Invisible offenders: estimating online sex customers

Roe-Sepowitz, Dominique, Ryon, Stephanie Bontrager, Hickle, Kristine, Gallagher, James M and Hedberg, E C (2016) Invisible offenders: estimating online sex customers. Journal of Human Trafficking, 2 (4). pp. 272-280. ISSN 2332-2705

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Abstract

Research on prostitution demand has well documented why men buy sex from girls and women, but there is very little understanding of the scope and scale of the issue. The lack of stable and valid measures of how many people buy sex from prostituted persons severely hinders the development of prevention and intervention efforts. This study developed a probability estimate of the population of active customers of online sex in the United States in a sample of 15 cities. In each city, the research team placed decoy online ads, advertising the sale of sexual services/prostitution, and collected text and voicemail data from potential sex purchasers. The resulting 677 phone numbers were analyzed using capture-recapture techniques to create an estimate of the number of online sex purchasers within each city. On average, within the 15 markets explored, 1 out of every 20 males over the age of 18 in a metropolitan city area was soliciting online sex ads. These results demonstrate (a) the viability of new techniques to estimate buyer populations and (b) preliminary figures on the number of purchasers buying sex online.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: customers, demand, prostitution, sex buyers, sex market, sex trafficking,
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Social Work and Social Care
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Depositing User: Deeptima Massey
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2015 11:39
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2017 13:14
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/58591
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