WASHINGTON (BP) — The state of Nevada and United Airlines are newcomers to a 2019 watchdog list of the top 12 contributors to sexual exploitation in the U.S.
Nevada enslaves women through legalized prostitution and United Airlines has not addressed passenger reports of inflight sexual assault and harassment, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) said in releasing its 2019 Dirty Dozen List today (Feb. 11).
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue (SI), Netflix and Massage Envy spa also made for the first time the Dirty Dozen list of companies that promote and enable sexual exploitation.
“No corporation or mainstream entity should profit from or facilitate sexual exploitation,” Haley Halverson, NCOSE vice president of advocacy and outreach, said in releasing the list. “Unfortunately many well established brands and organizations in America do just that.”
Nevada’s legalization of prostitution, active in 10 counties, has enabled the state to become the largest illegal sex trader in the country, with 63 percent more activity there than in New York state, the nearest aggressor, NCOSE said.
“Under this legal framework, women are consumables,” said Lisa Thompson, NCOSE vice president of policy and research. “Like all systems of prostitution, Nevada’s sexploitation industry has a predatory dependence on women facing dire economic circumstances, and oftentimes with childhood histories of neglect and sexual abuse.” Women are sometimes recruited from jails, their bonds paid by brothel owners, NCOSE said.
United Airlines has exhibited systemic inappropriate reactions to sexual harassment in flight, NCOSE said.
While complaints have occurred on “virtually every airline,” Halverson said, “United aircrews have apparently received especially ineffective training.” The airline “appears to be chronically ill-prepared to address the growing problem of viewing pornography on airplanes, which creates a culture of sexual harassment.” In the enclosed environment of air travel, she said, children likely would be exposed to pornography.
Among other top abusers, SI peddles women’s bodies for public consumption, Massage Envy mishandles complaints of sexual assault committed during massages, and Netflix promotes child prostitution, NCOSE said, notably in its original series “Baby.”
Returning from 2018 on the seventh annual list are Amazon, Google, HBO, Roku, EBSCO Information Services, STEAM online video game distributors and Twitter.
The Dirty Dozen list “is an activism tool that gives the power back to individuals to speak out against corporatized sexual exploitation,” Halverson said. CVS Pharmacy’s removal of the SI swimsuit issue from checkout counters is one of NCOSE’s latest victories, Halverson said.
Among other NCOSE’s successes, Halverson said, Google no longer links pornographic videos to advertisements; Hilton Worldwide and other hotel chains no longer offer pornographic movies on demand; Walmart has removed Cosmopolitan Magazine from its checkout aisles; and the U.S. Department of Defense no longer offers pornographic magazines on military bases.
NCOSE markets itself as “the leading national organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health crisis of pornography.”
NCOSE’s Dirty Dozen list and accompanying narratives are available at endsexualexploitation.org/dirtydozen-2019/.