NY Prostitutes Like Facebook

Columbia professor finds sex workers flock to social networking

In New York the world's oldest profession is increasingly turning to one of the latest trends.

Prostitutes in the five boroughs are becoming devotees of social networking, using Facebook to recruit clients, according to a study by a Columbia University sociologist.

A survey of 290 sex workers found that 83 percent have a Facebook page, wrote professor Sudhir Venkatesh in a Wired magazine article, "How Tech Tools Transformed New York's Sex Trade."

"I estimate that by the end of 2011, Facebook will be the leading on-line recruitment space," Venkatesh wrote in the magazine's February issue.

Also, 61 percent of the women he talked to said they used Craigslist as well for advertising.

Among other trends he found:

More than 60 percent of high end prostitutes work with an escort agency, earning 50 percent more per encounter than streetwalkers.

The majority of prostitutes, 63 percent, had moved to the Big Apple from another state and nearly all had legitimate jobs before joining the sex trade.

Streetwalkers earn $75 per transaction but the pimps take 25 percent.
Venkatesh's findings were also reported in Sunday's New York Daily News.

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