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SOWK 6361 Week 6 Project
Racquel Walsh
Walden University
Policy Proposal on Teenage Prostitution
Teenage prostitution is a social problem that greatly affects society presently. Prostitution
can be referred to as the act of engaging in sexual activity in the exchange of money, gifts, or
other valuables. Certain policies have been put into place in order to help alleviate that social
problem but have yet halted the problem for many different reasons.
Despite the various laws that have been implemented to stop teenage prostitution; this
social problem continues to be a significant problem in the United States. Teenage prostitution is
illegal and goes against the various social values and beliefs, and also goes against child rights
(Cohen 2017). In the United States, Teenagers under the age of 18 are considered children and
are protected by various child agencies and child protection laws. In current times with the
influence of various social media outlets, teenagers especially females, are more aware than they
should be of sexual activities. Protecting teenagers from teenage prostitution has been very
difficult being as a majority of legal policies are based on consent which can be difficult to
define. Changes in policies pertaining to teenage prostitution in needed and must be addressed,
especially because of the effects that it can have.
There are several effects that teenage prostitution can have and can also lead to other
various social problems. Some of the effects that teenage prostitution can have are unwanted
pregnancies, STDs, psychological issues, and substance/drug use/abuse. The prevention of STDs
can be very difficult to prevent amongst victims of teenage prostitution, which can interfere with
their health. Unwanted pregnancies can lead to the social problem of abortion. Teenage
prostitution can also lead to substance/drug use/abuse being as a majority of teenage prostitution
victims partake in substance use to keep them active and lose their sense of self-control as they
engage in prostitution (Hampton and Lieggi 2007). A majority of teenagers engaging in
prostitution turn to substance use to help them deal with the mental and emotional traumas that
can be associated with prostitution.
Various religions are against prostitution as view it as being a sin. Many believe that
sexual acts should be done between two married individuals and should never be done for
financial gain or purposes. Teenage prostitution can also be associated with crime and many
other illegal behaviors making its impact on society even greater. 59% of teen prostitutes have
been associated with substance use/abuse, 42% experienced physical abuse, and 80% engage in
theft and robbery (Baker 2019). Teenage prostitution can also be associated with teenagers
developing a sex drive that is premature.
Understanding the causes is the first step when addressing teenage prostitution. It is very
important to ask the question, “What causes a teen to turn to the street?” The first possible cause
could the teen’s socio-economic status. A teenager belonging to a low socio-economic class
family may engage in teenage prostitution in order to earn money to support their basic and
essential needs as well as help to financially support his/her family. Another cause could be the
lack of a support network or positive family relationships. Having a lack of a support network or
positive family relationships could cause the teen to feel alienated from his/her family and/or
society causing them to turn to prostitution to get the sense of support and positive relationship
that they desire. The availability of clients that are willing that to pay for or give the teenage
prostitute what it is that he/she is asking for in exchange for the sexual services are also a major
cause pertaining to teenage prostitution because by them giving the teenager money or other gifts
and valuables they are in a sense giving the teenager instant gratification and encouraging and
motivating the teenager to continue to engage in prostitution. The next step in addressing
teenage prostitution should be to develop a campaign against teenage prostitution. During the
campaign against teenage prostitution, education pertaining to teenage prostitution and the
causes and effects of it will be provided to parents, teenagers, and the community. The education
could be provided through community meetings and also by distributing information brochures
throughout the community and schools within the community.
With this step, the social worker will have the task of providing education on teenage
prostitution to communities that are considered to a higher risk of teenage prostitution. The
social worker can also hold various information sessions at schools, community centers,
community meetings, churches, or places where the community comes together.
After education on teenage prostitution has been provided to the community, the next
step would be to develop a policy that prohibits teenage prostitution. There are current policies
on teenage prostitution that are in existence but are not adequate its effectiveness is limited. The
social worker should make a proposal to advance the current policies pertaining to teenage
prostitution. The Coercion and Enticement policy 18 USC 2422(b) prohibits any individual
persuading or enticing any individual that is under the age of 18 years of age from engaging in
sexual activity. A majority of individuals have fallen victim to this law because most teens tend
to break the law while knowing the implication, they offer their consent to engage in sexual
activity but later deny that they did.
