‘Prostitution is the oldest profession’, is a statement with a tongue in the cheekvoiced by people who pride themselves on their tolerance of sex work. These people usually agree that prostitution will never disappear.
Without realizing it they are basing themselves on a prejudice that prostitution is an evil, but a necessary evil to satisfy the natural needs of males. It stems from the nineteenth century when physicians feared that in the absence of prostitution men would turn to chaste women or even worse, would take recourse to masturbation. In those days masturbation was considered a health risk. (Nater, 1986, Stemvers, 1985). Another idea about the notion the oldest profession is that only women work as sex worker. No one would call ‘gigolo’ the oldest profession.
Itc is the task of archeologists to determine which the oldest profession women engaged in. But it is certainly not prostitution.
Could it be picking of apples?