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Updated: Jun 26, 2023

1. Prostitution . According to G.R. Scott , A prostitute is an individual ( male or female ) who for some kind of reward ( monetary or otherwise ) or for some other form of personal satisfaction and a part or full time profession , engaged in normal or abnormal sexual the sex intercourse with various persons who may be of the same sex or the opposite sex is the prostitute . The Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act , Prostitute means a female who offers her body of the promiscuous sexual intercourse for hire whether in money or in kind . On the other hand , prostitution means the act of a female offering her body for promiscuous sexual intercourse for hire , whether in money or in kind .

2. Prostitute - customer relationship .-

( i ) Commercial - Each coition or extracoital sexual act ( of series of coitions or extracoital acts ) is paid for separately and at the time, usually in cash .

( ii ) Transit - There is brevity of time and is transient .

( iii ) Impersonal . The relationship is impersonal , especially on the side of the prostitute . Anonymity is maintained in most cases .

( iv ) Predetermines . - Affection , tenderness and mutual respect often wanting . Customer only desire for sexual pleasure .

3. Form of prostitution .-

( i ) Common prostitute . - The old and trained prostitutes procure girls and maintain brothels and den , the girls are provided fooding and clothing . The brothel keepers make money out of their earnings . They are mostly poorly paid and socially insulted .

( ii ) Hotel Prostitute ( Call Girl ) .- They live in the most expensive residential houses , they dress in rich , good taste . The call girl has fewer sex contacts than do other . They have got PREROGATIVE OF REFUSAL the right to turn down any customer who for one reason or another , is distasteful to bear . Bar prostitutes are not full time whores but are girls supplementing income earned by bar - maids .

( iii ) Decentralized Prostitutes . Due to suppression of Immoral Traffic Act , prostitutes have been decentralized in the various parts of the cities where they independently carry their profession .

( iv ) Hereditary Prostitutes - In certain classes of society , prostitution is handed down from mother to daughter is hands down for mother to daughter without any shame and immorality . Girls are trained in the art of dancing and singing . In God and Sawantwadi , they are called Goumantak Maharattas , and Kolati ; in Andhra Basvi and Koyi , in Bihar and U.P. the Nuts and Beriaras . They are generally better trained and keep to one man only .

( v ) Prostitute belonging to backward and criminal tribes . - In Northern India some nomadic tribes , prostitution is prevalent in terms of custom . They prostitute their girls without any social disgrace .

( vi ) Religious prostitutes . The Devdasi system , girls are dedicated to temples . They are known by different names viz . , Devdasi in Kerala , Murli in Maharashtra , Bavsi in Telangana . Jogathi in Karnataka . The duty of these temple girls is to dance and sing before the idol on ceremonial occasions .

( vii ) Traditional prostitutes . - Generally the ancient Rajas , Jagirdars and rich persons maintained traditional group of prostitutes . Their duty was to entertain rulers and princes on the occasion of the festivals . In some religious ashramas women devotees are exploited both by the Sadhus and the visitors .


It is a product of social , economic , psychological and pathological factors .

( a ) Rapid industrialization . Modern mechanization and urbanization has brought about total disintegration of the family institution . The control of parents over their wards has weakened and negligence of parents is responsible for indiscipline , rowdyism and vagrancy among youngsters . Rapid industrialization is responsible for the acute shortage of living and housing accommodation . The industrial workers are forced to leave their wives in the rural areas . Consequently , in all industrial and commercial centers we find in inequality of sexes . It leads to an increase of prostitution and spread of venereal disease , first in city and later in village with the return of migratory labourers to his home .Many men hesitate to bring their wives into the industrial cities where the atmosphere is so alein to that of village with its code of moral restraints . Dr. R.K. Mukerji in Indian Working Class at observed the IN FACT IN THOUSAND OF SLUMS OF THE INDIAN IS CENTERS MANHOOD BRUTALIZED , WOMANHOOD DISHONOURED AND CHILDHOOD POISONED AT ITS VERY SOURCE Children and adolescents are kept ignorant from the true knowledge of sex . Hence they cultivate knowledge towards sex from obscene literature , films and magazines etc. This result in sex delinquency in the form of unmarried motherhood , abortion , rape , kidnapping , enticement , abdication , adultery , incest , indecent assault etc.

