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Adolescence. 1989 Fall;24(95):665-75.

Child sexual abuse and adolescent prostitution: a comparative analysis.

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Department of Criminal Justice, Loyola University of Chicago, Illinois 60611.


In several studies, child sexual abuse has been identified as a characteristic of adolescent prostitution. The implication of these findings, especially for girls, is that the two phenomena are related in that childhood sexual abuse perhaps leads to prostitution. The present study explored the relationship between sexual abuse and adolescent prostitution by comparing 70 sexually abused children with 35 prostitution-involved children on 22 variables. Findings suggest that the relationship is not directed, but involves runaway behavior as an intervening variable. It is not so much that sexual abuse leads to prostitution as it is that running away leads to prostitution. Implications for treatment of both sexually abused and prostitution-involved children also are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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