Weird Science: Women's Funding Network sex trafficking study is junk science
This week's cover story focuses on the Women's Funding Network and their apparently bogus study that led to the removal of classified sex ads on Craigslist.com.
The story reports on how, using an Atlanta-based research group, the organization trumped up numbers of under-age prostitution and sex trafficking and testified to their validity in front of a congressional hearing.
The congressmen heard testimony from half a dozen nonprofit executives and law enforcement officials. But the most alarming words of the day came from Deborah Richardson, the chief program officer of the Women's Funding Network. She told legislators that juvenile prostitution is exploding at an astronomical rate.
"An independent tracking study released today by the Women's Funding Network shows that over the past six months, the number of underage girls trafficked online has risen exponentially in three diverse states," Richardson claimed. "Michigan: a 39.2 percent increase; New York: a 20.7 percent increase; and Minnesota: a staggering 64.7 percent increase."
The numbers ran in numerous publications throughout the U.S. with no independent verification. Unfortunately, the study is junk science.
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