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Juvenile Prostitution (From Female Offender, P 99-118, 1980, Curt T Griffiths and Margit Nance - See NCJ-70360)

NCJ Number
D Boyer; J James
Date Published
20 pages
The causes and motivations for entrance into prositution by female adolescents are outlined.
Between 1967 and 1976, the overall increase of female adolescent prostitution was 242 percent. The young women becoming prostitutes tend to have been deprived and disadvantaged, physically and sexually abused, or overindulged by affluence. Those from low income and low status families who have developed few if any occupational skills or social identities to establish normalized self-worth and economic independence tend to drift into prostitution as a convenient means of making fast money and receiving affirmation of self-worth in a sexual identity. Those who have been physically and sexual abused enter prostitution under the impetus of negative self-esteem and a sense of satisfying the sexual drives of others. Those raised in an environment of overindulgent affluence drift into prostitution as a promise of new excitement and big money. The pattern of progression into prostitution consists of adaption, acculturation, assimilation, and commitment. Adaption involves adjusting to a negative self-image conditioned by poor family relations, educational failure, and poor peer relations. Acculturation involves experiencing and perceiving sexual identity and performance as a means of gaining attention and giving pleasure. Being paid for giving sexual pleasure is the tangible sign of worth, particularly within the symbolism of worth in American society. Assimilation involves becoming so much a part of the subculture of prosititution so that any other way of life seems alien to one's identity. The final stage, 'commitment,' is the generally irreversible commitment of one's emotional and economic needs to prostitution as the only preferred lifestyle. Intervention in the process of becoming a prostitute is most effective when it helps a young girl to develop survival skills and a sociel identity not exclusively related to her sexual being and performance. Five references are provided. For related documents, see NCJ 70361-65 and 70368-77.