Unveiling the shadows: Exploring the reality of commercial sexual exploitation among LGBTQ+ youth in out-of-home care

Nofar Mazursky*, Yochay Nadan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: LGBTQ+ youth frequently encounter familial rejection based on their sexuality and gender identity and are at greater risk of being maltreated by their family, often prompting them to leave or run away from their parents' home. Such youth may find themselves living independently and, once they leave home, tend to be vulnerable to all kinds of abuse and sexual victimization, sometimes leading to different types of commercial sexual exploitation. Objective: This study aimed to comprehensively explore the subjective perspectives and understandings of commercial sexual exploitation among LGBTQ+ youth in out-of-home care in Israel. Methods: The study employed a critical constructivist grounded theory approach. Thirty-one in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with LGBTQ+ youth aged 16 to 32 (average 21.6), who aged out of one or more of the out-of-home care services for LGBTQ+ youth in Israel. Results: Our analysis indicates four main constructions of commercial sexual exploitation that depict the experiences of the participants: (1) survival sex; (2) gray prostitution; (3) sugar daddy; and (4) sex work. Conclusions: Our findings highlight the diverse manifestations of commercial sexual exploitation among LGBTQ+ youth, shedding light on its pervasive nature and significant scale. Several of these manifestations are characterized by ambivalence and are placed in the gray areas of commercial sexual exploitation, making it challenging to identify.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number106691
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Volume149
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Commercial sexual exploitation
  • LGBTQ+
  • Out-of-home
  • Youth

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