"Without the Internet, I never would have sold sex": Young Women Selling Sex Online
2014 (English)In: Cyberpsychology : Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, ISSN 1802-7962, Vol. 8, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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. The study included 15 young women between the ages of 15 and 25 (M=18.9) who had sold sex online before the age of 18. 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. (II) Patterns of contacts—Innocent/curious, Dating, and Advertising. The narratives about communication prior to a sexual encounter detailed differences ranging from being lured to direct negotiations. The results 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
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 8, no 1
young women; prostitution; selling sex; online; Internet
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-107658DOI: 10.5817/CP2014-1-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-107658DiVA: diva2:726356