Added: Nga Klassen - Date: 04.10.2021 23:00 - Views: 34711 - Clicks: 6297
Abstract Among Swedish youth with experience of selling sex, the Internet is the most common means of contact between buyer and seller. There are few descriptions of how these contacts are established, but studies have indicated that young people under the age of 18 seldom engage in open prostitution online. This study aimed to examine what role the Internet and the use of smartphones play in young women selling sex online, focusing on the method of contact and the characteristics of the communication online between buyer and seller.
Thematic analysis was used to identify similarities and differences in the narratives. Two main themes were identified: I Internet use—Part of daily life, for good and bad, and Depending on mood. The young women described using the Internet on a daily basis. During periods of poorer psychological health they were more active on sites focusing on self-destructiveness and sex. During these periods, they also sold sex more frequently. The narratives about communication prior to a sexual encounter detailed differences ranging from being lured to direct negotiations.
The indicate that there is a group of young women who sell sex online that is not in the open prostitution. Police and other authorities working with young women selling sex need to better understand the coded sexual communication behind some of these sexual encounters and how different communication strategies might affect the young women.
Keywords: young women; prostitution; selling sex; online; Internet doi: For most youth, technology is an intimate part of their lives e. Cooper described how easy access, affordability, and anonymity can explain the power of the Internet for sexual purposes. These areas had all been established outside the Internet, but according to the author, the Internet offers new configurations and possibilities.
The Internet has undoubtedly changed conditions in the sex-selling arena. New ways of making contact between buyer and seller have developed, alongside the creation of forums where sexual acts can be negotiated. Studies indicating that sex selling online have increased in contrast to the decrease in the street-focused market e.
Exactly how the online contacts are made and what the characteristics of the communication are have not yet been explored in the literature. This constitutes the focus of this article on selling sex online among young women in Sweden. Research on selling sex online mainly focuses on adults advertising sex acts openly see, e. Instead, it seems that young people use other ways to make contact that are not yet described in the literature.
In some of these cases, monetary compensation was offered, while in others, there were other forms of reimbursement including an exchange of attention and affirmation. Wells, Kimberly, and Jai investigated juvenile prostitution age up to 17 that included an online component and was known to law enforcement. Although there are few studies focusing on the special circumstances related to young people selling sex online, there are studies that focus on similarities and differences among adult behavior online.
Cunningham and Kendall argue that the development of online prostitution has changed the face of sex work, and not only for the worse. Aims and Scope This article traces its origin in an interview study of 15 young women.
The aim was to examine the role the Internet plays in young women selling sex, focusing on the methods of contact and the characteristics of the communication online between the buyer and the young women. Definitions, Legal Aspects and Ethics In this study, the phrases selling sex or sex selling were usedreferring to the experience of receiving compensation e. Young people or youth were defined as people between years old. In Sweden, buying sexual services is criminalized, while selling sex is not.
A person who pays for a temporary sexual relationship can be sentenced to a fine or to prison for a maximum of one year The Swedish Penal Code, Chapter 6, Section Such a payment for sex acts may be monetary, or it may take some other form, such as drugs or alcohol. If the child is under the age of 15, the purchase is considered rape. Ethical considerations were undertaken before and during the project.
All informants ed a consent form before the interview and received written and oral information afterwards about where to turn for therapeutic support, if needed. All names, places, and details that could reveal the identity of the informants have been removed or were anonymized in this paper. Method Participants Those meeting the inclusion criteria for participating in the study were people between 15 and 25 years old who had had experience selling sex online before the age of Purposive sampling was used and the informants were recruited through different channels.
Contacts with two Swedish journalists who write regularly in Swedish media about young people selling sex resulted in interviews with five women. Non-Governmental Organizations NGOs working with young people were contacted, resulting in three interviews.
An advertisement on a Swedish home with information about young people selling sex resulted in another three interviews. Through contacts with a network of professionals at Swedish psychiatric units and residential treatment clinics, two additional informants were recruited.
Two final informants contacted the project themselves and were willing to be interviewed. The study aimed to include men as well as women, but none of the contacts with men resulted in face-to-face interviews. The 15 women in the study lived in different parts of Sweden and came from major cities as well as rural areas.
