It is impossible to understand prostitution other than as exploitation of vulnerable people for sex or profit. It is seen as causing great damage to prostituted persons and delivering no social benefit beyond the pleasure of those who buy sex.
It is mostly women and girls that are prostituted – many of whom have been weakened by poverty, drug addiction, sexual abuse, coercion, or slavery. The buyers of sex are overwhelmingly men. The sex industry in all its forms is therefore “both a cause and a consequence of gender inequality, continuing the idea that womens’ and girls’ bodies are for sale (1).