By Ruth Dean

The explanations at the back of youngster prostitution are different. a few children are lured by way of the money whereas others promote their our bodies to outlive the lifetime of a runaway. The tough job of having those kids off the streets usually calls for fixing different difficulties resembling drug, sexual or emotional abuse.

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Some are even flattered by it or accept it as evidence that the pimp cares for them. 46 Since they come from homes where violence is usual, many teen prostitutes seem to expect violence to be part of the relationship between a man and a woman. One of the girls Gray interviewed said, “We had our fights, like we were married—married people have fights. ”47 Teen Prostitution FRONT 3/1/04 1:58 PM Page 42 42 Beth’s story Trudee Able-Peterson describes the painful, abusive life of a girl she calls “Beth,” whom she met through her work with an agency that helps teen prostitutes.

Second, someone who identifies himself as homosexual at one time in his life may not do so at another. Researchers cannot always tell whether a man is gay, or if he is, whether he always has been. This makes it hard for them to analyze the connection between being gay and becoming a prostitute. Nevertheless, boys with a gay sexual orientation who later become prostitutes often report being rejected by their families. Coleman reports that the abuse these throwaways have suffered at home leaves them with a feeling that they are worthless and can do nothing to make their lives better.

Street kinship Other boys do fulfill at least one need through life on the street. The Department of Justice reports that some boys find in street life a sense of belonging that they never experienced as children in a neglectful or abusive home. This is a difference from the experience of girls who are prostitutes. Girl prostitutes lose their connection to others and live without friends. Boys seem to be more likely to feel part of a group. Teen Prostitution FRONT 3/1/04 1:58 PM Page 46 46 Boys who live on the streets sometimes find a kinship with other street kids, which provides them with a sense of belonging they never experienced at home.

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