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Journal Article


Mitchell K, Moynihan M, Pitcher C, Francis A, English A, Saewyc E. Child Abuse Negl. 2017; 66: 142-151.


Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


(Copyright © 2017, Elsevier Publishing)






Research and policies on child and adolescent sexual exploitation frequently focus on the sexual exploitation of girls and fail to recognize the experiences of sexually exploited boys, including their potentially unique health care and social support needs. This oversight limits the ability of health care and social service providers to offer both targeted and evidence informed care to sexually exploited boys. As a first step in a larger grant to understand the experiences of sexually exploited boys and to develop interventions for this specific population, we conducted a systematic review to address the question, "What is the state of the research on sexually exploited boys internationally?" As we undertook this review, we faced a number of significant challenges that made the process more difficult than anticipated. In this paper we discuss four key methodological challenges we encountered: lack of a consistent definition of child and adolescent sexual exploitation, difficulties in differentiating sexual exploitation as a specific concept within child sexual abuse, failure to disaggregate data usefully across multiple variables, and limited epidemiological studies to inform prevalence. We reflect on how these challenges limited our ability to systematically analyze, synthesize, and interpret the available research. We conclude by making recommendations to improve the state of the research regarding sexually exploited boys with the aim of better informing future policy and practice.

Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

Language: en


Boys; Exchanging sex; Males; Sexual exploitation; Systematic review; Transactional sex


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