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Sex Trade Among Youth: A Global Review of the Prevalence, Contexts and Correlates of Transactional Sex Among the General Population of Youth


Krisch, Maria; Averdijk, Margit; Valdebenito, Sara; Eisner, Manuel (2019). Sex Trade Among Youth: A Global Review of the Prevalence, Contexts and Correlates of Transactional Sex Among the General Population of Youth. Adolescent Research Review, 4(2):115-134.

Abstract

Transactional sex, the casual exchange of sexual favors for money or gifts, has been associated with negative outcomes and health risks, particularly among youth. This global review of the evidence explores trends of buying and selling sex among the general population of male and female youth across 28 countries. It compares the differences and similarities in prevalence rates between genders (male versus female), sex trading activities (selling versus buying), and country income groups (high-income versus low- and middle-income countries) and examines the relationships and situations surrounding transactional sex, and its correlates. The screening of reports resulted in the inclusion of 37 manuscripts (N = 120,447 participants), involving peer review and grey literature describing longitudinal and cross-sectional research across 7 high-income and 21 low- and middle-income countries. The review of prevalence rates suggests relatively low rates of transactional sex in high-income countries (with selling and buying rates below 10% in all countries) and relatively high, although varying rates, in low- and middle-income countries (with selling and buying rates of 60% or higher in seven countries). Gender disaggregated data suggests that boys are more likely than girls to sell sex in high-income countries while the opposite seems to be true in low- and middle-income countries. The findings suggest that initial contact between sellers and buyers is most often established through friends, acquaintances, and dating websites. The age of onset is around 15 years, many sellers and buyers already know each other before trading sex, and they are often of a similar age. Money is the most commonly used form of compensation. Correlates of selling sex include involvement in other risky sexual behaviors, substance use, infection with sexually transmitted diseases, mental health problems, family break-up, and a history of victimization. No or mixed relations have been found with socioeconomic and educational status. The correlates of buying sex include promiscuity, substance use, violence perpetration and, to some extent, higher socioeconomic status. Recommendations for future research are discussed.

Abstract

Transactional sex, the casual exchange of sexual favors for money or gifts, has been associated with negative outcomes and health risks, particularly among youth. This global review of the evidence explores trends of buying and selling sex among the general population of male and female youth across 28 countries. It compares the differences and similarities in prevalence rates between genders (male versus female), sex trading activities (selling versus buying), and country income groups (high-income versus low- and middle-income countries) and examines the relationships and situations surrounding transactional sex, and its correlates. The screening of reports resulted in the inclusion of 37 manuscripts (N = 120,447 participants), involving peer review and grey literature describing longitudinal and cross-sectional research across 7 high-income and 21 low- and middle-income countries. The review of prevalence rates suggests relatively low rates of transactional sex in high-income countries (with selling and buying rates below 10% in all countries) and relatively high, although varying rates, in low- and middle-income countries (with selling and buying rates of 60% or higher in seven countries). Gender disaggregated data suggests that boys are more likely than girls to sell sex in high-income countries while the opposite seems to be true in low- and middle-income countries. The findings suggest that initial contact between sellers and buyers is most often established through friends, acquaintances, and dating websites. The age of onset is around 15 years, many sellers and buyers already know each other before trading sex, and they are often of a similar age. Money is the most commonly used form of compensation. Correlates of selling sex include involvement in other risky sexual behaviors, substance use, infection with sexually transmitted diseases, mental health problems, family break-up, and a history of victimization. No or mixed relations have been found with socioeconomic and educational status. The correlates of buying sex include promiscuity, substance use, violence perpetration and, to some extent, higher socioeconomic status. Recommendations for future research are discussed.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development
Dewey Decimal Classification:370 Education
Language:English
Date:1 June 2019
Deposited On:04 Feb 2020 12:32
Last Modified:12 Mar 2020 09:26
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:2363-8346
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s40894-019-00107-z

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