An Atlanta based anti-prostitution group, A Future, Not a Past, has sponsored a study from the same outfit that gave us those staggering Minnesota estimates. This demand study was designed to produce “scientific” evidence quantifying the demand by men for sex with adolescent girls.
The study was conducted by analyzing a “large sample size” of 218 responses they received from 162 fictitious ads posted largely on the infamous and villainous Craigslist. These ads offered sex with “young” females and included a picture. By combining the results of their 218 responses with other statistical information (much of which is similarly probabilistic), they were able to guess the extent of the demand for sex with adolescent girls and report those estimates as facts.
Here are a few of those claims:
12,400 men buy sex with young females in a given month in Georgia; over 27,000 men buy sex with young females in Georgia multiple times per year.
Over 400,000 men in Georgia today have bought sex with a young female.
Over 700,000 men in Georgia today have bought sex with females, including both “young” and “not young” females. With approximately 3 million adult men in Georgia, this study finds that 23% have purchased sex with females,14 and 20,700 men do so in any given month.
7,200 men will buy sex with an adolescent female in a given month in Georgia; 35% of men who buy sex overall in a month.
These 7,200 men will account for 8,700 paid sex acts with adolescent females each month in Georgia, with an average of 300 acts per day.
With trend data clearly establishing an average of 100 adolescent females commercially sexually exploited on a typical night in Georgia15, we now know that each adolescent female affected by CSEC is sexually exploited by an adult male 3 times per night, on average.
Note that the term “young” changes to “adolescent” about halfway through the list. Sneaky, huh? As we know from their previous study “young” can extend up into the early twenties. The intermixing of the terms adolescent and young permeates the report. It should be noted that it is perfectly legal for girls in Georgia to engage in sex at age 16, provided they are doing it for free.
This study, as well as the earlier one, capitalizes on a semantic ambiguity that calls into question the validity of their results. The fact that “young” can mean different things to the researchers and to the study subjects seems to pose a significant problem in their methods. While they solve that problem to their own satisfaction, their reliance on imprecision follows the report right through to the appendix. For someone looking for sex, the term “young” can just as easily mean “not old”. And the fact that 62% the callers preferred the female pictured in the ad could very easily mean that they would prefer the girl they can see over another girl they haven’t seen.
Keep in mind that all 218 individuals came into their study by responding to ads specifically targeting those men who are presumably looking for sex with a “young” female. And yet, buried deeper in the text, we are told that only 6% of those respondents actually stated that they would “prefer” an adolescent female. What exactly does that mean? A lot of people have preferences they’ve never acted on. Are they reporting fantasies as behavior?
The appendix expands on the issue of whether men would actually follow through of they knew the girl was under 18. To measure that, however, they rely on a series of three warnings at the end of the call that the girl might be under 18.
And, naturally, the mindless mainstream press uncritically repeated the claims of the anti-prostitution group with essentially zero reporting of any other perspective.
The study comes across far more like a sales pitch than a scientific study. It seems designed to deliver a preordained result with all data being interpreted from that perspective. Anti-prostitution groups, armed with questionable non-peer reviewed research like this are advocating the suppression of First Amendment rights and actively lobbying to push prostitution deeper into the hands of the criminal underworld.
Anyone with an IQ beyond the single digits (which unfortunately excludes much of the mainstream press and almost all politicians) should be able to see that these groups attacking online prostitution are not about protecting women and children. They are simply on a moral crusade to punish prostitution in general and are only open to data that lends itself to achieving that goal. Dramatic data that portrays children being victimized in droves is ideal for that purpose. While often swallowed whole without question, sometimes that data is attacked as being unsubstantiated and wildly inflated. That creates a need for similar data that has some legitimacy which can be purchased from research firms that cater to advocacy groups.