Men Who Pay For Sex Are More Likely to Commit Crimes


A new study from the Prostitution Research and Education non-profit group reveals that men who pay for sex are more likely to commit crimes, including violent crimes against women.

Other crimes include felonies or misdemeanors related to substance abuse, assault, and weapons.

Here are some others findings from the study:

  • Only 47% of sex buyers, versus 70% of non-buyers, reported that they were taught about respect for women in sex education classes
  • Almost three in four of the sex buyers reported they learned about sex from pornography, whereas only 54% of the non-buyers said they did
  • Two thirds of both groups of buyers and non-buyers concluded most women prostitutes had been lured, tricked or trafficked into the work
  • 61% of sex buyers versus 70% of non-buyers currently had a wife or girlfriend

Some of the findings aren’t so shocking. Men who pay for sex, (which is illegal in and of itself in most parts of the world), commit other crimes, especially crimes targeted against women. Doesn’t seem too far-fetched to me, not that this means every man who buys sex is more likely to commit a crime, but I see the correlation.

What I found interesting, however, is that two thirds of buyers (and non-buyers for that matter) said they believed women prostitutes had been “lured, tricked or trafficked into the work” yet they still buy sex from these women even though they believe the women don’t have a choice in the matter and in that light can’t truly consent.

Maybe men who buy sex are able to do so because, as the study found, men who buy sex are also significantly less empathetic toward women working as prostitutes. They don’t even see prostitutes as women (like the wives or girlfriends they come home to, which many of them have) but according to the study the sex buyers “seemed to justify their involvement in the sex industry by stating their belief … that women in prostitution were intrinsically different from non-prostituting women.”

So men who buy sex don’t even see prostitutes as human beings, continue to buy sex despite the fact that they think the women were “lured, tricked or trafficked” there, and then continue to commit other crimes, including violent crimes against other women.

So what’s the solution here? Would legalizing prostitution give sex workers more rights and protections? Would women continue to be “lured, tricked, or trafficked” into prostitution even if it was legal (certainly!)? Is there a solution?

What do you think?

Related from Care2:

Success! Trafficked Girls and Children of Sex Workers Find Homes

Gender Violence and the Environment

Strauss-Kahn May Have Had “Brutal Sex” With His Accuser’s Mother

Victory! Court Overturns “Anti-Prostitution Pledge”

Photo credit: Photo by toe stubber used under a Creative Commons license.


steve l.
Past Member 6 years ago

This "study" is from a non-biased group, doesn't it?

The truth is, men always are forced pay for sex--whether it's an honest transaction, or dishhonest (aka "dating"). If you don't pay, you don't get sex. Women always use their sexual power over men to exploit them.

Robert V.

I'll bet the same is true of corporate crime. A financial colossus who became rich by such legal crimes as marketing tobacco or junk food or who worked on Wall Street stealing pensions and life savings or the banker who manipulated the housing market to make millions homeless or the Nestle executive who gave the order to market infant formula in third world countries will be sexually attractive to all the gold diggers who are destitute enough of humanity to tolerate these sociopathic men who by ruthlessness crushed others to become winners. Such women are less worthy of respect than street walkers because when they marry for money they pretend that what they do as more noble than the common prostitution that it is.

There are decent entrepreneurs who by talent and effort become billionairs by building things like the internet and they have found wives who did not marry them for money - they typically married before they became wealthy - and their wives build charitable foundations and dedicate their lives to serve others. So there is no excuse for the prostitution practiced by the gold digger who marries that junk food executive who inflicted obesity on all those children.

Raymond  Cornes
Past Member 6 years ago

Lika, 100% in agreement with your comment, good Girl.

Lika S.
Lika P6 years ago

Thing is, the psych behind it is that if these women are going to be (sexually) abused, they may as well get paid for it. Arresting them is only reinforcing their victimization. So, if we are to criminalize the prostitution, we must arrest those who victimize the ladies who are there. That means go after the pimps and the buyers, who is already listed to not deem these ladies as human beings anyway. Plus if they commit other crimes, add this to the list. There wouldn't be any prostitutes and the pimps who abuse the women into it if the market wasn't there.

John Doe
james rico6 years ago

sarah w yes i can agree with you that many men might talk to a few sexy women cops for a few minutes. which is all it takes to become entrapped. especialy if they are young enough and still have lead in their pencils. but then again this was 1996 so today it is less likely to happen as men are on to this and are much more cautius. but that clearly was entrappmet and the first time i went to court there were 19 men picked up that night most were young i think i was the only one to fight it most just paid there 730.00 fine.i guess they wanted to get their moneys worth with me. i am sure she wore a wire and if i said the magic word she would have showed up in court for sure. the judge was furius with me and said if i ever came to his court again he would put me in jail they mostly cought young mexicans that night. when the lawyer showed up with me all of sudden i did not have to be there at 8am he got there at 9.30 am welcome to america. what kind of fairness is that the public defender said this hanging judge was brought to this town to clean it up

Pego R.
Pego R6 years ago

I'm afraid you are making a suggestion that would be too late to the party. I think something over 70% of women who go into prostitution are sexual abuse/incest survivors. Others were simply abused, not the groups of people who are typically taught ot take care of and defend themselves.

When prostitutes see something or are targets of crimes, they are crippled in participating in our legal system by these 2 issues. They are considered criminals and social pariahs in our society. All the people who are criminalized, excluded by our society are. That means that they are automatic targets for criminals of the "real injury" sort. Fortunately, when you empower women, they CAN grow past these early disasters.

Decriminalize sex and drugs and half our prisons would be closed tomorrow. We would have to open just as many treatment facilities, but treatment facilities are fraction of the cost. Regulate sex workers and drugs and we have both a great tax base and a resource for catching those people who attempt to bring in children and violence

Carmen n.
Carmen n6 years ago

Well, if according to such a high percentage of prostitute users sex workers became such more likely than not as a result of being "lured, tricked or trafficked", also more likely than not by men, I hear the men are saying that women are verrrrry vulnerable to being defrauded into becoming sex slaves, so the only solution I see is SEE TO IT THAT ALL GIRLS ARE TAUGHT SELF DEFENSE FROM A VERY EARLY AGE, and see to it all girls are warned about the myriad subterfuges men employ to "lure(d), trick(ed) or traffick(ed) into the work"...

Sad state of affairs, but there you have it. Our survival depends on it.

Flannel Disaster
Flannel Disaster6 years ago

The study and its conclusions are clearly BS, as some other sensible people have noted, and the answer is just as clearly legalization and de-stigmatization. (If that's a word)
I find a far more interesting question is why are people (men or women) still paying for prostitutes where prostitution is illegal and risking going to jail for it when they could simply videotape it and it becomes porn, and therefore legal? :o
Assuming the guy isn't going for underage girls, of course.

Sarah W.
Sarah W6 years ago

Mike C "
Women who sell sex are committing a crime" -I assume you have never left America, please don't.

John D
"police will put sexy women cops out with skin tight shorts and shaking their asses to entice and entrap men" -because of course men are simply unable to avoid being entrapped... PLEASE!

Sandra Kravitz
Sandra K6 years ago

We should bare in mind the moral functioning of men who pay for sex and exploit women. It's primitive, and I'm not at all surprised this correlation's now proven - more surprised it wasn't discovered earlier.