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The Truth About Underage Sex Trafficking
06-30-2011, 06:03 PM,
Information  The Truth About Underage Sex Trafficking
I suppose there is a ridiculous ad and massive PSA campaign going on about child prostitution that belittles the issues and inflates the numbers to fear monger. This report by Village Voice uses law enforcement arrest stats compared with the "at risk" stats that have popped up everywhere from ABC to Wikipedia to the UN.

The government funded campaign is spearheaded by Ashton Kutcher and several other Hollywood celebrities.

Could it be that this joke of a warning is more of an allure for young girls and boys to sell their orifaces. They mention how much money is being made and how easy it is to traffic sex along border states to support a real problem in drug addiction with the explosion of crystal meth.


Don't think so well let's go with Exhibit A - the D.A.R.E. program which seemed to have the opposite effect.

Illegal Drugs and How They Got That Way: LSD, Ecstasy and the Raves
Featuring Old PSAs 'discouraging' Drug Use from Rosanne Barr to PeeWee Herman

.. and that's coming from both sides of this debate. In the end people will believe what they want to believe and depending on where you look on the internet you'll find the 'facts' to back up your conclusion, whatever that may be.

Quote:Real Men Get Their Facts Straight
Ashton and Demi and Sex Trafficking
By Martin Cizmar and Ellis Conklin and Kristen Hinman Wednesday, Jun 29 2011

"It's between 100,000 and 300,000 child sex slaves in the United States today," Ashton Kutcher told CNN's Piers Morgan on April 18. That, says Kutcher, is how many kids are lost to prostitution in America every single year. "If you don't do something to stop that, that's when there is something wrong with you, in my opinion."


In order to "make a difference," Kutcher and Moore recently launched a series of public service announcements under the banner "Real Men Don't Buy Girls." In the spots, Kutcher plays a scruffy doofus who'd rather toss out his smelly socks and put on a pair fresh from the package than do a load of laundry. "Real men do their own laundry," an off-camera voice booms. "Real men don't buy girls."

The message is somewhat bewildering, given the lack of context, but there are more like it, all part of a campaign featuring celebrities Justin Timberlake, Sean Penn, and Jason Mraz doing cartoonishly manly things, such as trying to shave with a chainsaw and find a car while blindfolded in a parking lot.

Along with his wife, Kutcher, the titular dude of Dude, Where's My Car?, has become the public face of an effort to stop underage trafficking since leaving That '70s Show and Punk'd.

The PSAs have made some observers scratch their heads and others guffaw. Ostensibly about an intense issue—childhood sex slavery—the videos reek of frat-boy humor.

"Is it just me or is there, like, no connection whatsoever between Sean Penn making a grilled cheese with an iron (manly!) and the horrific situation of someone paying for an enslaved 7-year-old to give them a blowjob?" wrote a blogger on

A blogger for Big Hollywood suggested viewers "sit back and take in a full year's supply of empty-headed, self-important Hollywood narcissism."

But the point isn't that the PSAs are fatuous and silly.

The real issue is that no one has called out Kutcher and Moore for their underlying thesis.

There are not 100,000 to 300,000 children in America turning to prostitution every year. The statistic was hatched without regard to science. It is a bogeyman.

But well-intentioned Hollywood celebrities aren't the only ones pushing this particular hot button.

The underage-prostitution panic has been fueled by a scientific study that was anything but scientific.

The thinly veiled fraud behind the shocking "100,000 to 300,000 child prostitutes" estimate has never been questioned.

The figure has echoed across America, from the halls of Congress to your morning newspaper, from blogs both liberal and conservative. Google it and you'll get 80 pages of results.

Last month, the New York Times breathlessly confided, "An estimated 100,000 to 300,000 American-born children are sold for sex each year."

The Gray Lady was not breaking new ground.

• USA Today: "Each year, 100,000 to 300,000 American kids, some as young as 12..."

• CNN: "There's between 100,000 to 300,000 child sex slaves in the United States..."

• Media Bistro: "There are an estimated 100,000 to 300,000 victims of child prostitution..."

• Salon: "Roughly 100,000 to 300,000 American children are prostituted each year..."

• Family Court Chronicles: "Nationwide, 100,000 to 300,000 children are at risk for sexual exploitation..."

• Wikipedia: "Anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 children are at risk for sexual exploitation..."

• U.N. goodwill ambassador Julia Ormond: "100,000 to 300,000 potentially trafficked..."

• Press TV: "Child trafficking rampant in the U.S. An FBI bulletin shows that 100,000 to 300,000 American children..."

• Orphan Justice Center: "An estimated 100,000 to 300,000 children in forced prostitution in the U.S...."

• C-SPAN: "Children in our country enslaved sexually...from 100,000 to 300,000..."

But a detailed review of police files across the nation tells another story.

Village Voice Media spent two months researching law enforcement data.

We examined arrests for juvenile prostitution in the nation's 37 largest cities during a 10-year period.

To the extent that underage prostitution exists, it primarily exists in those large cities.