My proposed teenage prostitution policy would address what can be done to resolve the
problem and recognizing consent. The proposed policy would also prohibit any adult from
engaging in sexual acts with a minor child including the making and distribution of child
pornography. Any individual that is found guilty of engaging in any sexual act with a minor
child will be subjected to criminal charges, child abuse charges, jail/prison time, and fines. If the
child is 15 years of age or younger then the punishment should a life sentence, and 25 years in
jail/prison if the child is 16-17 years old. After being released from jail/prison the offender must
remain on probation and register as a sexual offender for the remainder of his/her natural life and
must follow the laws set forth by the state that the offender lives in for sex offenders. If the
offender violates his/her probation or fails to adhere to the laws in his/her state for registered sex
offenders, then he/she will be sent back to jail/prison for 10 years. Heavy jail/prison sentences
such as the one being proposed could deter adults from engaging in teenage prostitution. The
individual who is paying for the sexual services must make certain that the individual is not a
minor child, which can be done by asking for proof of age. The excuse that a child lied about
his/her age or the child gave his/her consent would not be accepted or tolerated by any means.
The teenage prostitute should be considered as a child that must be protected from sexual
exploitation and should be face criminal charges (Saewyc 2016). The social worker must take the
task of seeking support from child advocacy agencies, religious groups, policymakers,
government officials, legislators, and community supports.
After developing a policy, the next step in my proposed plan would be to get social media
exposure on teenage prostitution. In this step, the social worker will have the task of using
various social media outlets that are commonly used to provide information on teenage
prostitution and the proposed changes to current policies. The exposure of teenage prostitution
on social media could discuss the change as well as gain public/community support for the
proposed policy change in order to alleviate the social issue of teenage prostitution.
There is a great need to secure collaboration and partnership from other parties that are
interested as discussed by Jansson 2018 it has become a trend that is present in policy
After the social media exposure, the next step in my proposed policy would be to develop
an activity in which supports of the proposed policy can support the proposed initiative. This
activity would include the development of online protests via various popular social media
outlets using the hashtag #endteenageprostitution. When the hashtag is clicked or search, viewers
will be able to see a slew of information on teenage prostitution, the causes and effects, and
information on the proposed policy. The last step would be for the social worker to set up and
plan for a follow-up meeting, especially if the policy is not passed and implemented. If the policy
is not passed the social worker can develop a different plan of action and continue to provide
education on teenage prostitution and alternative policies that can help to put an end to teenage
prostitution. If the policy is implemented, during the follow-up meeting the social worker can
discuss the various resources to use to assist current victims of teenage prostitution.
These efforts will assist with addressing the social issue of teenage prostitution as it
creates awareness of the social problem and its proposed solutions such as changing current
policies that will hold the offender more accountable for their actions. Providing the community
with education on teenage prostitution and the causes and effects of the social problem could
help with making the community more aware and knowledgeable of the issue. Community
policy advocacy and support would be essential in order for there to be a long-term impact.
Support would also be needed from law enforcement agencies, as all as ongoing education to the
public regarding teenage prostitution is essential to combat the social problem of teenage
prostitution. Running head: TEENAGE PROSTITUTION
7 Counseling and rehabilitation services of former
teen prostitutes would be very vital in assisting the teens with coping and dealing with the
traumas that he/she may have experienced.
Baker, C. N. (2019). Racialized Rescue Narratives in Public Discourses on Youth Prostitution
and Sex Trafficking in the United States.DPolitics & Gender,D15(4), 773-800.
Department of Justice. 2001. COERCION AND ENTICEMENT (18 U.S.C. 2422)
Hampton, M. D., & Lieggi, M. (2017). Commercial sexual exploitation of youth in the United
States: A qualitative systematic review.DTrauma, Violence, & Abuse
Jansson, B. S. (2018).DBecoming an effective policy advocate: From policy practice to social
justice. (8th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning Series.
Saewyc, E. M. (2016). Protection from Sexual Exploitation in the Convention on the Rights of
the Child.DHandbook of Children's Rights: Global and Multidisciplinary Perspectives, 454.
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