Continuing on with the next topic...
The 19th century demanded that women protect their Chasity at almost any cost; phrases such as "a ruined woman" and a "fate worse than death" were meant seriously. But at the same time, prostitution was a thriving industry. In fact, there were several different strata of prostitution, from demimondaine or adventuresses whose informal liaisons with prosperous men might be as stable and exclusive as a marriage, through house girls, down to the streetwalkers among whom Jack the Ripper found his victims.
Many people thought prostitution gave men an outlet for impulses that otherwise would endanger every woman they encountered. Many, possible most men were at least occasional customers of prostitutes; it was a fairly common experience for them to have their first sexual experience this way. In an era when there was no safe treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, this was a significant public health problem.
Stoddard, W.H. (2000) - Gurps Steampunk, pg. 28, SJG:Austin
[edited for removal of game specific content]