‘prostitution’

James Deen, Sex Workers, & Rape

You may have heard that several porn actresses have accused porn actor James Deen of sexual assault. In response, various production companies have terminated their contracts with him. Yeah, there’s bad people everywhere, even in the porn industry. If he raped anyone I hope he’s locked up for a thousand years. The case reminded me of a symposium I attended at Stanford University Law School a few weeks ago on the possible connection between sex work and trafficking, and America’s legal response to each. Panelists included a prosecutor, a sociologist, an anti-trafficking activist, and Maxine Doogan of ESPLERP (Erotic Service…

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Attacking Sex Trafficking by…Attacking Who?

How many people do you think are sex trafficked in the U.S. every year: 200,000? 300,000? If your blood’s boiling about what sounds these days like an epidemic, here’s good news: According to the U.S. Justice Department, the actual number of people trafficked into the country for all reasons (mostly for labor rather than sex) is about 17,500 people year. In a rare show of bureaucratic consensus, the U.S. State Department’s estimate is between 14,000-17,000. “But,” you say, “surely that’s too low? What about the numbers I hear from all these anti-trafficking organizations?” Good question. And here’s the answer: if…

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Superbowl Sex Trafficking Increase? Super Nonsense

Sex trafficking—the real thing, not the political consumer product or object of sloganeering—involves kidnapping or manipulating someone out of their community, forcing them to engage in sex acts somewhere else, and not allowing them to leave at will. It’s horrendous. It’s not simply prostitution, not even underage prostitution. It’s not making porn films, even under onerous conditions. It’s not stripping or being an escort. An increasing number of groups are intent on persuading Americans that we have a terrible and growing problem with sex trafficking. Their data is virtually non-existent, elided with words like “experts agree,” “a shameful epidemic,” and…

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Dishonest, Damaging, Disgusting: Newsweek Calls YOU “The John Next Door”

If you’ve never paid a prostitute for sex, you may be surprised to read that Newsweek refers to you as “the John next door”—a “man who buys sex.” You should definitely check out this dishonest article about some misleading research. For her study, self-described sex work “abolitionist,” enemy-of-porn (and often-arrested) Melissa Farley interviewed 201 men, attempting to show the contrasting traits of men who “buy sex” and those who don’t. But her categories are defined in ways that skew the results–in ways that support her ideological agenda. The “sex buyers” are defined as men who “have bought” sex from a…

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