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Minor sex trafficking of girls with disabilities

Minor sex trafficking of girls with disabilities The purpose of this paper is to investigate the associations between minor women’ (girls’) disability status and victimization via minor sex trafficking.Design/methodology/approachThis investigation used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, a large, nationally-representative sample of in-school adolescents in the USA that began in 1994. The analysis included bivariate associations between physical disability status or low cognitive ability and minor sex trafficking among female survey respondents (n = 5,430).FindingsGirls with any disability had a higher prevalence of minor sex trafficking than their peers without disabilities. Odds of minor sex trafficking were significantly higher for those with severe physical disabilities (5.83) and for those with low cognitive abilities (4.86) compared to the odds of their peers without their respective disabilities. Results for girls with mild or moderate physical disabilities were not statistically significant compared to peers without disabilities.Social implicationsThese nationally-representative survey data reinforce the trends present in smaller populations and case study research: female adolescents with disabilities are at a heightened risk for sex trafficking. On both a national and global scale, the human rights gaps in policy and practice must be addressed to adequately reach, intervene and protect this vulnerable population.Originality/valueResearch about minor sex trafficking typically relies on small-scale surveys and/or convenience samples. This study used a nationally-representative survey to demonstrate the link between disability status and women’s experiences with minor sex trafficking. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare Emerald Publishing

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References (47)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2056-4902
DOI
10.1108/ijhrh-07-2019-0055
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the associations between minor women’ (girls’) disability status and victimization via minor sex trafficking.Design/methodology/approachThis investigation used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, a large, nationally-representative sample of in-school adolescents in the USA that began in 1994. The analysis included bivariate associations between physical disability status or low cognitive ability and minor sex trafficking among female survey respondents (n = 5,430).FindingsGirls with any disability had a higher prevalence of minor sex trafficking than their peers without disabilities. Odds of minor sex trafficking were significantly higher for those with severe physical disabilities (5.83) and for those with low cognitive abilities (4.86) compared to the odds of their peers without their respective disabilities. Results for girls with mild or moderate physical disabilities were not statistically significant compared to peers without disabilities.Social implicationsThese nationally-representative survey data reinforce the trends present in smaller populations and case study research: female adolescents with disabilities are at a heightened risk for sex trafficking. On both a national and global scale, the human rights gaps in policy and practice must be addressed to adequately reach, intervene and protect this vulnerable population.Originality/valueResearch about minor sex trafficking typically relies on small-scale surveys and/or convenience samples. This study used a nationally-representative survey to demonstrate the link between disability status and women’s experiences with minor sex trafficking.

Journal

International Journal of Human Rights in HealthcareEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 30, 2020

Keywords: Sexual exploitation; Minor; Female; Girl; Disability; Physical; Intellectual; Add health; Adolescent

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