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Report No. 64

4.21. Position in the U.S.A. as to "lewdness".-

In an American study of sexual behaviour and the law1, the position as to prostitution in the U.S.A. has been briefly stated thus-

"The sexual act committed by a prostitute is directly punishable under statutes (i) which prohibit 'the commission of prostitution' without other definition, (ii) which provides various broad legislation to reach such activities as 'indiscriminate sexual intercourse or any act of deviate sexual "'conduct for money', 'the offering or receiving of the body for sexual intercourse for hire or without hire', or (iii) other conduct which may or may not be limited to 'normal' heterosexual intercourse or to compensated intercourse. The terms 'lewdness' and 'assignation' are commonly used as alternatives to 'prostitution' primarily to avoid the possibility of unduly restrictive judicial interpretation which might hold the term 'prostitution' inapplicable to what to a layman, would be a clear case of commercialised vice."

As we have already indicated2, the word 'lewd' is vague. And, in view of its vagueness, we do not recommend its addition in the definition of 'prostitution'.

1. Solvanko Sexual Behaviour and the Law, (1962), p. 646.

2. Para. 4.18, supra.

Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act, 1956 Back

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