She\’s been doing some research into why men use prostitutes. One point stands out:
Discovering the women were trafficked, pimped or otherwise coerced would appear not to be so effective. Almost half said they believed that most women in prostitution are victims of pimps…..
The presence of a pimp does not indicate either victimisation or coercion. A pimp can be simply an agent and be working to the advantage of the prostitute (and it is thus an example of a mutually beneficial voluntary exchange: even the division and specialisation of labour):
Where pimps are active, prostitutes appear to do
better, with pimps both providing protection and paying efficiency wages.
Our analysis also sheds light on issues of organizational form. Perhaps
surprisingly, in two of our neighborhoods that are side-by-side, prostitution activities are
organized along completely different models. In Roseland, there are no pimps and
women solicit customers from the street. Just a few blocks away in Pullman, all women
work with pimps who locate customers and set-up tricks, so that the prostitutes rarely
solicit on street corners. Under the pimp model, there are fewer transactions, but the
prices charged are substantially higher and the clientele is different. Prostitutes who
work with pimps appear to earn more, and are less likely to be arrested. It appears that
the pimps choose to pay efficiency wages. Consistent with this hypothesis, many of the
women who do not work with pimps are eager to work with pimps, and indeed we
observe a few switches in that direction over the course of the sample. Pimps are limited
by their ability to find customers, however, so they operate on a small scale.
Fewer transactions for higher incomes with less danger of arrest: it\’s very difficult to say that this is either coercion or victimisation.
Unless, that is, you want to say that anyone taking a cut of the wages earned by the sweat of another\’s brow (perhaps not the correct bodily part) is exploiting them. But in the English scenario one could run that the other way around. Prostitution is not a criminal offence. Pimping is. So the prostitute is earning higher wages for less work by the pimp exposing himself (or in the case of madams, herself) to the risk of prosecution and fines or jail time (and yes, I know someone who has done jail time for running a web site connecting escorts with customers under such laws). We might even say that the exploitation is running the other way.
Until this point is addressed by Bindel I\’m afraid that I\’m not likely to take anything else she says on the subject seriously. And this is entirely separate from the lunatic assertions she\’s made about trafficking (seriously, she\’s insisted that the presence of foreigners is proof perfect of trafficking. Does no one read Gary Becker any more? Given the cost to social capital of the profession of course people tend to do it away from home.).