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A prostitute is a type of sex worker who engages in sexual relations, typically for monetary compensation. The term prostitute comes from the Latin word prostituta. Some experts suggest it is a combination of "pro" meaning "up front" or "forward" and "situere" which means "to offer up for sale." Other etymologists believe it is a combination of "pro" and "statuere" which means "to cause to stand" or "place erect."
While the term prostitute is commonly used, it's worth noting that sex rights activists have expressed a preference for the term "sex worker" instead. This more inclusive and general term can refer to anyone who works within the sex industry such as strippers or fetish models.
The legal status of prostitutes varies from country to country. In some nations, sex work is a regulated profession; in other countries, the activities of prostitutes are regarded as criminal acts. In the United States, prositution is illegal except in Nevada. Nevada allows some legalized sex work in certain areas. Sex workers are estimated to generate more than $100 billion annually worldwide.