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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » 300,000+ U.S. Children in Sex Trade

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Author Topic: 300,000+ U.S. Children in Sex Trade
Aria51
Scarleteen Volunteer
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http://www.msnbc.com/news/626321.asp

Some tidbits of info from the MSN article:


-an estimated 300,000 to 400,000 American children were victims of sexual exploitation each year; that's 1 out of every 100 children.

-Children involved in the sex trade participate in everything from pornography and street prostitution to selling sex at school

-Boys are affected as much as girls

-Most of the children involved had run away from middle-class homes, and less than a quarter came from impoverished homes.

Just thought this would make for some interesting discussion. Thoughts, comments?

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How can you not like muffins?!

This surely was the product of a twisted mind.


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shy_girl15us
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We all get gifts from our partners, so what is wrong with accepting money, I do not believe that I'm a prostitute but I do get nice things from guys that want to spend time with me, and I usually don't have sex with them. I do admit that the guys are a bit older but I feel that they know what they are doing and I like being with them and having fun, but the gifts are nice too.
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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I'm not sure you're understanding the topic Aria is bringing up, Shy.

It isn't a discussion about gifts. Though studie4s like those are questionable in their accuracy, what they are talking about is actual prostitution and sex trade, not exchanges of gifts, and not always teens or children or young adults freely consenting.

In other words, in theory, there isn't anything wrong with dojn g anything for money, when it all comes down to it, so long as no one is harmed, and so loing as that is what you want to do, not what someone else forces you to do, or something you MUST do to survive because no other support or resources are available to you.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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Lee
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While I haven't seen this study myself, I suspect it may be little more than propaganda created by a group whose funding and prestige is based on saving children from such abuse. Make no mistake, there are people who will lie to you even though they have good intentions at heart. You can't really trust anyone with an agenda, no matter how how honorable it may be.

Lee


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John Doe
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Heather,
"or because it is something you MUST do to survive because there are no other support orresources availible to you"
If you make the last lifeline illegal, and don't provide the other support or reources, are you helping that person.

Is a 12 yo prostiitute in a 3rd world countrry better off if his or her customers are prosecuted either in that country or when they return home. In one case the prostitute is doing soemthing that he or she finds distasteful and degrading, in the other he or she starves.

Shouldn't the focus be on providing the support and resources so that such prostitution becomes unneeded, rahter than on prohibiting prostitution. To do the latter without doing the former is just plain cruel.


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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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I don't see that I brought up legal issues at all.

I was simply explaining the topic as Aria posed it to another user.

In terms of what I said -- and this had but nothing to do with legalities -- it was addressing the ethiocal issue of choosing a vocation, or being forced into a vocation. I think we can safely agree that anyone -- of any age -- who is forced into work which can be emotionally very damaging if not done wanting to do so -- is in a very vulnerable position, and in one which may well be highly detrimental.

And I don't think the solution to that has a thing to do with the legality of prostitution. It has to do with human rights and global econimical issues. The same thing applies to sweatshops as does to 12-year-old girls in Thailand in prostitution.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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John Doe
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Perhaps I brought it a little off topic by bringing in the legalities of the situation. i find it very sad that children are forced through economic nessesity into sweatshops and into prostitution. However, if the soution is just shutting down the sweatshops or shutting down prostitution, then you really haven't done the children any favors. Having one unpleasant option to survive is better than having no ability to survive.
Prostitution is, however, not treated the same way as working in a sweatshop. With the exception of war crimes against humanity, being a john for an underage prostitute is the only extraterritorial crime there is in the US. In other words, you can be prosecuted in the US for doing something overseas, even if it is legal over there. As far as i know, nobody has ever been prosecuted in the US for buying a t-shirt made in a thai sweatshop. But if someone goes over to Thailand and is a john for a 12 yo prostitute, they can be prosecuted here in the US.

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bettie
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I see both types of child labour as something I do not want in this world. I choose to not engage in either practice to the best of my ability. I don't fly to Thaliand and have sex with children (nor do I want to) and I do my best to buy products made in Canada so as to avoid labour practices I am not comfortable with.

In any case, I can see the reasoning behind the laws as they stand right now. People who buy running shoes made by children in the Thirld World do so with some great distance between them and the children. People who fly to Thailand and other countries in order to have sex with children they legally would not be able to have sex with in their home countries do so with extreme closeness to the children involved. They look them in the eye.

The difference I suppose is direct harm versus indirect harm.

I am not sure what the best solution is for this matter. The best I can do in an everyday way is use my purchasing power and support organizations I feel are making a positive difference in this world

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Louise Lalonde
-Scarleteen Sexpert & Volunteer du Jour

"Glad to have a friend like you,
And glad to just be me"
-Carol Hall


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John Doe
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But if everybody followed your example, the sweatshops would be closed down. there would be nothing to take their place and you deprive those kids of the option of working there to survive. How is that helping them? They make the choice to work in the sweatshops because it is the best option they have under terrible circumstances. Depriving them of a lively hood, without providing an option is not in their best interest.
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Heather
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As I understand it, in terms of both prostitutution and sweatshops in third world countries, most children are not making their own choices to work in them.

As well, while I'm not an economist so I'm hardly an exppert, I don't know that the monies reared from work in either, especially the latter, often makes or breaks survival in terms of what fiscal support it accrues.

This is REALLY getting off of the topic, so I'd like to steer it back: Aria brought up sex work done by children or young adults in the United States. Let'sbring it back there, okay?

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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Pixie69
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I don't really know what to think about this. While I do think that prostitution should be legalized, and I'm against child prostitution and pornography, there are a few questions to be asked. The first is how old are these 'children'. It says children, but since you can be considered a child under the age of 18 (in the US anyway), and it appears that a lot of these children ran away (it seems more logical that a teenager would run away and stay awa versus a pre-teen). So how old are these 'children'? My question numero dos is why are these teens running away from secure, middle class families? Was there home life so bad that they'd rather live on the streets?

It's hard to form an opinion about the article and the situation without knowing more about it. Are these 'children' forced into sex work, or did they start it themselves as an option to survive? Do any of them live in apartments, pay bills, buy groceries, have a secure life that isn't on the streets? Are they being taken advantage of or have they become young business wo/men?

Too many questions.

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Brittany
Scarleteen Advocate

I want you to be free don't worry about me


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