‘Pimping your child’: Commercial sexual exploitation and transactional child sexual abuse

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The commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents (CSEC), otherwise referred to as the prostituting of children, is not a new phenomenon. Often referred to as the oldest ‘profession’ in the world, prostitution is a long-standing aspect of human sexual behaviour and there are accounts that indicate the involvement of children throughout history (Manion, 2004). This is also true of pornography; indeed over the last 30 years or so, aided by exponential advances in computer and mobile phone technology, a global child pornography industry has developed, testifying to the troubling reality that a child has been victimised and is re-victimised with every image downloaded. Even when not directly promoting the prostitution of children, pornography has commonly exploited images of children and adolescents; for instance, adult women in sexualised images and dressed as schoolgirls sends an explicit message aimed at feeding an appetite for sex with minors. For the most part, the commercial sexual abuse of children and adolescents has been ignored by governments (Melrose, 2004); however, this growing awareness can be attributed largely to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working to protect the principal rights of children. Collectively, these organisations have created what can be described as an international movement to eliminate CSEC.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnderstanding Child Sexual Abuse
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives from the Caribbean
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9781137020055
ISBN (Print)9781137020048
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2013


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