Students and professional researchers are showing increasing interest in this topic. We feel it is our responsibility to warn you that much of the government-funded research has been proven by leading UK academics to be scientifically and ethically unsound.
See The Sex Myth by Dr brooke Magnanti (Weidenfeld & Nicholson) 2012
The "Big Brothel: A Survey of the Off-Street Sex Industry in London" report published by Poppy Project/Eaves Housing has been challenged by a coalition of academics who joined together to produce the following press release:
“We share a concern that the ‘Big Brothel’ report has been given undue weight in media and public discussion of sex work in recent days and weeks, given it is one piece of evidence among many – and one that exhibits serious flaws in its mode of data collection and analysis.
The authors and supporters of this response wish to see a balanced debate about sex work in this country, with legal reform being evidence‐based and informed by the wealth of research carried out on indoor and outdoor sex work by established academics and researchers, many sponsored by the government’s own research councils, and not informed by sensationalising reportage purporting to be ‘research’ such as evidenced by ‘Big Brothel'.
- The report does not adhere to scientific standards and only represents an anecdotal account based on making hoax calls to telephone numbers obtained from sex venue adverts. The use of such methods of deception does not meet the standard of ethics governing any UK university or reputed research institute practices. The main data collection tool was telephone calls made by male “researchers” pretending to be potential clients ‐ a method which did not provide the opportunity for respondents to consent or decline to participate in the ‘research’.
- Notwithstanding the cavalier disregard of the issue of consent, there are serious problems with the reliability of such data. The method of phoning up numbers taken from sex venue adverts and then treating the information provided by receptionists as ‘fact’ is flawed. Information given by receptionists to callers they think are potential customers does not necessarily reflect anything other than the marketing process used to encourage clients to visit. The ‘data’ reported is therefore accounts of receptionists and not any true picture of sexual behaviour or the type women who work.
- There has been a wealth of empirical research conducted on indoor sex work, and there are established methods of gaining access to sex workers and others working in sex work venues. The authors make no attempt to use these established methods, or efforts to contact sex workers themselves. Some quotes from ex‐workers are incorporated in the report, but the source of such quotes is unclear. Quotations from selected ex‐workers are not necessarily representative of current working conditions across the range of indoor venues.”
See this story in The Guardian: Playing politics with sex workers
There is also skullduggery in the making of television “documentaries” on this subject. Such programmes feature actors hamming up the part of tortured victims who have been trafficked, and quote statistics about sex work that are quite obviously based on a sample comprising only the most tragic cases of drug addicted street workers. An example from a BBC2 programme on 21st October 2008 is quoting that one in four of prostitutes in Britain have been raped, many of them at least 6 times.
Many of the people who want sex work to be criminalized are in high places (such as MPs) and use their influence in the media to perpetuate lies in the hope of getting their own way.
Please help to address this pathetic situation by writing about our website.