A Descriptive Study on Sexually Exploited Children in Residential Treatment

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Sexual exploitation and prostitution of children and adolescents is a multibillion dollar industry in the United States (Estes and Weiner in Medical, legal & social science aspects of child sexual exploitation: A comprehensive review of pornography, prostitution, and internet crimes, vol I, G.W. Medical Publishing, Inc, St Louis, 2005; Milloy in Essence 33(5):429–436, 2002). It is estimated that 293,000 youth are at-risk of being commercially sexual exploited (Estes and Weiner in The commercial sexual exploitation of children in the U. S., Canada and Mexico, The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 2001). Courtrooms in major cities around the country are reporting an increase of juveniles who are prostituted and of the individuals who prostitute them. Issues such as negative family dynamics, poor parenting skills, lower intellectual functioning, poor school success, inadequate social skills, and abuse and neglect are risk factors associated with juvenile prostitutes. This descriptive study focused on a unique group home treatment program in a large southern city for adolescent females with a history of juvenile prostitution. The authors found that the participants had low IQ scores and multiple mental health disorders. Implications for intervention and treatment are discussed.



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