An Analysis of Missing Male Victims of Child Sex Trafficking (CST)

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There are many unknowns in child sex trafficking (CST), notably the exact number of child victims whoexist in the United States. Male1 victims of child sex trafficking have been, and remain, a bigger unknown. There is a commonly perpetuated belief that victims of child sex trafficking are almost exclusively female. Though males may comprise a smaller proportion of victims, their numbers are significant, and they frequently face other endangerments. An even smaller proportion of child sex trafficking victims include transgender females, or individuals who identify as female but were assigned male at birth.This analysis describes a subset of male victims of child sex trafficking by analyzing males who werereported missing to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and were at high risk of being victims or were known to be victims at the time they were missing. Furthermore, only males who were reported missing to NCMEC between 2013 and 2017 were included in this analysis. Incidents involving males made up 5% of all possible CST missing incidents reported to NCMEC during the timeframe. However, external research has increasingly found that there are more male victims of CST than previously assumed. In some cases, studies have mentioned that the number of males and females is likely similar (Development Service Group, Inc, 20142 & Walker, 20133). In a 2016 Department of Health and Human Services study, 34.4% of surveyed males between the ages of 14 and 21 experiencing homelessness reported exchanging sex for something of value, including a place to stay, money, food, protection and drugs