Myths vs. Facts

Misconceptions about child sexual exploitation.

Show all the myths

Myth A child can be a prostitute.

Fact–The buying and selling of children and youth for sexual purposes is inherently abusive and exploitive and therefore children cannot be “prostitutes”.


Myth Children and youth make an educated decision to sell sex.

Fact–The average age of entry into the sex trade is 13 years. No child makes an informed decision to be sexually abused.


Myth Men have uncontrollable sexual urges and are entitled to sex.

Fact–The act of exploitation is structured by the desires and fantasies of the “customer”, which are incongruent with the desires and sensitivities expressed by the victims.


Myth Prostitution is a deterrent to sexual crimes.

Fact–Sexually exploiting a child or youth is sexual abuse and is a crime in itself.


Myth Selling sex is an exciting and glamorous life.

Fact–Sexually exploited children and youth suffer pain, humiliation, degradation, and many other types of abuse at the hands of their exploiters.


Myth Sexually exploited youth come from only certain socioeconomic groups.

Fact–While some common denominators exist, there is no causative relationship between sexual exploitation and socioeconomic status.



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