Much has been said about the impact of the Super Bowl on sex trafficking, most of which indicates it is a key variable leading to a dramatic increase in commercial sexual exploitation and victimization. Recent reports and dozens of news articles strongly point to the Super Bowl as the most prominent national event where sex trafficking flourishes, with estimates of as many as 10,000 victims flooding host cities to be offered to willing purchasers intent on buying sex. While this has attracted a great deal of attention in the media and has served as a key point in the national dialogue on sex trafficking, support for such assertions has been sparse. While some such inquiries have been conducted capably, evidence supported research on the influence of the Super Bowl on sex trafficking has been limited.
With the support of the McCain Institute, researchers from Arizona State University sought to investigate and understand the true impact of the Super Bowl on sex trafficking, to further the national discussion on sex trafficking and its local and national impact as well as to develop a baseline understanding of regional sex trafficking trends for the 2015 Super Bowl which is to be held in Phoenix. What follows is what we believe to be the first comprehensive and systematic review of the quagmire that is the Super Bowl and sex trafficking and the first attempt to add clarity to a complex, national epidemic.
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