Some still attended school, while others were working or were on maternity or sick leave. Ten of the 15 women were on different medications—e. All 15 women described traumatic experiences asusually of a sexual nature. The mean age on the first occasion of selling sex was Table 1. Participant Information. The Interviews The 15 young women were all interviewed once. Eight of them had more to tell than could be captured in one interview, so follow-up interviews were conducted with these young women.
The informants all received information about the research project through the different recruiting channels described above. They each received an information letter about the project and contacted the researcher about more details and how to be part of the study. The time and place of the interviews were decided together with the informants. At the time of the interview, each informant was informed orally about the project and ed a consent form. By using the TFI model, special considerations could be made in order to support the young women.
The TFI model implies open-ended questioning and is oriented towards storytelling. The participants are encouraged to report their experiences as fully as possible; at the same time, the interviewer has the responsibility to stop them if the disclosures seem to be causing distress.
The interviews were conducted in Swedish. Both the informants and the interviewer were native Swedish speakers. The analysis was done in the original language and thereafter translated and reviewed by a professional translator to English. The interviews were semi-structured. The follow-up questions were all aimed to support the young women to tell about their experiences of selling sex online and the role the Internet played. Analysis All interviews were audio taped and transcribed verbatim.
To find patterns, thematic analysis was used, organized according to the principles suggested by Braun and Clarke Two major themes were found in the data data corpus : The women told about their overall life situations and the reasons they had for selling sex. Secondly they described how technology was a part of selling sex. The first theme is the focus of a forthcoming article and the second is the scope of this article.
The analysis was made in steps based on the phases described by Braun and Clarke First, the transcripts were read through carefully several times. Initial ideas were written down. Next, initial codes were generated. The codes were thereafter sorted into broader themes. Finally the themes were reviewed and named. I. The Internet and mobile phones were natural parts of everyday life for all informants. The activities described ranged from reading newspapers and doing schoolwork to sex-chatting with strangers.
Getting access to a smartphone was often described as a transformational experience. Bibbi, the youngest of the informants, described the difference in her life after getting an iPhone and, ever since then, being constantly online. Since I got my iPhone, I am always online. I play games, send texts and MMSes, check my …Yes, you understand… I do everything with it and always. I can hardly understand that I had a life before my iPhone.
Bibbi, 15 Being online was mostly described as positive and fun but was for some also problematic. The time spent online was hard to limit; the constant access became something of an addiction and, for most informants, the Internet was strongly associated with sex selling. Selma described how she tried to keep away from the computer to limit her destructive behavior. I think that the Internet is shit. I know that I will end up with lo of commitments to people about sending stuff…and maybe selling sex. And even worse is that I lose four hours of schoolwork that I need to do in the night instead.
Mom always comes in at eight with tea and a sandwich. Then I know I have to quit. Selma, 16 Depending on mood. All described their psychological health as occasionally bad, e. During these periods of poorer psychological health, the informants spent more hours online, accessing more destructive sites focusing on self-harm and eating disorders, as well as different sex and dating sites. During these periods, they also sold sex to a greater extent.
The Internet could also be used as an arena to channel thoughts and feelings and many described it as important to meet with others in the same situation. A majority of informants had blogs, either with their real identity or with nicknames. In the anonymous blogs, they could address sensitive topics, even if no one revealed they were selling sex. Many of the informants reported that their parents had discovered their blogs and forced them shut them down. I searched for everything about self-harm, anorexia, and stuff. I was very active at ProAna 1 blogs and shared recipes with the others.
I have also had a lot of blogs, but usually my parents find them and close them…I think they told my relatives to spy. Mandy, 16 II. All informants described meeting buyers via the Internet. Contacts had also been made through mobile phone and most of the young women also had experience of making contact in offline environments such as at clubs, supermarkets, or school.
None of the informants had any experience with street-based sex selling. She described it as impossible to find the kind of customers she looked for without the Internet, since she lived in a small Swedish town and looked for men with the same sexual preferences as herself. Natalie told that her laptop and smartphone were convenient tools to access the Internet with since she could bring them with her, which meant easy access and a high probability of reaching the person with whom she wanted to make contact.
She explained that she felt safe online and had learned from years of Women on line for sex with different buyers about how to protect herself from customers who were not serious. It made everything easier…It was easier to search for contacts.
I just had to enter a site and there were so many to choose from. And being able to Google the person and analyze for myself what kind of words he used…gave me a good idea of the person I was talking to. Natalie, 17 Differences were revealed in the narratives regarding the first time selling sex and subsequent times.Women on line for sex
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