Master's Project Title:

Young adult perceptions of sexual exploitation

MCH Student:

Katie Fritz Fogel

Date of Defense:

June 30 , 2015


Research shows that homeless youth are uniquely vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation  (CSE). But what are youth perspectives on definitions and pathways of CSE? We analyze focus  group data from participatory research with a homeless youth serving agency. Participants were a  racially/ethnically diverse sample of twenty – four female – identifying  young adults (ages 18 – 23)  receiving services. Some perceptions of the participants were consistent with previously  documented pathways into CSE. But, important novel themes emerged, including: sexual  exploitation as a continuum of sexually explicit interactions (i.e. stripping, fetish, survival sex,  trafficking); ever – present conversations and decision – making about CSE in homeless youth  culture; and the paradoxical issue that service – seeking around homelessness and overt identification  of girls as CSE victims can target them for greater victimization.