Sex Trading among Adolescent Cisgender Boys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: Cisgender girls and boys report trading sex for something of value at roughly equal proportions; yet, boys are understudied and underserved. We compare boys who reported trading sex to those who never traded sex to address this gap in knowledge and practice. METHODS: The study is a secondary analysis of the Minnesota Student Survey, a triannual, census-style survey. The sample included 32 311 cisgender boy students in ninth and 11th grades who answered a question about sex trading. Bivariate descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic models were used to identify associated factors and determine the odds of trading sex on the basis of specific experiences. RESULTS: We found that 1.2% of boys reported trading sex. In bivariate analyses, boys who reported trading sex were more likely than those who did not to: identify as Black or Indigenous; report a marginalized gender identity or sexual expression; have had sexual intercourse; have experienced sexual harassment and harassment on the basis of sexual identity and race, ethnicity, and national origin; and to have experienced homelessness, food insecurity, foster care, and substance treatment (P < .001). In multivariate models, we found increased odds of trading sex for some variables, including a marginalized sexual identity, identifying as Black, and experiences of unstable housing, foster care, substance treatment, sexual harassment, and harassment based on gender (P < .001). CONCLUSIONS: These findings contribute new knowledge about boys who trade sex using a large, population-based sample and counter false assumptions and stereotypes. These data suggest new avenues of research, intervention, and prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2022058729
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
FUNDING: Supported by a grant from the Carlson Family Foundation. The funder had no role in the design or conduct of the study.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


Dive into the research topics of 'Sex Trading among Adolescent Cisgender Boys'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this