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From the Streets to Cyberspace: The Effects of Technology on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents in the United States 

From the Streets to Cyberspace: The Effects of Technology on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents in the United States
Chapter:
From the Streets to Cyberspace: The Effects of Technology on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents in the United States
Author(s):

Abigail M. Judge

and Mary Graw Leary

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199945597.003.0009
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date: 12 November 2019

The commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) in the United States is a crime that encompasses a range of events and involves multiple formal systems. At the same time, technologies such as mobile communication devices and social media have transformed the crime’s ecosystem. These changes pose significant challenges to the identification of affected youth and the development of clinical and legal responses. Accordingly, this chapter presents a psycholegal perspective on the emergent role of technology on the crime. First, we review definitions of CSEC that various disciplines have proposed (i.e., international and domestic law, state law, civil society) and present data about the problem’s scope. Second, we describe how technology has affected offenders’ recruitment and access to minor victims, surveillance and psychological control of victims, and the possible migration of CSEC to new populations of youth. We conclude with a discussion of practice implications and suggestions for future research.

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