Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking

Beyond Victims and Villains

Alexandra Lutnick

Columbia University Press

Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking

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Pub Date: January 2016

ISBN: 9780231169219

200 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $35.00£27.00

Pub Date: January 2016

ISBN: 9780231169202

200 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $105.00£81.00

Pub Date: January 2016

ISBN: 9780231540834

200 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $34.99£27.00

Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking

Beyond Victims and Villains

Alexandra Lutnick

Columbia University Press

The domestic sex trafficking of minors is a problem of growing concern yet little critical attention. This book analyzes the forces behind the sex-trafficking industry in the United States and provides a much-needed reference for practitioners. It adopts a holistic approach, pursuing a nuanced exploration of these young people's experiences, their treatment, and outside efforts to combat sex trafficking.

The book features interviews with service providers and experts, and incorporates recent research, thereby mapping the complex factors associated with young people's involvement in trading sex and the social connections that facilitate their behavior. It considers the experiences of both those who "choose" sex work and those who are forced into it by circumstances or third parties, and it discusses the networks of friends and close acquaintances who introduce newcomers to the trade. In addition, it takes a hard look at how local and federal responses to trafficking increase young people's vulnerability to trading sex. Urging policymakers and practitioners to move beyond the simple framework of "rescuing" victims and "punishing" villains, this book calls for policies and programs that focus on the failure of social and cultural systems and respond better to the young people caught in this web.
Lutnick's is a much-needed scholarly voice in a research field that is dominated by condemnatory prurience, earnest exposé, and salacious melodrama. Her book has the potential to shake up the various anti-trafficking groups—several of which base their proposed solutions and fundraising on ideas that Lutnick will challenge—and therefore change the way that we all talk about and respond to trafficking. Zoe Trodd, University of Nottingham
Alexandra Lutnick's Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking is the most comprehensive and sophisticated book on this topic on the market. Conventional depictions portray minors involved in prostitution monolithically and stereotypically, but this volume points to important complexities and variations at every stage—from entry to exit. Drawing on life-course theory, the book documents diversity in pathways into prostitution, relations between minors and third parties, work experiences, access to needed services, and state laws and enforcement patterns. It is a major contribution to our understanding of this world. Ronald Weitzer, George Washington University
This book is a must for anyone interested in youth involved in the sex trades or sex-trafficking issues. The research and discussions offer a glimpse into the nuanced and complicated realities that facilitate youth involvement in sex trades. Lutnick's scholarship helps us to think beyond the victim/villain binary by exposing the various ways in which family, friends, policy, and the state are accountable to their circumstances. The book offers timely and useful strength-based strategies that also attend to issues of oppression and justice. Stephanie Wahab, Portland State University School of Social Work
Lutnick's book brings a welcome dose of scholarship, reason, and credibility to a topic clouded by inaccuracy, jargon, and ideology. Her message is clear: criminalization is doing more harm than good, and the focus should be on prevention, support, and respect for civil and human rights. Megan McLemore, senior researcher, Human Rights Watch
Readers interested in the sex trade and sex trafficking issues will find this book a valuable resource. Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books
List of Illustrations and Tables
Acknowledgments
1. Introduction
2. Timing of Initiation: Routes Into and Reasons for Involvement in Sex Trades
3. Linked Lives: Third Parties, Violence, and Transitions in Involvement
4. Service Needs and Microsystem Challenges
5. Mesosystem Challenges: Interactions Between Case Managers and Other Systems
6. From Criminalization to Decriminalization: Local Responses to Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking
7. Macrosystem Challenges: The Impact of Policies and Culture
8. Conclusion
Appendix A: Study Site Information
Appendix B: Methodological Process
Appendix C: Case Narrative Interview Guide
Appendix D: Qualitative Analysis Code List
Appendix E: Sample Characteristics
Notes
References
Index

Read the Introduction to Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking:

About the Author

Alexandra Lutnick is a senior research scientist for the San Francisco–based Urban Health Program at RTI International's Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Research Division. Her research interests include the sex industry, trafficking, human rights, criminalization, and substance abuse.