Contrary to the claims of many, the Super Bowl does not bring a statistically significant increase in sex trafficking activity, according to an expert on using modern technology to combat social problems.
Emily Kennedy, president and co-founder of Marinus Analytics, was interviewed on an episode of Dallas Theological Seminary's podcast "The Table" which was posted online on Monday.
Kennedy explained that she was part of a research team that compared sex trafficking activity at the Super Bowl to other major gatherings, such as other sports events and conferences.
Her research analyzed hundreds of thousands of online ads to see what trends existed, reasoning that the "selling of sex online is a proxy for measuring human trafficking. If that activity increases, it's likely that human trafficking also increases."
"We compared the Super Bowl to all these other events, and we found that the Super Bowl statistically did not have the most statistically significant increase in activity," said Kennedy.
"In fact, there are many other events and things that were happening throughout the U.S. at the time that had much more statistically significant increase in activity."
Kennedy noted that a much bigger increase in sex trafficking activity was found with the recent oil boom in Minot, North Dakota, explaining that the area "had a huge boom in population and a huge spike in trafficking activity."
"When you look at the Minot, North Dakota, graph, it is off the charts, and it is what we would have expected for the Super Bowl," continued Kennedy.
"That's so important to me and to my team because armed with that actual data, then law enforcement can make data-driven decisions because they're putting huge resources toward this stuff."