Less Crime

Immaterial Boys?

An updated version of the report I was involved in on gender differences in victims of child sexual exploitation has now been published in Sexual Abuse as ‘Immaterial Boys? A Large-Scale Exploration of Gender-Based Differences in Child Sexual Exploitation Service Users’, co-authored with Ella Cockbain and Helen Brayley. The main differences are more-detailed multivariate analysis and an expanded literature review.

The abstract of the paper is:

Child sexual exploitation is increasingly recognized nationally and internationally as a pressing child protection, crime prevention, and public health issue. In the United Kingdom, for example, a recent series of high-profile cases has fueled pressure on policy makers and practitioners to improve responses. Yet, prevailing discourse, research, and interventions around child sexual exploitation have focused overwhelmingly on female victims. This study was designed to help redress fundamental knowledge gaps around boys affected by sexual exploitation. This was achieved through rigorous quantitative analysis of individual-level data for 9,042 users of child sexual exploitation services in the United Kingdom. One third of the sample were boys, and gender was associated with statistically significant differences on many variables. The results of this exploratory study highlight the need for further targeted research and more nuanced and inclusive counter-strategies.