Domestic Sex Trafficking of Minors in Ohio: Perspectives from Perpetrators
Mark Welty | September 22 | 1:30 - 2:30 PM | Room 2592
This research project follows a qualitative-quantitative approach used to gain a deeper understanding on the strategies used by the adults who are involved in the exploitation of children. This study exposes, and helps put into perspective, how the sexual trafficking of minors is differentiated from other types of sexual offending behavior. Integrated theory (including trauma theory) and multifactor theories, such as the confluence model provide the theoretical backdrop for this study. While the focus of data collection comes from perpetrators of child exploitation, it is important to underscore what we understand and hypothesize about victims. It is hypothesized that adverse childhood experiences and family modeling created a cascading effect that impacts the way adolescents interact in the adult world. Secondly, it is further hypothesized that as a result of these adverse situations, children’s vulnerabilities become manifest in unhealthy relationships with adults including those who have chosen to exploit them sexually. Q Methodology is a research method that is used to study people’s subjectivity and points of view on a particular phenomenon and serves as the primary methodology used in this study. Face-to-face interviews with inmates incarcerated in State of Ohio correctional institutions were conducted and consisted of specific questions which served as the platform for the Q sort. Questions targeted the topics of victim recruitment, victim retention, as well as explored offenders’ perceptions of the relationships they have with the girls they have exploited in the sex business.