Illinois study finds thriving online marketplace for sex trade. Marion Brooks reports.
It's no secret that the oldest profession in the world has taken advantage of digital technology, but a new study shows that the men who seek prostitutes have created a sort of online brotherhood.
The Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE) monitored a web site called USA Sex Guide, chat forums for men who buy sex, referred to as "mongers."
The mongers had created a sort of brotherhood, and helped each other find prostitutes, rating them by looks, performance and attitude.
"They've found a community. They are not alone anymore, they are not an individual who is privately seeking something," the study's author, Lara Janson said. "They feel they have this brotherhood they can turn to for support."
The study also revealed an alarming attitude toward violence, human trafficking and underage girls.
"Many are aware they are purchasing sex from underage girls ... they still do it," Janson said.
It seems like police crackdowns on the streets are working. Several posts warned of increased law enforcement, with some of the mongers saying it's led them to reconsider their "hobby."
"What we really want law enforcement to do is stop arresting prostitutes and start arresting johns. We've hard from their own words that is what actually will deter them, if they felt a consequence for what they are doing," CAASE executive director Rachael Durchslag said.