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Doing It For Money—The Trafficked & Exploited Teen Fantasy

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Modern School Donating Member (558 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 09:49 PM
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Doing It For Money—The Trafficked & Exploited Teen Fantasy

Activists and law enforcement officials often claim that hundreds of thousands or even millions of children are trafficked and forced into prostitution in the U.S., conjuring up images of innocent young girls being snatched from their loving families and coerced into a lifetime of drugs, STDs and perversion by greedy and heartless pimps.

This appalling scenario is so universally upsetting to Americans that Congress has easily raised millions of dollars to fight the problem, while a cottage industry of nonprofits has arisen to assist in the efforts.

The problem is that almost none of this scenario is true.

Ric Curtis and Meredith Dank, from the anthropology department at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, spent two years carefully interviewing prostitutes in the Bronx, in the first accurate survey of youth prostitution. They completed interviews with 249 underage prostitutes and used that data to extrapolate a total population of 3,946 teen sex workers in New York. Their study was covered last week in the San Francisco Weekly.

If New York has less than 4,000 underage hookers, it is very unlikely that there is anywhere close to a million teen prostitutes nationwide. However, it is not just the total numbers that advocates and law enforcement have wrong. Virtually every assumption they have about youth prostitution is false, rooted in bias and stereotypes rather than evidence.

Here are Some of the Study’s findings:
Approximately 45% of teen prostitutes were boys
Only 10% of all teen prostitutes had pimps
45% got into the “business” through friends
Over 90% were native born
Most started hooking at age 15
Most serviced men
Nearly every one of them (95%) did it because it was the surest way to earn a living

Who are the Pimps?
In the 60s, the term Poverty Pimp arose to describe people and groups that benefited unduly by acting as the “voice” for poor people or other disadvantaged groups. Poverty Pimps typically are beneficiaries of government funding and charitable donations, and maintain their funding as long as it looks like they are doing something to help the poor. Contrary to their stated goals, however, they tend to be more invested in the maintenance of the status quo than in actually ending poverty, since ending poverty would make their jobs obsolete.

A similar industry has arisen around advocating for exploited youth. It likewise benefits from the maintenance of the status quo. We can think of these organizations and individuals as Exploited-Youth Advocacy Pimps.

The federal government spends roughly $20 million per year on public awareness, victims' services and police work on human trafficking, with much of that focusing on the pimping of children. Another $186 million is spent annually to provide street outreach to kids who may be at risk of commercial sexual exploitation. Much of this money goes directly to nonprofit advocacy groups. Yet, according to FBI records (see the S.F. Weekly article) only 200 kids are rescued from pimps annually, a roughly $1 million per year investment per rescued child.

While it might be argued that these prevention efforts also help keep some children from getting trafficked into prostitution in the first place, it is still an extraordinarily large sum of money to be spending if it is ignoring 90% of the children working the streets.

Puritanism, Homophobia and Sexism Feed the Teen Prostitution Hysteria
Though only a small subset of teen hookers (10%) are exploited by actual pimps, the Exploited-Youth Advocacy Pimps benefit most by perpetuating the fantasy that they all are.

To see the full article, please click here
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pipoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 10:59 PM
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1. 'False facts' perpetuated by advocacy groups who have justified
their dishonesty amongst themselves in a "end justifies the means" philosophy, is in fact, the biggest enemy of the cause they are passionate about. Drug policy, gun policy (both gun control and gun rights activists), abortion policy (both sides), feminist movement, animal rights, etc. The truth would lead to real solutions and not merely survival of advocacy groups with a dog in the fight to keep the issue unsolved.
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jberryhill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-17-11 04:51 PM
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2. To an extent this seems correct

One phenomenon which utterly mystifies me is the noise over "personhood" in the abortion/choice arena.

The anti-choicers think these things will have some effect on abortion, and the pro-choicers seem to share that belief.

Both of those beliefs are incorrect.

Roe v. Wade is not premised on whether or when anyone becomes a person. Anyone who believes otherwise has either not read the decision, read it and not understood it, or is intentionally spreading misinformation about the central premises on which Roe v. Wade was based.

Roe v. Wade assumed a state interest in protecting life. It also assumes a right of self determination and privacy in medical decisionmaking. Where the decision comes out is simply by saying that the balance of these interests shifts as a pregnancy proceeds.

But, wow, it's amazing how much mileage both sides have gotten out of the political stunt of "personhood" which is thoroughly irrelevant to Roe v. Wade in the first place.
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pipoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-17-11 10:49 PM
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3. I have thought for a long time that
the advocacy groups often start with stellar intentions until they gain recognition and some money starts rolling in. Then they seem to take extreme positions, or make up positions, which is more about drumming up dollars than solving the problem.
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