Sexual Abuse as a Precursor to Prostitution and Victimization Among Adolescent and Adult Homeless Women

Ronald L. Simons, Les B. Whitbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

202 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous research indicates that women who were sexually abused as children are more likely to become involved in prostitution and to experience criminal victimization. A sample of 40 adolescent runaways and a sample of 95 homeless women were studied to test direct and indirect models of the impact of early sexual abuse on prostitution and victimization. The results suggest that early sexual abuse increases the probability of involvement in prostitution irrespective of any influence exerted through factors such as running away from home, substance abuse, and other deviant activities. In contrast, the findings indicate that early sexual abuse only indirectly affects the chances of victimization by increasing the likelihood of a life-style based on participation in risky activities and events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-379
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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