Alberto Guido Chester
I strongly agree with Donna Guy´s post cited below.
We genealogists, whether professional or hobbyists, are researching and doing a branch of history, namely the history of our own families.
In my personal case, I am equally interested in collecting names and dates as in understanding the conditions of life and circumstances my ancestors lived in. Of course, it is a matter of personal choice and no one has a unique truth.
Also, in my case, I happen to be a historian. This academic background compels me to look beyond family lore and generalizations (which are ok for those who feel ok with them) into academic work which has thoroughly studied certain moments of history.
This does not mean I would believe anything that was published by a university neither in a hard bound book, but it would mean I would take a critical reading of the material and its bibliography as a means to help me understand that certain period of the past.
The subject of the mass migration from Europe to America since 1850 has been subject of many studies (also known as movement to the West). Those MILLIONS of men were an avid market for female prostitution. The poverty overcoming Europe in the XIX th left over millions of women in semi empty villages, with no means to support themselves. Prostitution was an exit already in Europe (Warsaw being a well analyzed city) and transferred to Alexandria, Constantinople, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires and other destinations of single men.
As Donna Guy has said, it may be a useful tool for people researching their own families to understand the context, looking further than their valuable family stories.
Historians do not have a monopoly of the truth, however good historians have scientific approach to a certain matter.
Hope this helps
Alberto Guido Chester
Buenos Aires, Argentina
"I spent 10 years researching this topic in Argentina, Great Britain, and the US. The Jewish prostitute and pimp population were a quite visible minority due to legalized prostitution and the fact that many legal prostitutes registered with municipal governments and Jewish groups in Argentina and elsewhere decried the visibility of Jewish pimps and prostitutes to protect the women and lower anxieties about Anti-Semitism. In fact, the Jewish prostitutes represented about 20% of the prostitute population, and most were Italians, Spanish and native-born. There are many books on this issue in English, Spanish, and Hebrew, and I would recommend them any time over encyclopedia articles. My book is called Sex and Danger in Buenos Aires: Prostitution, Family and Nation in Argentina. Other scholars include Sandra McGee Deutsch, Mir Yafitz, Haim Avni, and Edward Bristow. All have extensive bibliographies. Please read them. Donna Guy"