Youth Who Trade Sex in the U.S.

Intersectionality, Agency, and Vulnerability

Carisa R. Showden and Samantha Majic
Book Cover

PB: $29.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1621-6
Publication: Jun 18

HC: $92.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-1620-9
Publication: Jun 18

Ebook: $29.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1622-3
Publication: Jun 18

244 pages
5.5 x 8.25
24 tables, 2 figs., 2 halftones

Examining the dominant, unitary "innocent girl–predatory man" policy narrative to improve research, policy, and community interventions for young people in the sex trades

Read the Introduction (pdf).

Description

When cases of domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST) by predatory men are reported in the media, it is often presented that a young, innocent girl has been abused by bad men with their demand for sex and profit. This narrative has shaped popular understandings of young people in the commercialized sex trades, sparking new policy responses. However, the authors of Youth Who Trade Sex in the U.S. challenge this dominant narrative as incomplete. Carisa Showden and Samantha Majic investigate young people’s engagement in the sex trades through an intersectional lens.

The authors examine the dominant policy narrative’s history and the political circumstances generating its emergence and current form. With this background, Showden and Majic review and analyze research published since 2000 about young people who trade sex to develop an intersectional “matrix of agency and vulnerability” designed to improve research, policy, and community interventions that center the needs of these young people. Ultimately, they derive an understanding of the complex reality for most young people who sell or trade sex, and are committed to ending such exploitation.

Reviews

“Youth Who Trade Sex in the U.S . tackles a complex social problem through careful research and intersectional analysis. Showden and Majic are to be commended for their novel approach to a difficult subject, willingness to challenge dominant stereotypes, and recommendations for policy reform.
Laura S. Abrams, Professor and Chair, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, Department of Social Welfare

An excellent study that demonstrates, through detailed analysis, that dominant narratives available to us about young people who trade sex represent only a small part of the picture and do not adequately speak to the young people’s realities. Drawing from empirical studies of homeless, sex-trafficked, and LGBTQ youth, and from studies of health and human trafficking in the United States more generally, Showden and Majic make a compelling case for taking an intersectional approach that acknowledges both the agency and vulnerability of youth in the sex trade. An important antidote to the skewed and misleading images we are fed about domestic sex trafficking in the United States, Youth Who Trade Sex in the U.S. provides concrete advice for generating sensitive, well-designed, youth-centered research. I highly recommend this valuable tool for students, scholars, policy makers, and community workers concerned about human trafficking, the sex trade, and youth today.
Kamala Kempadoo, Professor, York University, Department of Social Science

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking and the Innocent Girl–Predatory Man Narrative
1. The Making of a Narrative
2. Research on Young People Who Trade Sex: A Comprehensive Narrative Analysis Co-authored with David Allan Jun-Rong Ting
3. Beyond the “Young, Innocent Girl”: The Complex Narrative of the “Knowing, Needy Adolescent”
4. Applying the Matrix of Agency and Vulnerability

Appendix 1. Additional Information on the 128 Studies Reviewed in Chapter 2
Appendix 2. The 128 Empirical Studies Included in the Comprehensive Narrative Analysis
References
Index

About the Author(s)

Carisa R. Showden is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences and Discipline Convenor for Gender Studies at the University of Auckland. She is the author of Choices Women Make: Agency in Domestic Violence, Assisted Reproduction, and Sex Work and the co-editor (with Samantha Majic) of Negotiating Sex Work: Unintended Consequences of Policy and Activism.

Samantha Majic is an Associate Professor of Political Science at John Jay College at the City University of New York. She is the author of Sex Work Politics: From Protest to Service Provision and the co-editor (with Carisa Showden) of Negotiating Sex Work: Unintended Consequences of Policy and Activism.


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