In a national survey that tracks social behavior in the United States, there have been less men admitting to paying for sex in 2012 than at any other time over the past two decades.
Between 1991 and 1996, nearly 17 percent of men admitted on the survey that they have paid a prostitute. Between 2006 and 2012, the average number of men who stated that they paid for sex dropped to 13.2 percent. In 2012, the number was 9.1 percent.
Researchers and experts are divided over whether men are actually turning away from prostitution, or if they are simply less likely to admit it.
Some claim that with the rise of websites and dating apps, the ability of men to find partners is much easier now than it was in the previous decade. Another theory on the decline in paying customers was the fact that there are less men who have served in the military. According to data from the survey, men who served in the military were more than twice as likely to have ever paid for a prostitutes.
Other academic experts state that the survey could simply reflect the fears that men have in admitting the practice. As more states have recently increased the penalties in paying for sex, men could simply be more hesitant in admitting the crime, even if the survey is anonymous.
Source: Emily Alpert Reyes, “Fewer men are paying for sex, survey suggests,” Los Angeles Times, November 2, 2013.