Law enforcement records show that there were only 8,263 arrests across America for child prostitution during the most recent decade.

That's 827 arrests per year.

Some cities, such as Salt Lake City and Orlando, go an entire year without busting a child prostitute. Others, such as Las Vegas, arrest or recover 100 or so per year.

Compare 827 annually with the 100,000 to 300,000 per year touted in the propaganda.

The nation's 37 largest cities do not give you every single underage arrest for hooking. Juveniles can go astray in rural Kansas.

But common sense prevails in the police data. As you move away from such major urban areas as Los Angeles, underage prostitution plunges.

When the local police data was shared with a leading figure in the struggle against underage prostitution, the research struck her as ringing true.

"The Seattle Police Department totally have a handle on the situation and understand the problem," says Melinda Giovengo, executive director of YouthCare, which runs a live-in shelter for underage prostitutes in Seattle. "That seems to be a very accurate count and is reflective of what the data shows."

It is true that police departments do not arrest every juvenile engaged in sex work. But, surely, they don't ignore the problem.

So, if there are slightly more than 800 underage arrests a year, where did an estimate as horrible as several hundred thousand come from?

There are, quite simply, no precise numbers on child prostitution.

The "100,000 to 300,000" figure that people like Kutcher and Moore trumpet—the same number that's found its way into dozens of reputable newspapers—came from two University of Pennsylvania professors, Richard J. Estes and Neil Alan Weiner.

But what no newspaper has bothered to explain—and what Moore and Kutcher certainly don't mention—is that the figure actually represents the number of children Estes and Weiner considered "at risk" for sexual exploitation, not the number of children actually involved.

Furthermore, the authors of The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, released in 2001, admitted that their statistics are not authoritative.

"The numbers presented in these exhibits do not, therefore, reflect the actual number of cases in the United States but, rather, what we estimate to be the number of children 'at risk' of commercial sexual exploitation," they wrote, underlining their words for emphasis.

Who, then, is at risk?

Not surprisingly, the professors find that any "outsider" is at risk.

All runaways are listed as being at risk.

Yet the federal government's own research acknowledges that "most runaway/thrown-away youth were gone less than one week (77 percent)"—hardly enough time to take up prostitution—"and only 7 percent were away more than one month," according to the National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children 2002, commissioned by the Department of Justice.

According to Estes and Weiner, transgender kids and female gang members are also at risk.

So are kids who live near the Mexican or Canadian borders and have their own transportation. In the eyes of the professors, border residents are part of those 100,000 to 300,000 children at risk of becoming whores.

Interviewed for this story, Estes offers an explanation about the risk of living on the border that hardly wins points.

"All you have to do is go to San Diego and look at who fills the San Diego trolley going to Tijuana on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and it's very, very obvious that the kids are on the way to Tijuana to make money, and they come back Sunday totally stocked," he says. "They go there for cheap drugs, cheap money, cheap sex—[Tijuana's] full of everything. And that's using public transit, right to the border station."

Rather than taking a trolley to engage in prostitution in a third-world city like Tijuana, isn't it possible that kids from San Diego might simply want a cold Corona south of the border?


Rigorous peer review, as is required for most scientific publishing, could have really helped the study, he says.

"Initially, [Estes and Weiner] claimed that [100,000 to 300,000] was the number of children [engaged in prostitution]. It took quite a bit of pressure to get them to add the qualifier [at risk]," he says.


"Many of the numbers and assumptions in these charts are based on earlier, smaller-scale studies done by other researchers, studies which have their own methodological limitations. I won't call it 'garbage in, garbage out.' But combining various approximations and guesstimates done under a variety of conditions doesn't magically produce a solid number. The resulting number is no better than the fuzziest part of the equation."

When asked directly, Estes gives an estimate that is much less dramatic.

How many kids are involved in sex slavery—forcibly taken into the trade and abused?

"All we have in the way of really hard evidence is what the police arrests are," he says. "They're way low. They're certainly not an underestimate, but it seems to me that it's incumbent on anyone who is writing about the problem to at least include that number on one end of the continuum, because that's probably the most justifiable number you have."

Ashton Kutcher owns one of the most-followed Twitter accounts in the world. His @aplusk handle famously beat CNN to a race to 1 million and never slowed down—he's now at 7 million followers and counting. He is a technically literate, if ill-informed, advocate.


Sex trafficking is a grim problem, and not one actors know a lot about—even if Moore played a stripper in a movie and has alluded to how she was "manipulated and taken advantage of" by a 28-year-old boyfriend when she was 15 years old.

Kutcher and Moore did what any savvy Hollywood couple would do, which is call Trevor Neilson. Neilson isn't a household name, but he's quickly establishing his Santa Monica, California-based Global Philanthropy Group as the premier charity consultant to the entertainment industry's biggest and brightest. Neilson is a former Hillary Clinton staffer and Gates Foundation director who has been the subject of glowing profiles in Details and the New York Times.

