Conceptualizing juvenile prostitution as child maltreatment: Findings from the national juvenile prostitution study.
Two studies were conducted to identify the incidence (Study 1) and characteristics (Study 2) of juvenile prostitution cases known to law enforcement agencies in the United States. Study 1 revealed a national estimate of 1,450 arrests or detentions (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1,287-1,614) in cases involving juvenile prostitution during a 1-year period. In Study 2, exploratory data were collected from a subsample of 138 cases from police records in 2005. The cases are broadly categorized into three main types: (a) third-party exploiters, (b) solo prostitution, and (c) conventional child sexual abuse (CSA) with payment. Cases were classified into three initial categories based on police orientation toward the juvenile: (a) juveniles as victims (53%), (b) juveniles as delinquents (31%), and (c) juvenile as both victims and delinquents (16%). When examining the status of the juveniles by case type, the authors found that all the juveniles in CSA with payment cases were treated as victims, 66% in third-party exploiters cases, and 11% in solo cases. Findings indicate law enforcement responses to juvenile prostitution are influential in determining whether such youth are viewed as victims of commercial sexual exploitation or as delinquents.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Mitchell, K.J., Finkelhor, D., Wolak, J. Conceptualizing juvenile prostitution as child maltreatment: Findings from the national juvenile prostitution study. (2010) Child Maltreatment, 15 (1), pp. 18-36.
© 2010 The Author(s).