Social and Psychological Profile of Adjudicated Girls Involved in Prostitution

Nadine Lanctot, University of Montreal
Melanie Bernard, University of Montreal

The prinmary goal of this paper is to invesigate the interrelationship between prostitution and delinquency among adolescent girls, and to identify the risk factors that predict this behavior. Data have been collected from 150 girls who were convicted by the juvenile court of Montreal during 1992 and 1993. These girls had been inteviewed a first time in 1992-1993 and a second time two years later. In our sample of adjudicated girls, 32% (n = 48) reported having been involved in prostitution during their adolescence. Results suggest that involvement in prostitution is grounded in a general propensity to engage in risky behavior, as proposed by Gottfredson and Hirschi (1990). The contribution of this study is significant because, although there have been many studies of prostitution, very few have used quantitative methods and most of those that did were limited by the absence of a control group.

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Updated 05/20/2006