The progressive era was an experiment in nation building. Part of this larger process was a reevaluation of gender roles; what it meant to be a woman in modern American culture. Prostitutes offer unique insight into this question, and the first inquiry we make is into who these women were, why they became prostitutes, and how they were perceived. The second inquiry under gender deals with the societal structure of Storyville. Where did prostitutes, numbering approximately two thousand making them, by far, the majority, fit into the social hierarchy?