Women on line for sex

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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. Thematic analysis was used to identify similarities and differences in the narratives. Three themes and eight sub-themes were identified in relation to different stages in their lives in the sex trade. The informants all had stable social lives in the sense that they had roofs over their he, food to eat, and no substance-abuse issues. None had a third party who arranged the sexual contacts and none were currently trafficked. They described how their experiences of traumatic events and of feeling different and excluded had led them into the sex trade.

Selling sex functioned as a way to be seen, to handle traumatic events, and to regulate feelings. Professionals working with young people who sell sex online need to understand the complex web of mixed feelings and emotional needs that can play a role in selling sex. Young people selling sex might need guidance in relationship building as well as help processing traumatic experiences and ending self-harming behavior. Further studies are needed on the functions of online sex selling and on the exit process for young people, in order to prevent entrance and facilitate exiting.

This study focuses on the life stories of young people 15—25 years of age who have been involved in online prostitution or, as termed in this paper, selling sex. Worldwide, most research on this topic has focused on adults, even though studies from Nordic countries and Canada show that the mean age individuals start selling sex is around Sexual exploitation of children under the age of Women on line for sex includes trafficking, prostitution, and child pornography. Under international law and in certain branches of feminist research, selling sex is seen as harmful to the seller and equivalent to sexual abuse.

This means that in the sex trade is always the victim of a crime, even if it was the child who initiated the contact with the buyer. Most of the research on this subject, both qualitative and quantitative, suggests that young people involved in the sex trade come from disadvantaged backgrounds and are a vulnerable group. Svedin and Priebe found that the mental health of Swedish young people average age, research suggests that challenging background factors and difficult current life situations may explain why individuals engage in risky behavior, including entering into and staying in the sex trade.

For example, they may be in need of money, drugs, or a place to stay. In a national survey from the US, children who do not live at home have been identified as the largest risk group for sexual exploitation. For example, some are motivated by curiosity and excitement.

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Few studies discuss how children extricate themselves from the sex trade, though there are theoretical models discussing the different stages adult women go through in the process of exiting street-based prostitution. In many areas of the world, such as North America and Sweden, the marketplace for sex has gradually shifted from being street-based to being online-based.

In a study by Fredlund et al, 1. These factors may also make it easy for youth to stay in the sex trade. The Internet environment also fosters a situation in which people find it difficult to set boundaries. In such instances, the children might be at a disadvantage due to a power imbalance, 33 particularly with regard to negotiating online about selling sex. Although many studies have described the backgrounds of young people in the sex trade, few have focused on how they themselves perceive their motivations for selling sex.

The current study concerns the stories of 15 young women who described their lives selling sex online as children. Purposive sampling was used and the informants were recruited through various channels Table 1. The study was intended to include young men as well as young women, but none of the contacts made with men resulted in face-to-face interviews.

The 15 informants in the study lived in different parts of Sweden and came from major cities as well as rural areas. Some still attended school, while others were working or were on maternity or sick leave. Ten of the 15 young women said that they were taking prescription medications, some suffered from depression or insomnia, and all had had suicidal thoughts. The mean age on the first occasion of selling sex was All used the Internet as the channel through which they contacted their buyers, which was the focus of a ly published article.

The TFI is oriented towards narration. In order to support and facilitate narratives, the practice of teller-focused interviewing is based on a dialectical way of thinking about the relationship between the interviewer and Women on line for sex informant. The interview situation is seen as a co-construction where the s are developed together. The TFI model includes a series of strategies for supporting the teller and dealing with the power imbalance between the interviewer and the informant.

For example it is crucial to establish a relationally safe space, meaning that the informant feels in control and the researcher needs to take on the role of responsibility. Being responsible meaning for example, to interact and stop, if the situations seem to become too emotionally painful or chaotic. All of the informants were interviewed on at least one occasion. A time limit of 2 hours was set and if an informant had more to say than could be conveyed in one interview, a follow-up interview was conducted.

In the end, seven informants were interviewed once and eight informants were interviewed twice. The young women received information about the research project in an introductory letter about the project through the different recruiting channels described above.

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They then contacted the researcher for more details and to find out how they might become part of the study. The interviews were then booked in consultation with the informants. To help the young women feel more in control of the interview situation they were asked to decide on a meeting place, where they could talk privately about their experiences and feel safe.

All interviews were taped and transcribed verbatim resulting in over 35 hours of audio and over 1, s of transcribed material. When analyzing the material, thematic analysis was used, based on the principles of Braun and Clarke. There are six steps in the thematic analysis: familiarization, generating initial codes, searching for themes, reviewing themes, defining and naming themes, and finally producing the report. In the current study, all six steps were done carefully. Each of the three authors read all the interviews several times independently, wrote down their initial impressions, and later the authors compared their ideas.

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Thereafter, the first author continued with Women on line for sex analysis, with support from the other two authors, who are both senior researchers in this field. The material was coded line by line and initial codes were written down and sorted into broader themes, which were reviewed and named. Three themes and eight sub-themes were identified. The themes were organized into three parts, each with its own storyline Figure 1. A fourth theme concerned the establishment of a connection between buyer and seller.