( b ) Social customs . - The dowry system , child marriage , prohibition of widow remarriage , the system of polygamy , the dual standards of morality and caste system and bride price are some of the factors which creates tension in the family .

Young girls are often forced to remain as spinsters due to dowry system . Due to disintegration of joint family system there is little protection to widow , They frequently enter into sex promiscuity . The Hindu Marriage Act condemns all form of sex indulgence except the marital union of spouses as husband and wife as illegal and improper .

The Act does not take into consideration the reasons for dis - satisfaction between the wife and husband such as impotency , temperamental differences , physical imbalance , disease , neglect of spouses or children etc. , the Mohammedan law as to marriage permissibility of four wives to Muslim husband ; muta a marriage , easy mode of talaq , etc. , are to some extent meant to mitigate illegal sex indulgence . The Mohammadan Law also needs some amendment . Social - Scientists are of opinion that sex delinquency is basically evil but it is necessary for procreation , physical fitness and mental satisfaction . In India chastity is stressed more on women than men .

Donald Taft . Criminology , at page 262 observed that sexuality is a biological phenomenon needs no specific training . He further observed that contraceptives would remove a deterrent on immoral behaivour and people would be free to indulge in sex delinquencies without impunity , without fear of possible conception or birth .

Dr. Freud in his theory of criminal behaviour has explained sexual criminality in terms of FUNCTIONAL DEVIATIONS AND MENTALS CONFLICT IN THE PERSONALITY OF INDIVIDUALS . However, a person indulges in extra - martial sex relations when there is lack to ego and super ego . It generates urge in a person sex urge which is controlled by ego and super - ego .


Family causes . - Their parents were either living separately or their family relations are so strained that the children are left of their own will and wish and receive no love . If the mother is characterless she cannot escape the eager eyes of her daughter .

Maritial factor - Young widow tries to satisfy her sexual desire by extra marital relation with relatives or friends .

Bad neighbourhood . - The children living near brothels or in the company of immoral persons becomes so used in seeing sex trade that they come to accept it as normal .

Illegitimate motherhood - Nobody wants to marry them but everybody wants to enjoy them sexually . Desperately such women prefer to become regular prostitutes .

Poverty . The prostitutes are generally illiterate , unfortunate and poor . They permit the customers to exploit their bodies for making their living .

ill - treatment . In certain families , daughters - in - law are not properly treated by mother - in - law , sister - in - law or by the husband himself due to unsatisfaction of dowry demands . Women very often commit suicide or run away from house and they easily prey to anti - social elements .

Kidnapping - Young girls and ignorant women are often seduced by lover , procurers , employers or co - workers on the false promise of marriage and of employment . Many young girls or ignorant women run from house due to attraction of becoming actress .

Unemployment . - Many females have to work in hotels , offices , industry and shop at immature age due to unemployment of the male members in the members in the family . They are easily misled by lust seekers . Woman was paid less wages than men . Contractors try to recruit maximum number of women in the labour force and these women are easy prey of the lusts of contractors and their friends .

Lack of recreation . Due to bad company and lack of recreation the women may adopt drinking , gambling , dance halls , etc. Bonger has mentioned he following factors

1. Immoral environment .
2. Early employment .
3. Illegitimate maternity .
4. Poverty .
5. Vested interests .

Changes in habits . Donald Taft observed that changes in the habits of dress and undress , ex themes in literature's , dramas , obscenity in advertisement , movies , television and cinemas may stimulate sexual impulses in varying degree . They learnt new ways of flirting , romance and courtship from these films and try to practice in their real life . They are unable to control sex drive which result in unmarried motherhood . Edwin Sutherland observed that they may tried of abort the child , if child is allowed to take birth , this again creates complications of fatherhood or legitimacy of the child so born . Thus this leads to series to correlated offences .

