3 Ways The Economist Sex Worker Study Missed The Mark

“The internet has disrupted many industries. The oldest one is no exception.”

That’s the last line in an article in the Economist about their recent study of the shift in sex work from the streets to the internet. It’s a well thought out, solid line: The internet has, without question, disrupted the institution of prostitution.

The study – which examined data gathered from 190,000 profiles of sex workers around the world – talks about how blonde hair can command more money, theorizes that quite a few ladies have made investments in larger bust sizes in order to demand more cash, and meanders a bit to talk about how sex workers use the internet as a way to communicate and get advice.

Sex workers! They’re just like us!

The authors explicitly state, however, that the “most striking trend” was the drop in hourly rate for sex workers worldwide, from an average that fell just under $350 per hour to an average that now barely crests $250 an hour – a pretty intense pay cut. The Economist threw out a few theories as to why the price has dropped – could it be the bad economy? increased immigration? hookup apps? – but failed to come down hard on any one reason for the drastic drop.

I love studies and I love numbers but the theories the Economist put forward for this drop in income has me scratching my head. Hookup apps? Really? The bad economy resulting in fewer men paying for the “luxury” of paid sex kind of makes sense but I can’t believe that there isn’t something else going on behind those neat charts and graphs.

Want to know what I discovered? Read the full post on MiKandi.


Photo Credits

Adapted from dollen, via CC License on Flickr

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