Am I buying a young person?



 
Most sex providers enter the life when they are young (before the age of 25), some studies show the median age of entry for minors is 15-years-of-age.[1] Many are runaways, escaping abusive homes. In fact, the reality is many providers enter ‘the life’ under duress, and are engaging in survival sex. These are people with few meaningful economic alternatives. Sex buyers often say their transaction helped someone get food, money, shelter…things they would have otherwise struggled with. But what buyers are really doing is making a tough situation worse.
 
Many providers are likely to have experienced social and familial discrimination and rejection, family dysfunction, family poverty, physical and sexual abuse, and emotional and mental trauma–all of which are exacerbated by the acute trauma induced through transactional sex.[2] Regardless of reason for entry into the sex trade, research shows all young people regret entering it. As providers have long been targets of law enforcement (a practice that is actively changing in Georgia), once arrested they often become trapped in a cycle of criminal justice involvement that makes it difficult for them to leave the life.[3] A life that is incredibly dangerous. The average age of death for a sex provider is 34; a workplace homicide rate fifty-one times higher than the next most dangerous occupation, working in a liquor store.[4]
 
If you buy sex with a young person you are putting them at risk emotionally, physically, and mentally. There are ways to help exploited individuals other than renting their bodies for a few bucks, ways that are less self-serving.

 


[1] Curtis, R., Terry, K., Dank, M., Dombrowski, K., Khan, B., Muslim, A., Labriola, M. and Rempel, M., 2008. The Commercial Sexual Exploitation Of Children In New York City. New York: Center for Court Innovation.
[2] Curtis, R., Terry, K., Dank, M., Dombrowski, K., Khan, B., Muslim, A., Labriola, M. and Rempel, M., 2008. The Commercial Sexual Exploitation Of Children In New York City. New York: Center for Court Innovation.; Farley, M., Schuckman, E., Golding, J. M., Houser, K., Jarrett, L., Qualliotine, P., & Decker, M. (2011). Comparing Sex Buyers with Men Who Don’t Buy Sex:” You can have a good time with the servitude” vs.” You’re supporting a system of degradation.” In Psychologists for Social Responsibility Annual Meeting July (Vol. 15, p. 2011).
[3] Dank, M., Yu, L., Yahner, J., Pelletier, E., Mora, M., and Conner, B. 2015. Locked In: Interactions with the Criminal Justice and Child Welfare Systems for LGBTQ Youth, YMSM, and YWSW Who Engage in Survival Sex. Urban Institute.
[4] Potterat, John J., Devon D. Brewer, Stephen Q. Muth, Richard B. Rothenberg, Donald E. Woodhouse, John B. Muth, Heather K. Stites, and Stuart Brody. “Mortality in a long-term open cohort of prostitute women.” American journal of epidemiology 159, no. 8 (2004): 778-785.