Consumption of liquor . - Consumption of liquor , drugs etc. , a person under the influence of liquor , drugs commits many serious sex crimes .

Defective law and its enforcement . In the majority of the sex crimes , the offenders get acquitted in the absence of eye - witnesses as these crimes are committed in desolate lonely places . Besides fear , awe and humiliation at the hands of police , lawyers etc. Victims of Crime does not approach the law Courts , police , etc. The Medical expert are generally due to money , muscle or of thecauses does not give correct and positive opinion about the commission of offence in order to play safe . If the victim happens to be a child or a teenage giri , she may not be able to uphold the story fully and freely and correctly in the Court resulting in acquittal of the offender .


Disadvantage of prostitution

1. They have become a part of underworld :- gambling , smuggling , narcotic drugs syndicate etc. , and it is not possible for them to come out of it .

2. They are protected and exploited by their pimps and these pimps or touts takes away the substantial amount of their income . They have also to provide corruption money to the police to protect them from harsh treatment by the pimps , bad customers etc. They have to pay substantial amount to the advocate and also fines if punished . They have to pay money to pimps , police officers etc. , for the safety from hoodlumps . Thus they have no much amount to saved to start a new legitimate business or profession . They have to undergone jail terms many a times which disrupts their source of income . The income of the prostitutes their source of income follows the PRINCIPLE OF DIMINISHING RETURN IN TERMS OF AGE and a time comes when they have starved themselves even for foods , clothing , house etc. , due to old age or loss of glamour . Underworld associations tends to lead to alcoholic and narcotic addiction due to stressful and dangerous living conditions .

3. They are sufferer from general disease , HIV . etc. , which takes away substantial amount of their earning in curing the diseases .

4. In order to store some money for new business or profession or for retirement age , the longer one remains in the business , then it becomes difficult to make satisfactory new life outside it in the respectable worlds ; after lapse of sufficient time of their life span . They have to suffer disgrace of past immoral life , arrests and overburdening attitude of former customers in new life .

5. Repression , control , regulation and other policies . Suppression refers to the efforts to be made to wipe out the institution of prostitution . This is not possible but would lead to clandestine vices . Regulation accepts the inevitability of prostitution and efforts are directed of prevent and minimize its evil effects . Through the process of licensing , registration , enforcing health directives and prescribing limits in the city or town where the profession could be carried out . The Government can prevent the nuisance aspect of the prostitution .

The Suppression of Immoral Traffic Act , 1956 does not prohibit prostitution as such but seek to remove some of the conditions which promotes prostitution . The provisions are directed mainly towards those who either organize prostitution by running brothels or induct women into the sex trade . The important object of this Act is to rescues girl in need to help and provision is made for protection homes . The prostitution means the sexual exploitation , abuse of persons for commercial purposes . The Act classifies the persons into three categories viz . , children , minors and adults ; the formers two being less than 18 and 16 years respectively . Under Section 5 procuring , inducing , or taking for the sake of prostitution is made punishable with varying period of imprisonment's . Greater punishment is awarded for offence against minors and children .

6. Measures for the control of prostitution . The problem of prostitution is based on several factors . Hence , it cannot be controlled by an isolated measure . In brief , the following measures are helpful to solve the problem of prostitution

1. Improvement in economic condition - In several cases , adverse economic condition leads a woman to prostitution . Hence , a woman should be economically protected .

2. Removal of social evils There are several social evils hampering the development of personality . Dowry system , prohibition of widow remarriage , bride - price etc. , are some factors which create bad atmosphere and disintegrate the family in a distinegrated family , there is no protection to widows and unmarried girls .

3. Healthy sex education In India , there is the peculiar attitude towards sex . Consequently , youths remain ignorant from the scientific knowledge of sex .

4. Rehabilitation of prostitutes - There should be rehabilitation of those prostitutes who may be willing to lead their family life .

5. Public opinion - There should be healthy public opinion against prostitution .

6. Punishment There should be legal provision for the punishment of those people who maintain brothel and live on the earnings of prostitutes .

