Study: Sex workers make more just by carrying a Blackberry

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In this month's Wired, Columbia sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh presents the fascinating results of years spent studying sex workers and technology. Venkatesh interviewed 290 women; his discoveries were many, but maybe the most interesting is that just carrying a Blackberry increases a prostitute's earning power, suggesting clean health and professionalism. A pretty amazing signifier, and probably one that Blackberry manufacturer RIM isn't any too psyched about. (Although you never know.) More of Venkatesh's findings:

• The internet has allowed prostitutes to cut out the middle man (pimps), booking their own clients online. Eleven pimps Venkatesh interviewed in 1999 were unemployed by 2003.

• In 2003, prostitutes found 9% of their clients on Craigslist; that number's down to 3%, while 25% of clients are now found on Facebook. 83% of call girls have Facebook pages.

• Prostitutes often carry two cell phones because clients like to take one away to establish a power dynamic.

Read the rest of the results here, including a breakdown of costs per neighborhood and more.