A six-year analysis of sex traffickers of minors: exploring characteristics and sex trafficking patterns

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Abstract

Few studies have explored the characteristics and arrest patterns of sex traffickers, particularly sex traffickers of persons under the age of 18 (minors) in the U.S. The purpose of this study is to understand the behavior and characteristics of a national cross sectional sample of sex traffickers of minors during a six-year period. This study explored cases involving the arrest of sex traffickers of minors or persons under the age of 18 in the United States from 2010 to 2015. Sex traffickers of minors was defined as a person who facilitates and/or benefits by receiving something of value for the commercial sexual exploitation of a minor (person under the age of 18) or attempts to do so. During a systematic online search, 1,416 sex traffickers of minors were identified. The arrests were found in 46 states in the United States, two U.S. territories, and Washington D.C. The sex traffickers of minors were mostly males (n = 1067, 75.4%), and of those with race identified (only 51.6%), 71.7% were African American. Their ages ranged from 15 to 70 years old (M = 28.5, SD = 8.54). Characteristics of the sex trafficker and the sex trafficking situation are analyzed and implications discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • child victims
  • minor sex trafficking
  • minors
  • Sex trafficking
  • victims

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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