Emerging evidence indicates male youth are affected by commercial sexual exploitation (CSE).
Emerging evidence indicates male youth are affected by commercial sexual exploitation (CSE). However, most studies investigating risk markers influencing age of onset of CSE have focused on vulnerabilities of girls and women. Using a sample of 1,354 serious youthful offenders (of whom approximately 8% of males and females reported being paid for sex), the current study assessed whether risks associated with age of onset of CSE for girls and young women operated similarly in boys and young men. Findings showed that African American male youth were at heightened risk for CSE, while female youth of all races/ethnicities were at similar risk. For all youth, maternal substance use and earlier age of first sex were associated with early age of onset of CSE. For male youth, experiencing rape and substance use dependency were associated with early age of onset. Psychotic symptoms, likely experienced as social alienation, were associated with both early and late age of onset. For all youth, lower educational attainment was associated with CSE beginning in later adolescence or young adulthood. In addition, substance use dependency was linked to late age of onset for female youth. Implications of the study findings for theory development and application to CSE are noted. Abstract published by arrangement with Sage.