7. Proper treatment In certain cases , physiological factors are also involved in sex delinquency . Therefore , proper treatment should be provided to those feeble minded having uncontrolled sex inputs .

Legislative Measures Regarding the Control of Prostitution. In India, the legal provision regarding the prohibition of prostitution began with the commencement of the Indian Penal Code . It contains provision regarding the protection of minor girls from being forced to a life of prostitution. Similarly , the Police Acts of the principal cities prohibit the location of brothels in specified areas . At present several State Acts are enforcing regarding the control of prostitution . But the Central Act in this respect was enacted in 1956 .

Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act , 1956. - The Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act was enacted by the Parliament in pursuance of the International Convention signed at New York on the 9th May , 1950. The purpose of this Act is to abolish traffic in women and girls for the purposes of prostitution . The following are the main provisions of the Act

Punishment for keeping a brothel or following premises to be used as a brothel . According to the provisions of this Act , any person who keeps or manages , or acts or assists in the keeping or management of a brothel shall be punishable on first conviction with rigorous imprisonment for a term of not less than one year and not more than three years and also with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees , and in the event of a second or subsequent conviction , with rigorous imprisonment for a term of not less than two years and not more than five years and also with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees .

Punishment for living on the earnings of prostitution . Any person over the age of eighteen years who knowingly lives , wholly or in part , on the earning of the prostitution of a woman or girl shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years , or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees or with both .

Punishment for procuring , inducing or taking women or girls for the sake of Prostitution . The Act provides that any person who :

( a ) procures or attempts to procure a woman or girl , whether with or without her consent , for the purpose of prostitution ; or

( b ) induces a woman or girl to go from any place , with the intent that she may for the purpose of prostitution become the inmate of , or frequent , a brothel ; or

( c ) takes or attempts to take a woman or girl , or causes a woman or girl , to be taken , from one place to another with a view to her carrying on or being brought - up to carry on , prostitution ; or

( d ) Causes or induces a woman or girl to carry on prostitution ; shall be punishable on first conviction with rigorous imprisonment for a term of not less than one year and not more than two years and also with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees .

Detaining a woman or girl in premises . - Where prostitution is carried on - According to the provision of the Act , any person who detains any woman or girl , whether with or without her consent

( a ) in any brothel , or

( b ) in or upon any premises with intent that she may have sexual intercourse with any man other than her lawful husband , shall be punishable on first conviction with rigorous imprisonment for a term of not less than one year and not more than two years and also with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees . On a second or subsequent conviction for an offence under this section a person shall be punishable , with rigorous imprisonment for a term of not less than two years and not more than five years and also with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees .

Prostitution in or in the vicinity of public places . - Any woman and girl who carries on prostitution , and the person with whom such prostitution is carried on , in any premises which are within a distance of two hundred yards of any place of public , religious worship , educational institution , hostel , hospital ,nursing home or such other public place of any kind as may be notified in this prescribed shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend behalf by the Commissioner of police or District Magistrate in the manner o three months . soliciting for purpose of prostitution . Whoever , in any

Seducing or public place or within sight or and in such manner as to be seen or heard from , any public place , whether from which any building or house or not ;

( a ) by words , gestures , willful exposure of her person ( whether by sitting by a window or on the balcony of a building or house or any other way ) , or otherwise tempts or endeavours to tempt , or attracts or endeavours to attract the attention of any person for the purpose of prostitution , or

( b ) Solicits or molests any person , or loiters or acts in such manner as to cause obstruction or annoyance to persons residing nearby or passing by such public place or to offend against public decency , for the purpose of prostitution ; shall be punishable on first conviction with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees , or with both , and in the event of a second or subsequent conviction , with imprisonment for a term which may extent to one year , and also with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees .

Seduction of a woman or girl in custody . - Any person who having the custody , charge or care of any woman or girl , causes aids or abets the seduction for prostitution of that woman or girl shall be punishable on first conviction with rigorous imprisonment for a term of not less than one year and not more than three years and also with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees . In the event of second or subsequent conviction of an offence under this section a person shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to five years and also with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees .

