Again with the fourteen year olds.

A rather typical story about the “rise” of prostitution (this time, in Hawaii) quotes without comment the following two statistics:

Here are a few more statistics on prostitution from the FBI:

  • The FBI states the average age of entry into prostitution is 14-years-old.
  • The average life expectancy of a prostitute is 5 to 7 years.

This thing about fourteen being the “average” age of entry into prostitution has been showing up even more lately. Can anyone find an original citation for the stat?

(I’ve added a Bust Tracker to the right sidebar here at Bound, not Gagged. When we find news stories about busts or increases in policing, we’ll be adding them there first. You can subscribe to the RSS feed of our Bust Tracker here.)

16 Responses

  1. The average life expectancy? WTF does that mean? 5-7yrs? And I’m pretty sure that statistic only applies to those under 18.

    http://www.sp2.upenn.edu/~restes/CSEC_Files/Exec_Sum_020220.pdf

  2. Because I’m bored, further Googling has confirmed that 14 is the age for prostitutes who are under 18 (reported and skewed by Farley, of course). Other researchers (Kennedy et al) have pinned the age of over 18 to about 20-21.

  3. I think Farley would say the average age of entry is about 14 hours after conception if she thought she could make money and advance her career.

  4. Can anyone find an original citation for the stat?

    Wait, the FBI, our government, wouldn’t just make up shit like that, would they?

    /sarcasm

  5. That age of fourteen stat was originally reported in a study which primarily included street based workers and youth. There basically is no scientific study of a general population of sex workers in the US that produces that statistic. It’s basically just not a scientific statistic when referring to prostitutes in general. The last stat from San Francisco which also included primarily street based workers was 21 as the average age of starting…Most scientific studies of various populations of sex workers in this country find the the age of first experience (and how is that defined?) to be much older than that false stat of 14.

  6. This article is another example of how the feds lie about the stats not only about our industry but about other industries and this article is about accountability, as in how to do it of which our industry would benefit from following this kind of model and media.

  7. And here are a few more stats on prostitution from the FBI
    · There were 40,450 women arrested for prostitution in 2007
    · 110 of those were girls under the age of 15

    So either the police are totally incompetent when it comes to finding exploited youth used in prostitution or the statistics cited are completely unfounded rubbish.

    (note: I didn’t include the number of men arrested for prostitution because there is no way of knowing which side of the coin they were on when they got busted)

  8. In my reading of FBI statistics, they don’t count clients arrested. Why? I don’t know, but it seems that they believe the sex worker in the only criminal in the investigation (they might count male sex workers arrested).

    Keep searching, that statement is somewhere on the FBI site. It infuriates me.

    XX

  9. Lt. Mary Petrie of San Francisco Vice said at the commission on the status of women meeting on Wed. that there were 500 girls picked up for prostitution in San Francisco in the last 5 years. And 4 convicted traffickers.

  10. I am gonna take a stab in the dark and guess that the the reason fourteen year olds are entering into prostitution in Hawaii is because in Hawaii the legal age of consent is fourteen.

    Hmmm.

  11. There is so much outrage over the possibility that a fourteen year old may end up in prostitution but there is very little concern about the highly likely possibility that a fourteen year old may be sexually abused by a family member or religious/community leader. Or that her home life may be so unbearable that running away and sleeping with older men for money to be independent is far more desirable than being trapped with her parents/guardians/state-appointed caretaker.

    How much money is being used to combat incest, domestic violence and other forms of neglect/child abuse?

  12. Exactly, Karly. Prostitution is NOT the reason children end up on the streets — they end up there because of what’s happening at home. Yet no one looks to blame the parents or hold the parents to the same level of responsibility they seem to hold every sex worker in the country to. No one seems to care about what happens to these children until they end up in sex work — apparently because the country is okay with child abuse, but obviously not okay with sex work.

    I mean, if the Farleys of the world think every sex worker is an abuse victim and sex work should not exist, why not stop the “problem” at the source and work to end child sexual abuse?

    XX

  13. Speaking of stopping the problem at the source… can anybody name an advocacy organization that is actually effectively addressing issues for homeless youth and or victims of abuse/violence at home? I know there are many, but few seem to be actually helping. I’d like to contribute some of my dirty money to one of the reliable children’s service org’s.

  14. This pre-occupation with 14! I was 14 when I entered. Many people begin their young adult lives at 14. However, you don’t stay 14 forever, and something tells me the people who harp about this have a fixed idea of a 14 year old who never ages and remains a victim forever. A Peter Pan narrative. I wonder if today’s 14 year olds are mature enough. I tend to think that 14 year olds are more childish than we were and the sex industry is more demanding – but maybe that is just because … I am no longer 14.

  15. Indeed what does ‘average life expectancy of a prostitute is 5 to 7 years’ mean? How can you be 14 at entry if you are dead by the age of 8?

  16. Eep. Sorry about that inane comment. My math skills were never really the thing. I just realized that, if avg expectancy is 5 to 7 years, the early side is younger than 5 and older than 8…. in any case, I think statistics about sex work are much too easily believed and invented.

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