Atlanta, GA — Rappers have long been known to untruthfully (and truthfully) boast about how much of a “pimp” they are, but the issue of prostitution has turned out to be a lot more serious and profitable than most people realized.
The Urban Institute, a non-partisan Washington D.C.-based American think tank that carries out economic and social policy research, says that according to their research, prostitution is still big business in the nation. The organization recently conducted a huge study in eight major U.S. cities including Atlanta, Miami, and Washington DC.
In Atlanta alone, they concluded that the underground sex economy generates more than $290 million a year. In Miami, they found that $235 million a year is generated from the sex industry. Even worse, it was determined that both cities generate more from prostitution than from the illicit sale of drugs and guns combined.
In Washington, DC however, the numbers were a little bit lower. Just $103 million a year is generated from the underground sex industry, and that nearly matches the amount of money generated annually from drug dealing. Gun sales, however, in the nation’s capital generate more than $160 million.
How is prostitution defined and who participates?
Prostitution these days includes actually a variety of venues and methods. It has actually become a very broad industry that can involve massage parlors, makeshift brothels, secretive high-end escorts, phone sex, and online sessions via Skype. It can also still include services in public parking lots, alleys, and public bathrooms.
And EVERYONE is involved! The study showed no evidence that one ethnic group is involved more than another. Researchers say they found many venues that cater to all ethnic groups – including Whites, Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, Europeans and more.
What the pimps had to say
During the study, researchers interviewed many actual pimps, prostitutes, and police officers. All of them had valuable insight to share. For example, one pimp commented, “If it ain’t White, it ain’t right.” And actually this view was shared by many pimps who revealed that they have a preference for young White women and girls. Why? Because they’re “easier to manage,” they blend in, and that’s what their clients typically want.
Shockingly, many pimps (even Black pimps) admitted that they wouldn’t allow their prostitutes to “date Black dudes” or younger guys because they feared that they would get robbed, beaten or re-recruited by another pimp.
The pimps also revealed that they require their prostitutes to generate anywhere from $400 to $1,000 daily. And many, in order to stay in control, said they never pay their prostitutes in cash – only in food, housing, clothing and gifts. The pimps also added that they can easily earn anywhere from $5,000 to $33,000 a week or more.
What do you think? Can this really be true? Is prostitution really that rampant in the U.S.?
For more details about the study, visit www.urban.org or follow the Urban Institute on Twitter at www.twitter.com/urbaninstitute