As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand. – Josh Billings
One year ago today I published “Numerology”, my most-viewed post of all time (discounting the three with extremely popular illustrations). As of today it has been viewed 3790 times, and that doesn’t count all the times it was viewed on the home page. I’m really quite proud of that article because as far as I know it’s the only realistic estimate ever done of the number of professional whores in the United States; previous estimates either counted only streetwalkers (and were therefore far too low), or else presented wild guesses dressed up as facts. Despite what the trafficking fanatics claim, figures based on sound methodology and realistic estimates are very important, unless of course one wants to sound like an idiot by claiming that about one in ninety teenage girls in America is a “sex slave”, that the number of “sex slaves” in the world exceeds the population of Australia by a considerable margin, or that there are as many one-year-old hookers as 25-year-olds.
So, I’ve decided to observe this column’s first birthday by presenting a catalog of other essays and studies, both mine and others’, arranged by title, with a short description after each. I hope it proves especially useful to those of you who are writing essays of your own or debating prohibitionists and need a convenient list of supporting materials.
All Shapes and Sizes: Basic data on the size and shape of human genitalia.
Amazingly Stupid Statements: My answers to a number of common non-statistical prohibitionist arguments.
As Young As Possible: My debunking of The Schapiro Group’s Atlanta “study”.
Bad Fantasy, Good Reality: The truth about 10% of women declared “trafficked sex slaves” by the U.S. State Department.
Bad Jobs: The ten most depressing jobs in the U.S.; sex work is not among them.
The Ban on Purchasing Sex in Sweden: The So-Called “Swedish Model” by Bob Wallace, Principal Policy Officer, Office of the Prostitution Licensing Authority of Queensland (See Down Under)
Beyond Gender: An Examination of Exploitation in Sex Work by Suzanne Jenkins (See Out of Context)
Bone of Contention: Contains links to a few different (but very similar) estimates of the percentage of all prostitutes who work on the street.
By the Numbers: An analysis of how Prostitution and the Sex Discrepancy in Reported Number of Sexual Partners (see below) supports my estimate of the total U.S. prostitute population.
Chupacabra: Demonstrates that the fraction of prostitutes with abusive, controlling pimps is almost the same as the number of women in the general population with abusive, controlling husbands/boyfriends; also links statistics of underage girls with pimps.
Coming and Going: Contains a calculation of the annual amount of money the state of Texas wastes on incarcerating prostitutes.
A Commentary on “Challenging Men’s Demand for Prostitution in Scotland” by Teela Sanders et al (See A Load of Farley)
The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in New York City by Ric Curtis, Meredith Dank, et al (The John Jay Study; see A Narrow View and Water Seeks Its Own Level)
The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the U.S., Canada and Mexico by Richard Estes and Neil Weiner (See A Tale That Grew in the Telling)
Counterfeit Comfort: Reports on the cost and ineffectiveness of sex offender registries.
Deconstructing the Myth of Careful Study: A Primer on the Flawed Progression of the Child Pornography Guidelines by Troy Stabenow (a scathing critique of federal guidelines for “child pornography” sentencing)
Dirty Whores: Statistics on STI transmission and the shocking rate by which the infection rate in promiscuous amateurs exceeds that in professionals.
Dirty Whores (update): Statistics on the rise of STIs among British amateurs, including the admission that sex workers are not an important vector of such infections.
Dog Bites Man: Reports on Catherine Hakim’s study which demonstrates that the rate of hypergamy (“marrying up”) among Western women has actually increased since the 1940s.
Don’t Buy It: My debunking of the notion that major sporting events are accompanied by a rise in prostitution (with links to evidence).
Down Under: My synopsis of The Ban on Purchasing Sex in Sweden (see above)
The Growing Moral Panic Over Prostitution and Sex Trafficking by Ronald Weitzer: I think the title is self-explanatory.
Handy Figures: A compilation of figures which appeared in other columns, with links.
Harm Reduction (May update one): Links to a study showing that Portugal’s decriminalization of drugs actually reduced their use.
Human Trafficking, Sex Work Safety and the 2010 Games: Assessments and Recommendations by the Sex Industry Worker Safety Action Group: An exhaustive study which conclusively demonstrates that there is absolutely no correlation between mega sports events and either sex trafficking or a dramatic increase in prostitution (See Don’t Buy It).
Imaginary Crises: My report on Christina Hoff Sommers’ debunking of the claim of a “rape epidemic” on American university campuses.
In Their Own Words: A short list of very telling quotations from neofeminists.
John Jay Study: See The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in New York City
July Q & A: Reports on surveys of favorite sexual positions, by percentage of respondents.
The Law of Averages: My calculation of the real average age at which American prostitutes enter the trade, with a link to Emi Koyama’s debunking of the “average entry at 13” propaganda.
A Load of Farley: My debunking of Melissa Farley’s work in general and “The Growing Demand for Prostitution” in particular, with links to other articles debunking her as well.
Lying Down With Dogs: Contains an unflattering list of all countries in which prostitution is criminalized.
Meretrices and Prostibulae: A glossary of the many types of whores found in ancient Rome.
A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse by Bruce Rind, Philip Tromovitch and Robert Bauserman: A vilified, censured study which demonstrates that (contrary to popular belief) consensual sexual contact does no psychological or emotional harm to most legal minors.
Moloch: Facts on “children” (i.e. legal minors) committed to the “sex offender” registry.
More Q & A: What percentage of men see prostitutes?
