Purpose: Youth who trade sex for something of value experience enduring harm and risk of being trafficked. This study provides empirically-based prevalence estimates to guide policy and practice. Methods: This secondary analysis of 2019 population-level surveillance data from high school students in Minnesota (N = 71,007) uses descriptive statistics and chi-square tests to analyze self-reports of trading sex by demographics, relevant experiences, and health indicators. Results: The prevalence of trading sex among high school students in Minnesota was 1.4%. Cisgender boys and girls had similar rates; transgender students were much higher (5.9%). Rates varied significantly across race/ethnicity (e.g., Native youth, 3.1%), school location, and economic indicators. Students indicating other relevant experiences, such as having been treated for alcohol or drug use (15.1%), reported elevated rates of trading sex. Conclusions: Trading sex is a public health issue that affects high school students. The results show disparate rates of trading sex based on race/ethnicity and gender, with elevated rates among youth who engage in other risky behaviors and experienced other adverse experiences.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by grants from the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota and the Carlson Family Foundation.
© 2020 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine
- Health behaviors
- Sex trading
- Sexual behaviors
- Transactional sex
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't