It was excluded from this paper, but is the focus of another article. Ethical considerations were observed before, during, and after the project. The interviewer has experience working in social services with vulnerable children, situations in which ethical considerations are very important, and has been part of similar research projects that involved interviewing children who were victims of sexual exploitation.

In addition, both of the senior researchers in this project have worked both clinically and in their research with children and women who were victims of sexual and physical abuse. To make the interview situation as comfortable as possible for the informants, they were encouraged to decide where the meeting would take place. If the informant became upset or sad during the interview, the interviewer stopped and asked if she wanted to continue. All informants ed a consent form before the interview and received written and verbal information after the interview about where to turn for therapeutic support, if needed.

Six of the young women under the age of 18 gave consent for the interviewer to contact their parents and social services.

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The informants received two cinema tickets as remuneration for taking part in the study. In this paper all names, places, and details that could reveal the identity of the informants have been removed or anonymized. Talking about their experiences of selling sex was challenging for the young women.

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Some told detailed stories from their lives while others found it difficult to put their experiences into words. Even if they struggled in the interviews to find a common term to describe their experiences of selling sex online, all the informants had contacted men or women online for sexual encounters offline and received various types of compensation. The types of compensation included money, drugs, telephone cards, and more. The narratives revealed similar experiences among the different women. Their stories revealed a downward spiral that some had been able to reverse and others had not.

Some of the young women were still in the sex trade, struggling to find a different kind of life, while others had not sold sex for many years. They talked about painful and unexpected loss, such as the accidental death of someone they had been close to. Sexual abuse was another experience they presented as being relevant to their entry into the online sex trade. Various forms of abuse were mentioned, ranging from being abused by a relative for as long as they could remember to being raped at a party by classmates.

Below is an excerpt from the interview with Nikki describing some of the life experiences that played a part in her future entry into the sex trade. Well, there are really many things that played a part. It started maybe when I lost my younger sister in an accident. It was a catastrophe for my family. Well, many things have happened that I have blamed myself for […] pretty much […] And then there was the rape. I had been drinking and […] later three boys raped me. I was in love with one of them, so that was the hard part. The informants talked about how they were victims of different types of traumatic experiences that were out of their control.

In addition to feeling victimized, some expressed feelings of guilt for what happened. Also, those who were victims of sexual abuse often said that they felt they had themselves to blame. In a way, the young women viewed themselves as double victims: first as victims of an uncontrollable situation — the traumatic experience — and secondly as victims of feelings of guilt and responsibility. The informants presented their traumatic experiences as life changing events.

I am an ordinary girl, or I was until all this happened. I was playing a lot of soccer and I have always been good in school. Women on line for sex you see […] after losing a sister, being raped and all that […] life can never be the same again. Even if you talk about it or even if they were sentenced, it can never heal you. That must be normal, like it is for everyone being raped? You need to take care of this situation yourself. But my rape was also Women on line for sex cruel.

I almost got killed. Some described having had these feelings for as long as they could remember while others traced their feelings back to traumatic experiences in their lives. You know, I have been abused for a long time and so […] only very weird people want to be with me, mostly to have sex. Feeling different affected their relationships with both family and friends. There were many stories of being bullied in school and not having close friends. Even if the young women could describe a social network including many people, these tended to be acquaintances, with very few close friends or family.

For example, Diana struggled with poor psychological health and feelings of not belonging. She described being excluded from peer groups and being bullied in school. If anyone had known when I was in school that I had psychological problems I might have been more understood. But since I was strange I got bullied.

I got to hear that it was my own Women on line for sex that I was bullied, and that I was a whore, since I looked the way I did. I had pink hair, rivets and bands and I was all dressed in black. I had a tough exterior so no one could see in. I felt very observed. Along with exclusion from close relationships with friends, there were many stories of problematic relationships with parents. Some described having parents with an addiction or living in socially disadvantaged families. But first and foremost, the informants described living in families where they either did not talk to each other or argued a lot.

In some cases the arguments escalated to physical violence. The informants said that their relationships with their families were similar to their relationships with friends, in that they felt they were outsiders and more or less excluded. One response to their loneliness was to find people to talk to on the Internet.

The young women described that they did not feel excluded in the same way online as they did offline since there was always someone to interact with. They described being on ordinary youth sites as well as on sites focusing on self-harming behavior and sex. Some contacts involved sending pictures and videos, which resulted in a lot of approaches, often of a sexual nature.

Some of the contacts online led to meetings in person, meetings that turned out to be occasions for selling sex. The traumatic experiences suffered by the young women in this study, combined with their feelings of being different and excluded, were offered as an explanation as to why they entered the sex trade.

Another part of the interview focused on motivations for selling sex and what functions or needs this behavior filled. Selling sex was described as a way to feel more important and as a solution to loneliness. The informants said that they sold sex to fill their need to be seen, appreciated, and affirmed. For example, the buyers sometimes told them that they were beautiful and important, and for some just being chosen among all the other sex sellers online was a kind of validation. The informants expressed that they wanted to perform well, to stand out among other sex sellers.

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Young women selling sex online – narratives on regulating feelings