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What were the causes of the Victorian public’s fascination with prostitution?

Despite strict moral codes, the Victorian public was fascinated with the infamous “ladies of the night” — prostitutes. Throughout period literature, art, and science, the idea of the “fallen woman” was prevalent. At the same time of the popularization of portrayals of women who fell from grace, Victorian society also imposed restraints on what women could do (which is to say they could not be anything but housewives), as well as strict codes of morality. How could two polar opposite interests exist at once? And, if…