Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Generally, prostitution or involvement in commercial sex means sexual transactions for money or some form of material goods. Recent research into the problem of child prostitution confirms that, far from abating, its incidence may be higher than ever, particularly in the form of international trafficking of children for commercial sex. Precise information is difficult to obtain, since, by its very nature as an illegal and covert practice, it remains largely hidden. The involvement of children in prostitution exposes sensitive cultural areas, especially in the West, where ideals regarding childhood, the family, and sexuality have become increasingly defined. Many historians agree that the idea of childhood as distinct and requiring particular recognition and accommodation became established in the West by the end of the 19th century. The involvement of children in commercial sex clearly negates an image of children as asexual, dependent, and innocent. Child prostitution often occurs where there is ...