Protective homes . - According to the Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act 1956 , protective home means an institution in which women and girls may be kept . It includes

( A ) A shelter where female under - trials may be kept ; and

( B ) A corrective institution in which women and girls rescued and detained may be imparted training as are likely to conduce to their reformation .

( 1 ) The State Government may in its discretion establish as many protective homes under this Act as it thinks fit and such homes , when established shall be maintained in such manner as may be prescribed ..

( 2 ) No person or no authority other than State Government shall , after the commencement of this Act , establish or maintain any protective home except under and in accordance with the conditions of , a licence issued by the State Government .

( 3 ) The State Government may , on application made to it in this behalf by a person or authority , issue to such person or authority a license in the prescribed form for establishing and maintaining or as the case may be for maintaining a protective home and a license so issued may contain such condition as the State Government may think fit to impose in accordance with rules made under this Act .

( 4 ) Before issuing a license the State Government may require such officer or authority as may appoint for this purpose . to make a full and complete investigation in respect of the application received in this behalf and report to it the result of such investigation and in making any such investigation the officer or authority shall follow such procedure as may be prescribed .

( 5 ) A licence , unless sooner revoked , shall remain in force for such period as may be specified in the licence and may , on application made in this behalf at least thirty days before the date of its expiration , be renewed for a like period .

( 6 ) No licence issued or renewed under this Act shall be transferable .

( 7 ) Where any person or authority to whom a licence has been granted under this Act or any agent or servant of such person or authority commits a breach of any of the conditions thereof or any of the provisions of this Act , or of any of the rules made under this Act , or where the State Government is not satisfied with the condition , management or superintendence of any protective home , the State Government may without prejudice to any other penalty which may have been incurred under this Act , for reasons to be recorded , revoke the licence by order in writing .

( 8 ) When a licence in respect of a protective home has been revoked under the foregoing sub - section such protective home shall cease to function from the date of such revocation .

( 9 ) Subject to any rules that may be made in this behalf , the State Government may also vary or amend any licence issued or renewed under this Act .

( 10 ) Whoever establishes or maintains a protective home except in accordance with the provisions of this section , shall be punishable in the case of a first offence with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees and in the case of second or subsequent offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or fine which may extend to two thousand rupees , or with both .


Remedial measures :-

Parents should keep watch and control over children and pre - warn them of the possible dangers involved in illegal sexual Some criminologists suggest that sex education and correct knowledge of sex to young person . They must be made aware of possibility of contacting acts venerable disease and AIDS etc.

The women should guard against providing any opportunity to the potential sex offender . Minor and young girls must be properly escorted . The young girls and women may take karate training for self - defence and protection against sex offender . Women and young girls must be kept engaged in some works i.e. , schooling , some small profession etc.

Government must permit private conjugal visits to the prisoner at regular intervals under the supervision of jail authorities . This facility is denied to women prisoners for reasons of social security , possibility of getting pregnant and giving birth to child in the prison . The prisoner can satisfy or pacify their sex impulse thus making them less violent and it helped in reducing tension in prison . Adolescent girl must be property counseled and guided at the time of puberty and menstruation when they are undergoing a biological change in their physical body .

Police should keep strict vigilance in busy streets , markets , railway stations , bus stands , schools , colleges , cinema houses , public gardens to keep away the sex offenders . The Police should not subject the victims of crime to repeated questioning and identity of the victim should not be disclosed . The informers must be duly protected by the police . Alcoholisms , drug addictions etc. , should be well controlled .

The Supreme Court in² issued directions of rehabilitation of children of prostitutes . Children of prostitute , including child prostitute should be treated as fected juvenile as defined in Junveile Justice Act . They should be rescued areas and shifted to juveniles homes . It is mandatory duty of State from red - light to establish juveniles homes and to constitute Juvenile Welfare Board NGOs should be associated with the rehabilitation work . Coercive power should be used only as a last resort ; counselling and cajoling be used instead . victims of adverse social - economic circumstances rather than an offender . The Apex Court further observed that flesh trade should be viewed as victims of adverse social _economic circumstances rather than an offender.




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