When the Kinsey report on male sexual behavior was published in 1948, it revealed among its then-scandalous findings that up to 69 percent of American men had paid for sex at some point in their lives.
Since then, the notion of the “john next door” has been perpetuated in pop culture, and even in some recent studies. But new research drawing on a large-scale nationally representative sample of men shows that frequenting prostitutes is not actually all that ordinary in the United States.
About 14 percent of American men said they paid for sex at some point in their lives, but just 1 percent said they visited a prostitute in the past year (2010), according to the study, which is, in part, based on data collected as part of the General Social Survey by researchers at the National Opinion Research Center.
“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,” study researcher Christine Milrod, of the University of Portland, said in a statement.