Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Department of Politics and Government: Political Science
Legislators have been responding to the growing push to treat youth in the sex industry as victims of a crime instead of perpetrators. Recent legislative changes have occurred in every state and nationally as part of anti-trafficking legislation, not prostitution law directly. While the content of these laws has been studied, its outcomes for youth have not. This study uses a cross-sectional time-series model to test the impact that changes to state trafficking law has had on juvenile prostitution arrest rates. Findings support the hypothesis that legislation passed with a juvenile protection component decreases the juvenile prostitution arrest rate. It also found that higher child poverty rates in a state resulted in lower arrest rates, opposite the anticipated direction. The author concludes by making a case for youth decriminalization and access to services, as well as for a reframing of the prostitution-consent law paradox and the implicit definition of prostitution victimhood in the current literature.
Petrucelli, Nay, "A Quantitative Analysis of Sex Trafficking Law on the Decriminalization of Youth Involved in Commercialized Sex" (2016). Theses and Dissertations. 593.