Had to reprint it here:
While we are on this general topic, I would like to point out a closely related, widespread myth, namely urban legend that the average age of entry into sex work is 13 years.
By definition of average that means that if the ages of all beginning sex workers are summed and then that sum is divided by the total number of beginners, the resulting number would be 13. Even a small bit of reflection reveals this figure to be absurd.
This implies that for everyone who starts sex work at age 14, another will start at age 12. If someone begins sex work at the advanced age of 18, then someone else begins at the age of 8, or 5 begin at the age of 12. Do no sex workers begin in their late 20s or 30s? How many people under the age of 13 would it take to balance them, so as to average out to 13? A lot.
The police should be finding great numbers of sex workers under the age of 13. But that hardly ever happens. If you Google “prostitution” and “arrested”, you will see that the average age is in the late 20s or early 30s. If these people have been doing sex work since they were 13, how come they only start getting arrested about 15 years later? Are 13-year-olds better at evading the authorities than 30-year-olds? If a cop sees a 30-year-old hooker and a 10-year-old hooker, which one is he going to investigate?
I understand the newspapers are not going to publish the name of a minor involved in sex work, but they will publish the fact that a minor has been found doing sex work.
The article alluded to a study that said 800 underage sex workers were found in the USA. I am assuming that “underage” means under 18. So there is no way to tell how many of those 800 were under 13 (I suspect not many). Regardless, there are far more than 800 sex workers in the USA. One article in Wikipedia says there are 23 full time sex workers in the USA for every 100,000 people. That comes out to a little over 70,000 full time sex workers. Since it is unlikely that all do it full time, there are even more if you include part-timers. If the average starting age really were 13, the police should be encountering vast numbers of elementary school sex workers. Obviously they aren’t. – By user name cypriot.
Here is the link to the story where I found the above in the comments. The above emphasis is my own. Made me laugh. Might I also say that “Sanctimonious American Fuckwit” has now been added to my vocabulary as an insult I will find a way to use someday. You’ll have to read the other comments also to see where that came from.