LGBTQ Youth and Sex Trafficking


September 22 | 11:15 - 12:15 AM | Room 2592

LGBTQ youth account for a disproportionate rate of the runaway and homeless youth population, and experience disproportionately high rates of victimization. In July 2015, the Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research completed the second year of a longitudinal study entitled the Youth Experiences Survey (YES): Exploring the Sex Trafficking Experiences of Homeless Young Adults in Arizona, which explores the sexual exploitation experiences of homeless youth and young adults, including LGBTQ youth. Of the 194 young adults who reported their sexual orientation in the 2015 YES survey, 68 reported having been sex trafficked (35.1%). Of the 68, 36 (52.9%) reported their sexual orientation as LGBTQ. The LGBTQ youth were found to be slightly younger at their first sex trafficking experience (LGBTQ 15.22 years vs. Heterosexual 16.23 years). The LGBTQ youth were significantly more likely to report having been sex trafficked for drugs, money and a place to stay. This presentation will explore the particular vulnerability of LGBTQ youth and the ways in which traffickers seek to exploit these vulnerabilities in order to compel youth into commercial sex.

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