An Exotic Upbringing: Developmental Experiences of Children of Exotic Dancers


Sarah Erwin, MA & Rochelle Dalla, PhD, CFLE | September 19 | 9:00-10:00 AM

Topic: Research, Experience | Knowledge Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced | Location: TBD

During this presentation, Sarah will describe finds from her dissertation, which is focused on the developmental experiences of adult children of exotic dancers - a previously unexplored population. Research to date provides insight into a plethora of risks associated with working as an exotic dancer (e.g., drug and alcohol abuse, sexual assault); however, gaps in the literature remain. Specifically, there is a void regarding the intergenerational impacts on children whose mothers are employed as exotic dancers. The available literature suggests that they are exposed, both directly (e.g., unstable housing, low SES) and indirectly (e.g., witnesses to domestic violence, maternal depression), to factors that challenge optimal developmental outcomes. This presentation will provide a description of the shared experiences, developmental risk factors, and intergenerational cycles described by adult research participants. The sample will include approximately 20 adult children of exotic dancers, who will be recruited using word of mouth recruitment and snowball sampling. Data will be collected through short surveys and a semi-structured interview formed through application of phenomenological research methods. Research outcomes are expected to have implications for future research and family programmatic efforts. This research stemmed from Sarah's personal experiences of growing up as the child of an exotic dancer; therefore, she will also be sharing select aspects of her own formative experiences. As the needs and experiences of this population have not yet been investigated, the methodological approach used to explore this hidden population will be outlined, exploring the strengths and limitations of studying the topic as an "insider".

Presentation Objectives:

·  Discuss common experiences and developmental risk factors for children of exotic dancers

·  Describe intergenerational cycles occurring between exotic dancers and their children

·  Outline methodology in conducting research with this hidden population

·  Share personal select experiences of growing up as the child of an exotic dancer

About the Presenters