Research on prostitution was developing during the nineteenth century, and Dr. William Sanger was one of the foremost researchers on prostitution during this period; his work is still highly esteemed due to its accuracy and depth. Sanger examined the identity of the average prostitute and sought to understand why she had turned to that lifestyle. He found that the majority of prostitutes were in their late teens or early twenties; they were usually illiterate, poor and from broken families
(Bullough 243). Victorian Servant Economic poverty, societal disgrace, and lack of education were also causes of girls turning towards prostitution; they had a limited number of options available to them
. Sanger asked several prostitutes why they had turned to this way of life and they gave a number of different reasons. For instance, some women had either been expelled from their homes or deserted by their parents and found prostitution the only way to support themselves. Other girls were forced into prostitution in order for their families to survive.
Similarly, girls who had worked in domestics or servants were forced into prostitution because they had been seduced by their masters and then abandoned. On the other hand, a number of women would turn to prostitution simply as an escape from typical professions. Many of the girls expected to remain prostitutes only until something better became available. Immigrant women who had arrived to the country without money or were brought into the country forcibly had only prostitution open to them (Bullough 243). The conditions for women in the Victorian period caused many young teenagers and women to turn towards prostitution as a means of survival.