Village Voice Media has launched another “special investigation” into the secret and tawdry world of anti-child-sex-trafficking advocacy. A few months ago, VVM ran a lengthy piece snarkily dismissing a Women’s Funding Network study, which showed child prostitution is a booming business, aided by online ads–like the kind VVM sells on its site Backpage. Now they’re back with another opus, posted on the website of every paper in the chain, belittling Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore’s “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls” campaign. Why? Because the actors dared to argue there may be 100,000 to 300,000 child sex slaves in America.
“There are not 100,000 to 300,000 children in America turning to prostitution every year,” VVM argues in its latest expose. “The statistic was hatched without regard to science. It is a bogeyman.”
To help prove their point, the authors of the piece note that there is an average of only 827 annual arrests for underage prostitution in Americas 37 biggest cities.
Hmmmm…that’s a good point….oh wait! No, it’s complete horseshit.
How in God’s name can anyone argue with a straight face that the number of arrests is somehow indicative of the overall level of a crime? Think there might be a significant discrepancy between the number of people arrested for marijuana-related offenses and the number of people who have illegally possessed/consumed weed? Yeah, we do too.
Moving on, the writers do a better job when they trace where the 100,000-300,000 figure came from–which turns out to be a study showing how many kids are “at risk” of sex slavery, not how many are actually involved.
We’re willing to concede VVM may be right on this point.
So congrats VVM! You totally nailed Ashton Kutcher and his anti-sex slave efforts! There may or may not be 100,000-300,000 child prostitutes in America. No one knows how many there are, certainly not you. But there definitely may or may not be between 100,000 to 300,000. Teen prostitution is indisputably a huge problem in the Bay Area. Government task forces have rescued thousands of children from the streets. Young girls are definitely being sold through your online classified site Backpage–some are even suing you.
But fuck Kutcher and his dumb stats. Oh, and because he apparently found common ground with some religious wackos against child sex slavery.
We think Kutcher puts it best:
Previously on FishbowlLA: Village Voice Media Still Cashing In On Escort Ads