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Most sex worker activists groups reject the word prostitute and since the late 1970s have used the term sex worker instead.
However, sex worker can also mean anyone who works within the sex industry or whose work is of a sexual nature and is not limited solely to prostitutes.
In Germany, however, most prostitutes' organizations deliberately use the word Hure (whore) since they feel that prostitute is a bureaucratic term.
Those seeking to remove the social stigma associated with prostitution often promote terminology such as sex worker, commercial sex worker (CSW), tantric engineer (coined by author Robert Anton Wilson), or sex trade worker.
There are about 42 million prostitutes in the world, living all over the world (though most of Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa lacks data, studied countries in that large region rank as top sex tourism destinations).
Another explanation is that prostituta is a composition of pro and statuere (to cause to stand, to station, place erect).
A variety of terms are used for those who engage in prostitution, some of which distinguish between different types of prostitution or imply a value judgment about them.
Common alternatives for prostitute include escort and whore; however, not all professional escorts are prostitutes.
The legal status of prostitution varies from country to country (sometimes from region to region within a given country), ranging from being permissible but unregulated, to an enforced or unenforced crime, or a regulated profession.Another commonly used word for a prostitute is hooker.