Sex Trafficking, Youth, Effects, Identification
Fighting the effects of sex trafficking on youth is a challenge for many reasons, including negative effects of trafficking and the inability of victims to self-identity or realize they are being sexually exploited. This literature review examined current research on the physical, psychological, and social effects of sex trafficking on youth, and how to identify youth who do not self-identify as victims of sex trafficking. Current studies show that some physical effects youth victims of sex trafficking confront are sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s), other diseases and infections, physical injuries, substance abuse, and malnutrition. Studies also show that victims may suffer psychological effects, such as disruption in family and peer relationships, difficulty in trusting others, forced secrecy, trauma symptoms, anger control problems, conduct disorder, depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Youth involved in sex trafficking also often demonstrated self-harm and suicidal behaviors. Studies also revealed social difficulties with developing healthy relationships with family and others, trusting adults, and physical fighting or other violent tendencies. Understanding the physical, psychological, and social effects of trafficking can help professionals in identifying affected youth. Guidelines have been presented in research to aid professionals in identifying victims who may be trafficked but have not self-identified or do not realize their exploitation. More research is required to further understand how professionals can use knowledge of effects of trafficking to identify, rescue, and treat youth involved in sex trafficking.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Hemmert, Karlee, "Effects of Sex Trafficking on Youth and Identification: A Literature Review" (2018). Student Works. 225.
Class Project or Paper
Family, Home, and Social Sciences
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