New survey reveals 8 per cent of Irish men have paid for sex

Study reveals that the vast majority of Irish men have never paid for sex
Study reveals that the vast majority of Irish men have never paid for sex

A survey of over 1,000 adults has revealed that the vast majority of Irish men have never paid for sex.

The findings emerged from a poll conducted by Red C for the 'Prostitution - We Don’t Buy It' campaign that launched today.

The initiative has been set up to change men's attitude to the sex industry and it has the backing of Ruhama, the organisation that works with women affected by prostitution.

The poll revealed that 88% of men and 99% of women say they have not purchased sex and 8 per cent of men had paid for sex, but not regularly according to the survey. Four per cent refused to answer.

Other findings include:

  • 72% believe women who sell sex do so due to difficult circumstances
  • 62% believe that women who sell sex have been pimped or trafficked into the sex industry.
  • 60% - 53% men and 63% women – believe that the main reason men buy sex is to pay for sexual practice their partner is not willing to engage in.  Significantly more women (56%) than men (29%) consider men buy sex to have control over a woman.
  • 79% of people believe criminal gangs or pimps profit most from prostitution and trafficking in Ireland.  8% believe the women who sell sex are the main beneficiaries. 

“This strand of the REACH Project builds on the recognition that most Irish men never have and never will purchase sex,” said Sarah Benson, CEO of Ruhama.  “It is asking them – the majority - to make a stand against a trade that exploits women and girls, and which results in profits for criminal gangs.”

Prostitution is the context where most sex trafficking occurs. This independent survey tells us that Irish people believe that the sex trade in Ireland is overwhelmingly organised with the majority of women linked to pimps and traffickers.”

Minister Frances Fitzgerald also appealed to Irish men, asking them to start a public conversation on the wrongs of prostitution. “Public education and awareness play a vital role in reducing the demand for the services of victims of trafficking. We all have a role to play and that is the aim of this very striking campaign.”

For more on the campaign, check out the websiite