Freakonomics Fail

[Trigger warning.]

From the Freakonomics dudez who have previously brought us a comparison between prostitution to rice consumption, a PMS tracking tool, and some awesome theories on why the vast majority of hate mail comes from men, now comes a splendid article puzzling over why it is that more ladies aren't high-end prostitutes.

I don't have much to add to what Echidne (who points out they never event try to answer why) and Anna (who points out they never even come close to a race/class analysis) have already said, except for this: They also fundamentally misrepresent why a lot of men go to prostitutes.

To hear Levitt and Dubner explain it, men go to prostitutes because they want more sex than they can get for free. But a lot of men go to prostitutes because they want different sex than they can get for free. The closest Levitt and Dubner come to addressing this issue is here:
Allie says she is "a little more liberal" than some prostitutes when it comes to satisfying a client's unusual request. There was, for instance, the fellow back in Texas who still flew her in regularly and asked her to incorporate some devices he kept in a briefcase in a session most people wouldn't even recognise as sex per se.
Which itself doesn't come anywhere close to one of the major deterrents against sex work: Lots of johns solicit the company of female sex workers because the "sex" they want is actually rape.

There are plenty of men who will pay (or not) for the opportunity to force a woman to do something to which she hasn't agreed, or deliberately hurt her in the act of doing something to which she has. It is only because we have persistent and pervasive cultural narratives about sex workers "implicitly consenting" to anything and everything a paying customer wants that we don't acknowledge that sex workers' defined boundaries are frequently and flagrantly breached by customers who know that their crimes will not be prosecuted by virtue of those very same narratives.

They know, in fact, their crimes are unlikely to even be reported, because sex work is still technically illegal in most of the world, which buys their victims' silence.

The rape culture is writing a long-ass article glamorizing prostitution and wondering why more women don't enter the profession and never once mentioning the word "rape."

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