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Archive of posts filed under the Uncategorized category.

New Paper “Pimping and Profitability Testing the Economics of Trafficking in Street Sex Markets in Atlantic City, New Jersey”

Marcus, A., Sanson, J., Horning, A., Thompson, E., & Curtis, R. (2016). Pimping and Profitability Testing the Economics of Trafficking in Street Sex Markets in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Sociological Perspectives59(1), 46-65.

Human trafficking has been identified as the second or third most profitable illicit business on the planet. Underlying these claims and billions of dollars in policy funding since the 1990s is an economics of human trafficking built heavily on two assumptions. The first is that nonconsensual labor is more profitable than consensual labor with minors being particularly profitable due to their ubiquity and inability to effectively consent. The second is that, unlike illicit narcotic and weapons sales, human trafficking involves a uniquely renewable and nearly limitless source of profit. This article uses empirical data collected from street sex markets in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 2010–2012 to test some of the assumptions of the economics of human trafficking and puts particular focus on U.S.-based domestic minor sex trafficking by exploring market practices and understandings of young sex workers and pimps/third parties who have opportunities to benefit from the sexual labor of minors. Consistent with broader literature by economic historians and labor process scholars, findings do not support the assumptions of trafficking economics, suggesting the need for trafficking economists and policymakers to give more consideration to local political economies of sex in the design of antitrafficking policy.

New Paper “Strength in Numbers: A Model for Undergraduate Research Training and Education in the Social and Behavioral Sciences”

Martin, Y. C., Marcus, A., Curtis, R., Eichenbaum, J., & Drucker, E. (2016). Strength in Numbers: A Model for Undergraduate Research Training and Education in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 1-17.


This study describes a new approach to undergraduate science training that offers an alternate model to the national objective of scaling up scientific research interests and capabilities among undergraduate students. With this new focus, we seek to more effectively bring scientific research methods and experiences to larger numbers of students in non-elite educational circumstances. Our model has been designed and implemented, at the John Jay College and the Borough of Manhattan Community College, both of which are part of the City University of New York (CUNY), where we have a majority non-White and economically disadvantaged student body. We have successfully engaged large numbers of undergraduate students by linking multiple classes in the social and behavioral sciences to build collective cross-disciplinary research projects that give every enrolled student an opportunity to receive high-quality research training and create cumulative data sets over years that are cumulative, collaborative, and of professional value.

New Paper “No Love for Children: Reciprocity, Science, and Engagement in the Study of Child Sex Trafficking.”

Marcus, Anthony, and Ric Curtis. “No Love for Children: Reciprocity, Science, and Engagement in the Study of Child Sex Trafficking.” Ethical Concerns in Research on Human Trafficking. Springer International Publishing, 2016. 191-204.


New paper on cyclic network organisms describing how growth produces evolutionary pressures towards the emergence of cellular heterogeneity

“Attractor-based obstructions to growth in homogenous cyclic Boolean automata.”Journal of Computer Science and System Biology 8(6): 341-353.
Bilal Khan, Yuri Kantor, Kirk Dombrowski,

We consider a synchronous Boolean organism consisting of N cells arranged in a circle, where each cell initially takes on an independently chosen Boolean value. During the lifetime of the organism, each cell updates its own value by responding to the presence (or absence) of diversity amongst its two neighbours’ values. We show that if all cells eventually take a value of 0 (irrespective of their initial values) then the organism necessarily has a cell count that is a power of 2. In addition, the converse is also proved: if the number of cells in the organism is a proper power of 2, then no matter what the initial values of the cells are, eventually all cells take on a value of 0 and then cease to change further. We argue that such an absence of structure in the dynamical properties of the organism implies a lack of adaptiveness, and so is evolutionarily disadvantageous. It follows that as the organism doubles in size (say from m to 2m) it will necessarily encounter an intermediate size that is a proper power of 2, and suffers from low adaptiveness. Finally we show, through computational experiments, that one way an organism can grow to more than twice its size and still avoid passing through intermediate sizes that lack structural dynamics, is for the organism to depart from assumptions of homogeneity at the cellular level.


New paper exploring the non-injection drug use among MSM and its role in Hepatitis-C incidence

“Hepatitis C. Virus Incidence among HIV+ Men Who Have Sex with Men: The Role of Non-Injection Drug Use.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence 146: e118-e201.
H. Hagan, J. Nuerer, A. E. Jordan, D. C. Des Jarlais, J. Wu, K. Dombrowski, B. Khan, S. Braithwaite, J. Kessler.

Outbreaks of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection have been reported in HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) in North America, Europe and Asia. Transmission is believed to be the result of exposure to blood during sexual contact. In those infected with HIV, acute HCV infection is more likely to become chronic, treatment for both HIV and HCV is more complicated and HCV disease progression may be accelerated. There is a need for systematic reviews and meta-analyses to synthesize the epidemiology, prevention and methods to control HCV infection in this population.
Eligible studies will include quantitative empirical data related to sexual transmission of HCV in HIV-positive MSM, including data describing incidence or prevalence, and associations between risk factors or interventions and the occurrence or progression of HCV disease. Care will be taken to ensure that HCV transmission related to injection drug use is excluded from the incidence estimates. Scientific databases will be searched using a comprehensive search strategy. Proceedings of scientific conferences, reference lists and personal files will also be searched. Quality ratings will be assigned to each eligible report using the Newcastle–Ottawa scale. Pooled estimates of incidence rates and measures of association will be calculated using random effects models. Heterogeneity will be assessed at each stage of data synthesis.
HIV-positive MSM are a key HCV-affected population in the US and other high-income countries. This review seeks to identify modifiable risk factors and settings that will be the target of interventions, and will consider how to constitute a portfolio of interventions to deliver the greatest health benefit. This question must be considered in relation to the magnitude of HCV infection and its consequences in other key affected populations, namely, young prescription opioid users who have transitioned to illicit opiate injection, and older injection drug users among whom HCV prevalence and incidence are extremely high. This review is part of a series of systematic reviews and meta-analyses that will synthesize the evidence across all these population groups and develop recommendations and decision tools to guide public health resource allocation.