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"70% of prostitutes were once in care"

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In introducing a debate yesterday in the House of Commons on Sexual Exploitation and the Protection of 16 and 17-year-olds, Kit Malthouse (Conservative, North West Hampshire) claimed that:

The Prime Minister .... noted in a speech this year that 70% of prostitutes were once in care...

If he did, I wonder if anyone can pin down either the speech or the research that came up with this statistic.

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70% of those involved in street prostitution have a history of Local Authority care. Nearly half report a history of childhood sexual abuse. [Home Office (2004). Paying The Price.]

prostitution.procon.org/sourcefiles/paying_the_price.pdf
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That's a brilliant link tugg, cheers. It illustrates the etymology ( is this the right word ) of an outrageous statistic.

Generalising after speed reading, 9 studies of street prostitutes are looked at. One of the most extreme ones ( Pearce 2002 ) studies 'young women' whatever that means, I could look it up I suppose, and of a sample size of 55 finds that 70% were once in care. The others have lower ratios.

So what was the most extreme result, using people who are probably working below the legal age, in a niche setting ( street prostitution - does it even exist any more at a meaningful level ? ) is now taken as reflective of adult prostitution in its majority setting which is indoors.

 

 

Edited by bongo

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Nothing worse than engineered stats to get the results they want. 

I remember the Melissa Farley stats where the result came out that all the girls were addicted to drugs. Sample was taken in a drop in drug centre where obviously they were all on drugs. 

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Isn't Farley's terrible report the origin of these figures? I seem to remember that her sample was 40 or so street prostitutes in LA or somewhere like that, but I could be completely wrong.

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Well done, posters!

A good and convincing debunking of a stat that anyone regularly in touch with escorts felt had to be nonsense.

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On 19/12/2015 at 1:43 AM, pabulum said:

Isn't Farley's terrible report the origin of these figures? I seem to remember that her sample was 40 or so street prostitutes in LA or somewhere like that, but I could be completely wrong.

Even worse, if I remember correctly. Weren't they teenage crack-addicted street prostitutes in LA (or Chicago)?

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Certainly the choice of group from which to select the sample virtually assured that the girls were likely to have many problems, or they wouldn't have been in that location.

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That is the main failing of the research, it would be good if some distinction was made when discussing prostitution.

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7 minutes ago, Strawberry said:

That is the main failing of the research, it would be good if some distinction was made when discussing prostitution.

No. it was a poor bit of research driven by ideology, not a desire to fact find. They knew the answer they wanted then did what was necessary to get that result.

 

with any published research, you should ask, why is saying this and why, and who is paying and why.  unquestioning acceptance of research findings is stupid.

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13 hours ago, Coventrypunter said:

No. it was a poor bit of research driven by ideology, not a desire to fact find. They knew the answer they wanted then did what was necessary to get that result.

 

with any published research, you should ask, why is saying this and why, and who is paying and why.  unquestioning acceptance of research findings is stupid.

Amen to that, brother

 

You can manipulate statistics to claim anything you want. 70% of people know that :P

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70% of the girls came from care?!!! Hmm wonder how they came up with that number? Am not denying that coming from care may influence someones choices, but to put that number at 70% is a little bit over the top. Lets get the stats for the 30% then.........

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Kit Malthouse (see original post in this thread from December 2015) is clearly very fond of this rather dodgy "statistic" as he proudly repeated it in Parliament yesterday:

In his conference speech from October of the year before last—I believe it was then—the Prime Minister electrified the room by painting a fairly bleak picture of the lives of children in care. They are four times more likely to commit suicide, and 70% of all prostitutes in the UK have been through the care system.

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2016-05-25a.542.2#g584.2

 

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The problem is that 70% of the general public will take these statistics as true.

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Posted (edited)

It's really time to knock this one on the head

 

What is the claim?

70% spent time in care(Demand change website), ” Eaves” and “Object” in their joint submission to the consultation on “Criminalisation of the purchase and sale of Sex (Scotland) Bill” say “up to 70%

These statistics are often repeated and used by organisations which have a clear stated aim to eradicate prostitution and follow a "radical feminist" doctrine on sex work generally – most prominently in Money & Power (Zero Tolerance), Eaves / Poppy Project and WSP publications, etc. The statistics referenced have entered into the lexicon of myths propagated by these organisations and sadly have become commonly known as ‘facts’. They are then repeated by MPs who have been fed this crap.

 

What source is given for this claim?

The “Demand change” website gives Home Office (2006) A coordinated prostitution strategy and a summary of responses to ‘Paying the price’.  London: UK Government as a source .However the quoted statistics appear nowhere in this document. This is typical of the way these pressure groups operate, not taking care of the sources of their information. and quoting from each other.

 

” Eaves” and “Object” in their joint submission to the consultation on “Criminalisation of the purchase and sale of Sex (Scotland) Bill” cite “Paying the Price: A consultation paper on prostitution”, July 2004, Home Office as the source, which in Para 1.1 lists some common characteristics of studies and says ‘as many as 70% spent time in care.

 

What is the truth?

 Looking in depth at “Paying the Price” this statistic actually comes from Annexe C (Key Statistics). Under ‘background of care’ there are 9 references to various studies on *street prostitutes* – conveniently the one chosen here to typify all sex workers is the highest percentage from the 9 given.  Other (lower %) statistics in this section can be seen on page 96, where estimates range from one third to the cited 70%

 

This particular statistic is actually derived from: ‘Pearce 2002, a study of 55 young women in a London Borough and a Northern City, 39 had been in care or looked after by a Local Authority. Furthermore this statistic is further sub referenced as being a study of ‘55 young women either selling sex or at risk of being abused through prostitution’. So we can speculate as to how many of the 55 young women studied were either selling sex OR at risk of being abused through prostitution. So as can be seen the feminist websites omit the qualification of “up to”, omit the fact that it is those “at risk”-i.e. not actual prostitutes ,omit the range of different results and generalize from the worst result with street prostitutes to all prostitutes.

 

The intention here is not to deny or minimize the importance of being brought up in care or of abuse for some street prostitutes but to point out that those with an abolitionist perspective don’t provide the appropriate qualifications when citing statistics-and lie..

 

Edited by bobbles
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14 hours ago, robert49 said:

The problem is that 70% of the general public will take these statistics as true.

I think its more likely that 70% of the general public won't care one way or the other.

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One of the commonest characteristics of the anti campaigners and politicians is that they obfuscate and exaggerate the 'statistics'. This article, although it's about a different distortion of statistics relating to prostitution, is a refreshing investigation of how information gets twisted and misused.

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