Age at Entry into Prostitution: Relationship to Drug Use, Race, Suicide, Education Level, Childhood Abuse, and Family Experiences

Ross J. Clarke, Elizabeth A. Clarke, Dominique Roe-Sepowitz, Richard Fey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations


This study seeks to explore factors related to age at entry into prostitution. Participants were 389 women arrested for prostitution who had attended a diversion program. Women who entered prostitution as minors were found to be more likely to be African-American; report having a family member with a substance use problem; have a history of attempted suicide; and not have completed middle or high school. The age at first drug use was found to significantly impact the reported age at entry. Key areas for intervention should include improving school connectedness and preventing adolescent substance abuse, specifically for African-Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-289
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012



  • drugs
  • education
  • Juvenile prostitution
  • race
  • sex work
  • substance use
  • suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Anthropology

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