In 2011, a Newsweek article titled "The John Next Door" claimed that up to 80 percent of men had at one time paid for sex. That is a stunning number that was repeated by other outlets, but it turns out, it was just plain wrong.
New research shows that paying for sex isn't nearly as common place as most people seem to think. The study also showed that people who seek out sex for money aren't much different than your average person.
About 1.5 percent of men in their 40s have paid for sex in the last year. 23.3 percent of men who have served in the military have visited prostitutes at some point during active duty. In general 14 percent of men have paid for sex in their lifetime, but only 1 percent have in the past year.
The researchers used data from the national General Social Survey and compared it to a group of "hobbyists" who solicit sex on the internet ( www.theeroticreview.com ) and a group of people who have been arrested for soliciting prostitutes.
When compared to people who didn't visit prostitutes, men from the national survey were somewhat less likely to be white, somewhat less likely to be working full-time, more likely to be unemployed, and slightly less likely to consider extramarital sex as wrong. National customers were slightly less likely to be married (a difference echoed among the offender sample) but also less likely to report never having been married.
The men who visited The Erotic Review, are:
More likely to be White (84.9 percent).
More likely to report having completed an undergraduate (37.9 percent) or postgraduate degree (41.2 percent).
They reported having significantly higher salaries than all other groups. While only about 20 percent of the other men reported salaries of US$60,000 or above, more than 80 percent of the hobbyists did, with 43.1 percent reporting annual salaries above US$120,000.
Hobbyists were more likely to be married (62.4 percent),
They are more sexually liberal, and reported having far more partners than all other groups. Interestingly, though they reported having more partners, they were less likely than men from the other samples to be among the men having sex four or more times per week.
These are pretty normal people, all in all. The study shows that there's no certain type of man who goes to prostitutes. By and all these are just normal people.
The researchers write in the paper, published in the Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology on March 22, that "for occasional customers, prostitution use may be more a product of situation and availability than a product of basic personality features or psychological characteristics."
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