Thursday, August 4, 2011

Huffington Post: 4% of Tulane girls are "sugar babies"

Posted By on Thu, Aug 4, 2011 at 3:49 PM

Fun fact: Type in the word hooker at the website of stock-photo agency photos.com and youll get 11 pages of images.
  • Fun fact: Type in the word "hooker" at the website of stock-photo agency photos.com and you'll get 11 pages of images.
Today's latest BS journalism-flavored shockeroo comes from the Huffington Post ((surprise), in an article by Amanda Fairbanks titled "Seeking Arrangement: College Students Using 'Sugar Daddies' To Pay Off Loan Debt." The thing reads like a commercial for a prostitution website called Seeking Arrangement ("The Elite Sugar Daddy Site"), where young ladies list themselves in order to meet older, wealthier men:

At The Huffington Post's request, Seeking Arrangement listed the top 20 universities attended by sugar babies on the site. They compiled the list according to the number of sugar babies who registered using their .edu email addresses or listed schools' names on their profiles. New York University tops the list with 498 sugar babies, while UCLA comes in at No. 8 with 253, and Harvard University ranks at No. 9 with 231. The University of California at Berkeley ranks at No. 13 with 193, the University of Southern California ranks at No. 15 with 183, and Tulane University ranks at No. 20 with 163 college sugar babies.

Jen Quraishi of Mother Jones does the math: So one out of every 25 women at Tulane is not only an aspiring hooker, but has registered with this particular website to ply her trade. Hmmm.

Quraishi investigates further and calls shenanigans on the original story:

The devil's in the details: SeekingArrangement.com considers any person a student if they register using a .edu email address or if they write the name of a school in their profile. Even if you don't have a .edu email address, you can identify as a "student" at any number of universities. Or (as I found out when playing around with the site today) if you register using the still-valid .edu address from your undergrad days a decade ago, you'll still be an undergrad to the site's eyes, which entitles you to upgraded membership privileges for free.

Quraishi also points us to this 2008 Mac McClelland article about going undercover as a "sugar baby" (though lucrative, it's not exactly glamorous).

As for the original piece: sorry, guys; your comp-lit class may be filled with pretty women, but not a Pretty Woman. Then again, with Tulane's tuition rates, you probably wouldn't be able to afford her, anyway. Sounds like the women in the article wouldn't be too impressed with The Pita Pit.

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