"The king of Hollywood philanthropy" and his wife and business partner, Maggie, can charge up to $200,000 a year for their services because they're the best in a new and growing industry. The concept of a celebrity charity consultant is relatively new, but it makes sense, as Hollywood grows ever more concerned about image management. Neilson is the guy Madonna called to help her save face in the debacle surrounding her failed Malawi schools.

The Neilsons cooked up a 140-point "secret sauce" plan of attack for the Demi and Ashton Foundation (known as DNA). The Neilsons' political connections got the Department of Homeland Security to cast Kutcher and Moore in training videos that teach cops how to spot trafficked sex slaves.

"We went through a significant research process through them," Maggie Neilson says. "For Demi and Ashton, their strategy is actually pretty complex—there's a lot of different parts to it—but one thing that became clear through it...was that there was no one working on the demand side, and that's the side the data was showing more affectable."

Enter the "Real Men" campaign. The humorous commercials are designed to dampen the supposed appetite for underage prostitutes by suggesting that real men do funny, manly things such as look for their cars in parking lots while blindfolded or play basketball on a broken ankle. "Fake" men presumably hire tot-stitutes.


Accuracy is not a major concern for Maggie Neilson.

"All of the core data we use gets attacked all the time," she says. "The challenge is, it's that or nothing, right? And I don't frankly care if the number is 200,000, 500,000, or a million, or 100,000—it needs to be addressed. While I absolutely agree there's a need for better data, the people who want to spend all day bitching about the methodologies used I'm not very interested in."

Full Story:
Interactive map:

This is not to be confused with The Defenders USA work in Real Men Don't Buy Sex, a unique campaign of males speaking out against sex trafficking and the demand that is created for it by the commercial sex industry. They use statistics too, some seem reliable while others seem a stretch.

The US is relatively tame but it is getting worse faster than it is getting better. The Kutchner approach makes a joke of it and his "adversaries" look to recruit opposition against it and in reality it seems like a big advertisement that 300,000 girls are available for perverted pedophiles now and lots of money is available to children in the "sex industry" (notice how they try to legitimize it for young minds by constantly referring to it as such) by giving up their holes to perverted strangers than painting fences for the summer to get all those clothes, video games and gadgets that they must have.
There are no others, there is only us.
07-02-2011, 01:26 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-02-2011, 01:27 PM by Infinite.)
RE: The Truth About Underage Sex Trafficking
A lot of feminists and people who want to ban pornography claim these inflated numbers of supposed child and women sex slaves, and then tie that to the regular porn industry and prositution which is adults engaging in voluntary acts. If people are serious about stopping sex slavery if it does exist then they should be for legalizing adult prostitution so that they industry can be regulated. But it's more man-shaming bullshit, like how they imply that all men are potential rapists when they say things like 'men can stop rape!' And the social conservatives go along with it because they're full of white knight morons too and also love anything that demonizes sexuality.
07-02-2011, 03:53 PM,
RE: The Truth About Underage Sex Trafficking
Interesting post on feminism you posted Infinite.

Women are trained to be whores it seems from Disney* upwards and onwards to Sex in the City to sex training via Internet Porn. They are brought up today to prostitute themselves for a rich husband. Only difference between then and now is that it is more blatant and there are more avenues. Like sexual blackmail, reporting harassment, marry and divorce, children... Culture fuelled by the media seems to hate men, unless they are gay, exude femine traits or a minority.

Male idols are propped up to train men to play into that media image. The bad boy, the rapper with 8 girls, the douchebag and the player.

Look no further than Blue Mountain State, Entourage and any rap video for plenty of examples.


Sexuality as Perversion and/or Love :: Influences and Symptoms of Promiscuity

[Image: attachment.php?aid=3953]
There are no others, there is only us.
07-08-2011, 08:57 AM,
RE: The Truth About Underage Sex Trafficking
I don't know, not to be insulting but your post reads kind of more like feminist type ideology than anti-, besides the media hating men part. There's evidence to suggest that there are biological forces that compel women to seek what they consider a strong type male that can provide and protect them and their offspring. I don't think this in itself is necessarily evil considering that it seems to be the way of nature. I can post references, articles about that from science and psychology websites. What much of modern day feminism and the left contend is that there is no real biological reason for differences in the sexes, and that femininity and masculinity are 'social constructed' taught behaviors, not inherent. Even though a lot of science disputes this but since most of the scientists who dispute it are men they're all part of the patriarchal conspiracy that created gender as a means to suppress and control women.

The movement to ban pornography has always been led by feminists. The men's rights movement has done some interesting analysis on what their true motivations are for it. And the inflate and exaggerate the scale of sex trafficing as well. And it seems like they get a pass because social conservatives have somewhat different motivations but seek to suppress sexuality as well, and social conservatism has a significant influence on the conspiracy research movement in my opinion. The whole patriot thing is a right-leaning 'paleoconservative' movement even though they claim that they're not right or left. I'm not saying that pornography is a perfect industry at all but in my opinion it's a human right to be able to make it or consume it if you choose to and you're an adult. The foundation of freedom is people who are of age being able to do what they want as long as they aren't hurting anyone else.

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