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VWN News: Internet Fuels Virtual Subculture For Sex Trade, Study Finds
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 Internet Fuels Virtual Subculture For Sex Trade, Study Finds

This story is from the category World Specific Developments
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Date posted: 30/10/2009

The Internet has spawned a virtual subculture of "johns" who share information electronically about prostitution, potentially making them harder to catch, according to a new study co-authored by a Michigan State University criminologist.

The research by MSU's Thomas Holt and Kristie Blevins of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte challenges the common perception that sex customers act alone and do not interact for fear of reprisal or scorn. The study appears in the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography.

Holt, assistant professor of criminal justice, said today's Web-savvy johns use the Internet to solicit prostitutes and to provide each other with warnings of prostitution hot zones and stings, which can hamper the efforts of law enforcement officials.

But the more police become familiar the johns' Web activities, the more it can help them zero in on the perpetrators, Holt added.

"The growth of these deviant subcultures has made it more difficult for law enforcement," said Holt, who has helped police devise prostitution stings. "On the other hand, it gives us a new opportunity to use the way the offenders communicate to better target their activities."

See the full Story via external site: www.sciencedaily.com



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