Prostitution is one of the oldest and most enduring professions. Despite attempts to control and eradicate it through criminal sanctions, it remains a feature of most societies over recorded time. Even in societies where the sanctions for prostitution include death, prostitutes continue to provide services, albeit in what might be reduced numbers and in a clandestine form. Research into the nature of prostitution over time and across societies provides an insight into the universal forces that underpin it.\ud \ud While the primary functions of prostitution (to provide sex for men and income for women or men) have been constant, the structure of the sex industry, the relationships to disease, the moral context and the public visibility are constantly changing. Prostitution was once widespread in the developing port cities of Australia. Some of the most exclusive, expensive areas of Sydney were once home to ramshackle brothels and bars. During the major wars of the twentieth century, sex work was tolerated and sometimes regulated by armies. During recent decades in Queensland, it was organised illegally by police and other government officials..
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