“We’re Automatically Sex in Men’s Eyes, We’re Nothing But Sex...”: Homeless Young Adult Perceptions of Sexual Exploitation

“We’re Automatically Sex in Men’s Eyes, We’re Nothing But Sex...”: Homeless Young Adult Perceptions of Sexual Exploitation

Research shows that homeless youth are uniquely vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation (CSE). But what are young adult perspectives on def- initions and pathways of CSE? We analyze focus group data from participatory research with a homeless youth- serving agency. Participants were a ethnically diverse sample/ethnically diverse sample of twenty four female-identifying young adults (ages 18–23) receiving services. Some perceptions of the participants were consistent with previously documented pathways into CSE. But, important novel themes emerged, including: sexual exploitation as a continuum of sexually explicit interactions (i.e. stripping, fetish, survival sex, traffick- ing); ever-present conversations and decision-making about CSE in homeless youth and young adult culture; and the paradoxical issue that service-seeking around homelessness and overt identification of CSE victims can target them for greater victimization.

JOURNAL: Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma
VOLUME: 9
ISSUE: (2016)
PAGES: 1-10
PUBLICATION DATE: 2016