Thursday, February 26, 2009

Child Prostitute: Victim?

Recently, a 15-year-old British girl became a high-class prostitute without her parents' knowledge after duping an escort agency into believing she was of age.

Clearly, there's something wrong here. Her parents, who are legally responsible for her and her welfare, do not know that she is engaging in this (undoubtedly) risky behavior. The agency didn't do enough of a background check to make sure that she was of age.

But the article talks about her as a "victim," and lumps her into a group of real victims: child sex slaves.

This girl does not sound like a victim to me. The police have determined that her parents didn't know about it, so they can't have forced her into it. She was earning thousands of pounds, so she can't have been exploited financially for her body. She was doing it through an escort agency, which legally can't force a girl to have sex with a client, so if she were of age it would have been consensual.

She, from the story the article tells, approached the agency; duped them into thinking she was of age; kept her parents from finding out; and got paid a lot for her services. How is she a victim? If anyone abused her, it was she herself. What is it about this magical age, 16 in England (so she was just one year shy!), that makes a person suddenly able to do things like this without being a "victim"?

This is really a messed-up attitude towards sexuality. It's not a thing that blossoms, suddenly, overnight at age 16 (or 17, or 18, or whatever the age of consent in your country of choice). People grow into their sexualities over time, and just because they happen to be younger than some nationally decreed age does not automatically make them a victim for exploring it.

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