As many as 42% of escorts are men, according to new data from analysis site importio.
Far more men could be working as escorts than you might expect, according to data collected by importio, a web-based data scraper.
Importio analysed the profiles of thousands of members of AdultWork, which is according to them, the most popular site for advertising by sex workers in the UK.
There, 42% of men advertising escorting services were men. This flies in the face of common expectations on the gender divide in sex work.
According to government numbers, there are NO male prostitutes
Think that looking at online profiles on one website isn’t the best way to analyse the sex work industry? Well, it actually could more accurate than what the government is doing.
In official government figures – no sex workers are men.
This year the Office of National Statistics (ONS) decided to include ‘vices’ like prostitution and drugs in their estimation of GDP. The result suggested that the UK spends about £4.3bn on prostitution in an average year.
However, the ONS figures were based on a telephone study of brothels in London in 2004, which only collected information about women. And only in London.
In reality – many thousands of men may be working as prostitutes in the UK.
So are more women buying sex than we thought?
So are women paying for male prostitutes?
Though we don’t know much about the clients, we do know some data about the sex workers, and most of the male sex workers on the site say they are straight. That suggests that it could be straight women as much as gay men who are paying for these male sex workers.
So there could be a larger number of female punters than we previously thought. Men on the site overwhelmingly identified as straight, while women were more likely to be bi-curious or bi-sexual.
In fact, 42.1% of female escorts on the site identify as bi-sexual, compared to 0.7% of the population, according to the ONS. Lesbians are underrepresented, while gay men are slightly over-represented.
But men get paid less for sex work
The average rate for men is £70, while women make almost twice as much – £131. Importio noticed that men are less active on the site, logging in far less often, suggesting they have fewer clients.
But though the number of sex workers may be split 42 / 58. The actual amount of paid-for sex encounters could be more in line with stereotypes.
There are more women on the site than men, and overall their profiles get 38 times as much traffic. So despite higher numbers of men than you might have thought, women still dominate the market.
Women who offer escort services on AdultWork are younger than their male counterparts.
A random sample of 1000 male and 1000 female escorts found women skewed younger, averaging at 30 where men average at 33.
The oldest man in the sample was 73, the oldest woman was 65.
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