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Vanity Fair on sex trafficking

I have no doubt that there are horrific cases of sex trafficking and slavery in the US; the May Vanity Fair describes some of them. (See also U.S. v. Martinez (2d Cir. 2010) for the appellate decision on the federal case discussed in the article.) But the article doesn't help its case for federalizing local vice laws when they claim there are "300,000" such victims in the US. There are 16 million or so women in the US between the ages of 13 and 24; can one really claim that 2% of them are in the sex trade? If nothing else, assume that a sex slave has forty "customers" a week (and that's likely an underestimate, as the Vanity Fair article suggests that the number is twice that): that would imply twelve million US men, or over ten percent of the adult male population, are seeing a sex worker every week.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.