The word has reference in the Latin form prōstitūta, based on prostitūtus, past participle of prostituĕre, constituted by the prefix pro-, in terms of ‘forward’ or ‘advance’, and the verb statuere, regarding ‘establish’, ‘stop’, ‘situate’, over the Indo-European root *sta-, for ‘stop’, ‘situate’, ‘mark’, making the idea of exhibiting/exhibiting in public spaces. For its part, the noun prostitution is located in the Latin forms prostitutio, prostitutiōnis.
The significance records that refers to the woman who performs intimacy practices professionally to survive, make a living, with clients that pay for those services, dates back to between the XV and XVI centuries. The most brutal forms of prostitution, associated with slavery, dates back to ancient Rome, and currently fall under the category of human trafficking. The first specific legal regulation against trafficking in the context of sexual exploitation, with particular attention to the case of minors, was in 1913, established in Argentina through Law 9.143.
Prostitution has historically developed clandestinely, as an illegal practice, which is why it was accompanied by the popular and derogatory adjective puta; however, it is socially accepted and criticized, causing a double standard in the functioning of the system that governs society. There are multiple shadows, tracing two paths, on the one hand, to regularization, providing rights, security and obligations to workers, placing obstacles to abusive and exploitative actions, and, on the other hand, about abolition, eliminating any possibility to this exercise. But this sociocultural debate is recent; although it is an issue that is present since ancient times, it has usually been dealt with under the table.
Germany approved the first norm of regulation in 2002, and a second, more complete one, in 2017. Sweden, on the other hand, became a model for the abolition of prostitution based on a law framework approved in 1999, which has been worked to provide assistance and alternatives to this practices, as well as establishing fines and rigorous controls for those who seek this service. They are two sides of the same coin, however, regardless of the path that each nation chooses, it must be avoided for this business to be managed by unscrupulous individuals.