Survey: Fewer Men Are Paying for Sex

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 3 2013 11:20 AM

Survey: Fewer Men Are Paying for Sex

86045617
Men, wearing T-shirts, offer photo leaflets advertising call-girls in Las Vegas, Nevada

Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

The number of men willing to pay a professional for sex appears to be on the decline. At least that’s what a national representative survey seems to suggest, reports the Los Angeles Times. Some are skeptical, but the numbers are startling when compared to a few decades ago and the ease of finding sex for free online may be playing a role.

In the first half of the 1990s, the General Social Survey, a project of the research organization NORC at the University of Chicago, found that around 17 percent of men said they had paid or received money for sex. That number dropped to 13.2 percent between 2006 and 2012, when it hit a record low of 9.1 percent since the survey first began questioning nearly 11,000 men about the issue in 1991.

Advertisement

Experts have said there are several factors that could explain the decrease, including the websites and smartphone apps designed to help people hook up and a decrease in the number of men who serve in the military, among others. But others say the numbers are misleading and men haven’t actually stopped paying for sex—after all, the Internet has also made it easier to hook up prostitutes with clients—they’re just more scared to admit it as the practice has become less socially acceptable over the years.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.

Jurisprudence

Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 16 2014 11:46 PM The Scariest Campfire Story More horrifying than bears, snakes, or hook-handed killers.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.