Mortality in a Long-term Open Cohort of Prostitute Women by John Potterat, et al: Study of streetwalker mortality rates misquoted by Melissa Farley (see A Load of Farley) to claim that “the average prostitute dies at 34”.
The Mythology of Prostitution by Ronald Weitzer: A general critique of neofeminist anti-prostitute propaganda
A Narrow View: Introduces the John Jay study (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in New York City, see above), which demonstrates that few underage prostitutes have pimps.
New Directions in Research on Prostitution by Ronald Weitzer (See Out of Context)
Out of Context: Quotes and links several studies of sex worker satisfaction and reveals the sources of many of the false claims made by prohibitionists about sex work.
The Pigeons Come Home: A synopsis of Calum Bennachie’s complaint to the APA about Melissa Farley (see below), with links.
Pimps: Contains my calculation of the fraction of prostitutes controlled by abusive pimps.
Pornography, Public Acceptance and Sex-Related Crime: A Review by Milton Diamond: Demonstrates that as availability of porn increases, sex crimes decrease.
Pornography’s Effects: The Need for Solid Evidence by Ronald Weitzer: A review of two neofeminist anti-porn screeds (by Karen Boyle and Gail Dines)
The Pro-Rape Coalition: Contains statistics (with links) demonstrating the positive effects of porn on society.
The Proper Study: Explains why there are so many bogus prostitution studies and links a number of good ones.
Prostitution and Sex Crimes by Kirby Cundiff: Demonstrates that sex crimes decrease when prostitution is decriminalized and predicts a 25% decrease in rape if it were decriminalized in the U.S.
Prostitution and the Sex Discrepancy in Reported Number of Sexual Partners by John Potterat et al: Contains a census of streetwalkers and demonstrates that most male infidelity is conducted with prostitutes. (See By the Numbers)
The Punitive Mindset (update): Links to a number of resources on the subject of masturbation in prison, including laws restricting it, statistics on female guards in male prisons and studies (including Pornography, Public Acceptance and Sex-Related Crime) demonstrating that pornography reduces rape.
Request to APA to revoke Melissa Farley’s Membership by Calum Bennachie (See The Pigeons Come Home)
Sales Pitch: My synopsis of The Swedish Sex Purchase Act: Claimed Success and Documented Effects (see below)
Schadenfreude: Contains a number of links to material detailing the abuses heaped upon sex workers by those who claim to be “rescuing” them.
A Short Glossary of Prohibitionism: I think this is self-explanatory.
The Social Construction of Sex Trafficking by Ronald Weitzer: I think this is also self-explanatory.
The Soft Weapon: Synopsizes and links the Village Voices’s debunking of Schapiro Group “studies”.
The Swedish Sex Purchase Act: Claimed Success and Documented Effects by Susanne Dodillet and Petra Östergren (See Sales Pitch)
A Tale That Grew in the Telling: My debunking of the Estes & Weiner study (The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, see above), from which so much “trafficking” propaganda is derived.
A Tale That Grew in the Telling (update): Reports the latest absurd lies about “sex trafficking”.
A Thousand Words: A visual demonstration of why “trafficking” fanatics should support decriminalization.
Validation: Describes Jennifer Hafer’s University of Arkansas study, which demonstrates that most women make a rational decision to enter prostitution.
Validation (update): Describes Nick Mai’s study, which debunks several key aspects of trafficking propaganda.
The View from the North: Links to a Canadian study which demonstrates that “most prostitutes are consenting adults who do the work to pay the bills like any other job, that only about 15% are streetwalkers, and that very few are forced into the work by men.”
Village Voice Strikes Again: My synopsis of Village Voice’s attack on Ashton Kutcher’s spurious claims about “sex trafficking”.
Waking Up: Contains a short synopsis of data from several studies on the attitudes of female university students toward sex work.
Water Seeks Its Own Level: A synopsis of information from the John Jay Study (“The typical [underage hooker] is not a tween girl, has not been sold into sexual slavery, and is not held captive by a pimp“) and Nick Mai’s study (“Most foreign prostitutes in London are not trafficked and choose to sell sex because it earns more money than other jobs“).
We Told You So: Reports on U.S. government findings of waste, fraud and abuse among groups who receive anti-trafficking grants.
What’s the Cost of a Rumour? by Julie Ham: Yet another study (this one commisioned by the Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women) demonstrating that there is absolutely no link between large sporting events and either prostitution or “human trafficking”.
Where are the Victims? The Credibility Gap in Human Trafficking Research by Johnny McGaha and Amanda Evans: I think this title is also self-explanatory.
Who Watches the Watchmen?: Quotes and links a study showing that only a miniscule percentage of “missing” minors are actually abducted.
A Whore in the Bedroom (November 2011 update): Describes and links a study showing that a husband’s sexual satisfaction is the single greatest indicator of whether a marriage will succeed.
Other Resources (PDF)
The Epic of Gilgamesh
Fredrick Federley’s Anti-Swedish Model Speech to the Riksdag (May 12th, 2011) translated by Michael Goodyear
The Himel Decision (September 28th, 2010) overturning prostitution law in Ontario (complete text)
The Power of the Powerless by Václav Havel
The Report of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, June 2011 (recommends decriminalization of drugs in all countries)
Short critique of Janet Shibley Hyde’s “gender similarities hypothesis”
TSA waste graphic by Online Criminal Justice Degree (click to enlarge)
Twenty-One Different Frameworks of Sex Work Law and Still Counting by Cheryl Overs (various ways of categorizing legalization status)