Despite Persistent Claims, Evidence Lacking on Super Bowl Spiking Human Trafficking

A Pervasive Narrative

For years, one consistent Super Bowl narrative in host cities has been warnings that the big game will cause a dramatic spike in sex trafficking. Authorities often allege the event drives a surge in forced prostitution.

But data-driven research increasingly indicates such eye-catching claims about sex trafficking boom lack substantive evidence when scrutinized.

The Genesis of a Modern Myth

The linkage of the Super Bowl with rampant human trafficking appears traced to an unsupported statement at a 2004 congressional hearing. Despite lack of data, the narrative took hold through repetition by activists, police, and media.

Soon, Super Bowl host cities began making alarming proclamations of huge trafficking spikes, though arrests data never bore out the hype.

What the Data Actually Indicates

Recent analysis of figures from host cities finds little to no increase in trafficking busts tied to Super Bowls. Arrests for pimping and buying sex either rose negligibly or, in some years, even declined during the event.

Statistical evidence undermines ubiquitous warnings of the game fueling human trafficking epidemics.

The Risks of Crying Wolf

Exaggerated claims of trafficking surrounding Super Bowls may actually harm anti-trafficking efforts by spreading misinformation. Plus, overstating links to an event lets traffickers off the hook for exploitation year-round.

Advocates warn persistent myths about events rather than ongoing realities enable complacency when the crowds leave.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment