Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Economics: Sex Workers: Iran: Early Modern (up to ca. 1900)
(832 words)

Prostitution in premodern and early modern Iran was widespread, although how widespread is difficult to say because the issue is complicated by the absence of a clear distinction between outright prostitution and the widely practiced institution of temporary marriage, mutʿa . Sex work ranged from sophisticated courtesans charging their elite clients astronomical sums to receive them in their lavish mansions or riding to their clients' homes accompanied by servants, to street walkers made avail able by female brokers in market squares, to destitute women offering thei…

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Matthee, Rudi, “Economics: Sex Workers: Iran: Early Modern (up to ca. 1900)”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 25 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0243d>
First published online: 2009

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