Juvenile Prostitution Topic
of New UNH Report
Contact: Erika Mantz
UNH Media Relations
June 23, 2004
DURHAM, N.H. -- Police are less likely to make an arrest when they
encounter an incident of juvenile prostitution than in incidents
involving adult prostitution, according to a new report authored
by researchers at the University of New Hampshire's Crimes against
Children Research Center.
"Prostitution of Juveniles: Patterns from NIBRS" is the
latest in a series published by the U.S. Department of Justice.
According to authors David Finkelhor and Richard Ormrod, disappointingly
little statistical and research information exists about the prostitution
of juveniles, in part because their social and legal status is somewhat
“There is not a consensus among law enforcement and social
agencies about whether juvenile prostitutes are offenders involved
in illegal and delinquent behavior or children who are being victimized
by unscrupulous adults.” The UNH researchers also found that
the prostitution of juveniles differs from that of adults in that
it is less likely to be engaged in alone, and more likely to be
engaged in indoors and in big cities.
The study also reveals that unexpected gender patterns occur in
the prostitution of juveniles. A majority (61 percent) of juvenile
prostitution encountered by police involves males, unlike adult
prostitution, which is more evenly spread between men and women.
Moreover, male juvenile prostitutes are older, more likely to operate
outdoors, more likely to be arrested and less likely to be treated
by the police as victims.
In the report, Finkelhor and Ormrod call for law enforcement agencies
and policy makers to work together in finding better ways to respond
to and record incidents of juvenile prostitution.
The report is available online at http://ojjdp.ncjrs.org/publications/PubAbstract.asp?pubi=11663.
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