In the latest installment of Village Voice Media's investigation into the yawning gulf between myth and reality when it comes to underage sex trafficking
in the United States, this week's cover story takes on a series of public-service announcements spearheaded by Ashton Kutcher
. The story points out that the figure of 100,000 to 300,000 children trafficked for sex each year (which Kutcher and many others have repeated) doesn't hold up to any kind of serious scrutiny.
Further, the piece presents actual teen-prostitution figures based
on statistics from police departments within 37 major cities in the
U.S., as well as the FBI, over a 10-year period--and the annual tally,
while certainly tragic, is far, far lower than the oft-cited 100,000 to 300,000.