WACO (April 8, 2013)--A new study one prostitution in the U.S. claims that American men don't pay for sex as often as some may think.
The study was conducted by University of Portland's Martin A. Monto and Christine Milrod and it was published in SAGE's International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology.
Monto and Milrod's study says only 14 percent of men across the U.S. have ever paid for sex and only 1 percent of those men had done so in the previous year.
"Our findings clearly contradict the John next door' notion perpetuated by some media," Dr. Milrod said.
"While it is noteworthy to recognize that the 1 percent of adult men who paid for sex in 2010 still result in a large number of customers, there is no credible evidence to support the idea that hiring sex workers is a common or conventional aspect of masculine sexual behavior among men in the United States,” the researchers say.
But Brett and Emily Mills of 'Jesus Said Love', a ministry that reaches out to dancers working in Central Texas strip clubs, say they disagree with the study.
Both say the term "paying for sex" has a blurry definition these days.
"The idea of paying for sex has exploded so much that I don't think you can say anymore that a 'John' is someone who just goes and buys a prostitute," Brett said.
The Mills began sharing the gospel with local dancers 10 years ago.
Yet, during that time they stumbled upon a more serious dilemma.
"What we encountered and saw was that human trafficking and prostitution is happening more and more inside these clubs," Emily said.
"We saw that a majority of women feel like they have no other choice but to engage in it."
A local dancer, who chose to remain anonymous, told News 10 that prostitution in Central Texas is a real and present problem.
She also said that area strip clubs can be a gateway.
"My night wasn't complete if someone didn't solicit me for sex," the dancer said.
"There was always someone there who would ask, and there's always someone who was willing to give."
The Charles Johnson Law Firm in Waco told News 10 that it takes five to 10 prostitution cases a month, but could probably take more than 30 if they accepted each case that was presented to them.
But numbers don't matter to Emily and Brett; they say they won't stop their ministry until they see real change.
"If we can inspire empathy so that people can begin seeing these women as victims, then our ability to pull resources to help them will be great," Emily said.