I have blogged a few times on my belief that prostitution should be legal and regulated. Evidence shows that this is the best way to ensure the safety of individuals who choose to engage in prostitution, reduce the risks of individuals being coerced into prostitution agains their wills and allow consenting adults to engage in adult activities that are not harming others.
A stat that has been used for years – that the average age a woman enters the prostitution business is 12 years old – has always bothered me. This stat is all over the place in the anti-sex work debate, used extensively by religious and anti-sex work groups.
Even if the number were true, all the more reason to bring prostitution out of the shadows and under the regulatory arm of government.
But apparently its not true. A researcher has dug into the origins of this statistic and found that the study upon which that number is based was a study of street youth. So, the researchers had been surveying kids and the average age of street kids engaged in prostitution, they started at an average age of 13.
The study itself is fine, but to draw from that a figure that the average age at which a woman enters prostitution is ludicrous. This is the equivalent of surveying a high school cafeteria, determining the average age to be 16, and then claiming that the average age of all American citizens is 16.
So… let’s see if reference to this scary statistic stops being used. It is clearly disproven. Lets see if anti-sex work advocates can win the debate on facts, not just S*&T they make up.