for life without formal trial.


III INDUSTRIAL SOCIETIES

These harsh strictures did not, however, eradicate prostitution and sexually transmitted
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