Weird Science, SF Weekly, March 23-29, 2011) stating that the scare of an epidemic of children being trafficked in the U.S. for purposes of sex work is based on a piece of advocacy research conjured up by a non-profit called the Women's Funding Network. The WFN hired a bogus political consulting firm, The Shaprio Group, to do a "study." The result was a claim that, "an independent trafficking study released by the Women's Funding Network shows that over [a six month period] the number of underage girls trafficked online has risen exponentially..." Many news sources picked up on the story and ran with the fake statistics within the fake study. "'This new study seems pretty bogus,'" the SF Weekly quoted Ric Curtis, chairman of the anthropology department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, as saying. The article goes on to say that, "[T]he group behind the study admits as much. It's now clear it used fake data to deceive the media and lie to Congress. And it was all done to score free publicity and a wealth of public funding."
A representative of the WFN is quoted as saying, "We pitch it the way we think you're going to read it and pick up on it."
Could it be that the more inflammatory statistics coming out of women's activists venues has something to do with that, "...wealth of public funding"?
If you are interested in looking at the study, they are still available on the Women's Funding Network website.