No World Cup sex bonanza

2010-10-22 07:13

The number of female sex workers who advertised online and in newspapers increased only slightly during the World Cup tournament, a study revealed yesterday.

Although the reported condom use remained high at 99% before and after the World Cup, the clientele proved to be fewer than expected, according to Sweat, a non-profit organisation that works with sex workers around health and human rights.

In conducting the study, the organisation obtained the phone numbers of sex workers from newspapers and a popular adult entertainment website where sex workers advertise their services.

The focus was on the classifieds sections of newspapers in three of the host cities – Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.

Participants were asked about the number of clients, country of origin of their last client, and the condom use with their last client.

The study revealed that during the pre-World Cup period, the web-based advertising research site listed more than 1?000 unique profiles of female sex workers, while 270 sex workers advertised in three leading newspapers in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. The number of unique profiles on the website increased by nearly 6% during the tournament.

“Interestingly, the post-World Cup period saw a further increase of about 9% as nearly 1?300 sex workers were advertising via this website,” the report said.

The study also found that a proportion of the local clients of sex workers who advertised in newspapers may have been temporarily replaced by foreign clients.

The organisation said these results were at odds with public fears about a massive increase in the number of sex workers, both domestic and cross-border during the World Cup.

It said the research findings also contradicted concerns about a huge increase in demand for paid sex services and engaging in unprotected sex.

“These findings point to the need for rational planning for future international sporting events that is based on evidence, not sensationalism.”

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