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Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Super Bowl Sex-Trafficking Myth

Here come the Super Bowl prostitutes! An annual exercise in fear-mongering over a threat that never materializes. This myth says as many as 100,000 sex workers will come into town for the big game. Now compare that to the total number of people who come to the game: 200,000 to 300,000.

The media is spinning the usual BS about how these big sporting events create dollar signs in the eyes of prostitutes, pimps, and sex traffickers, all of whom allegedly flock to the host city in slavering hordes. The media repeats the big lie that a large sports venue—especially the Super Bowl—acts as a "sex-trafficking magnet." It's an effective fundraising strategy. It gets a lot of media attention. But the statistics are exaggerated.

According to all the media hype there would have been hundreds of thousands of underage child sex-slaves kidnapped and forced to have sex with Super Bowl fans each year. But it never happens. What happens is they re-play the same BS hype each year. So what happens to all of these thousands of kidnapped underage sex-slaves? Where are these kidnapped, forced into Super Bowl sex slaves? Where did they go?

Politicians, women's groups, police, and child advocates always predict large numbers of hookers (e.g., 100,000 or more) will be shipped into the big cities for the Super Bowl. But they lie. Big, fat lies told by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, government officials, and various anti-prostitution groups: Traffick911, Not for Sale, Change-org, Future Not A Past, Polaris Project, Salvation Army, Women's Funding Network, and the Dallas Women’s Foundation. Anti-prostitution groups that tell these lies do it in order to get grant money from the government and charities to pay their high salaries, and get huge amounts of money into their organizations.

Sex trafficking is a legitimate issue outside of the convenient Super Bowl news bubble. But there's no evidence that a mass influx of sports fans increases the problem or contributes to it in some way. Ultimately, spreading misinformation can end up undercutting efforts to bring awareness to the very real problem of sex trafficking and forced prostitution.

The "Super Bowl = Prostitutes" story is just a lazy journalistic trope. An urban legend. A cheap attempt by politicians using the Super Bowl media blitz to score points by trying to stand up to the "menace" of sex work. A host of lies spread by anti-prostitution groups so they can get easy grant money.

All the evidence shows the statistics regarding hookers at the Super Bowl are nothing out of the ordinary. Law enforcement officials in the cities where past Super Bowls occurred never actually saw any increases in prostitution busts or the number of trafficked prostitutes, even despite increased efforts to catch johns, pimps, and traffickers. No influx in prostitutes, the arrests were not a lot higher. They were almost the same, nothing at all out of the ordinary.

The Super Bowl Sex-Trafficking Story That Just Won't Die (The Wire)

The Myth of the Super Bowl Sex Slaves, Sex Trafficking in Sports, Football Myths, Facts (The True Facts About Sex Trafficking Blog)

The Super Bowl Trafficking Myth (Salon)

Super Bowl Prostitution Myth (snopes.com)

The Mythical Invasion of the Super Bowl Hookers (Reason.com)

Read More . . .