Study Urges Improving Services To Youths In Commercial “Survival Sex”


The Washington, D.C.-based Urban Institute interviewed 283 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) youth who engaged in “survival sex” in New York City. The institute published a study on the issue today, aided by a U.S. Justice Department grant, that wsays, “paints a vivid picture of how they survive in the face of adversity, often dealing with issues rooted in poverty, homophobia, transphobia, racism, child abuse, and criminalization.”

The study says the youth “lack access to voluntary and low-threshold services, including short- and long-term housing, affordable housing and shelter options, livable-wage employment opportunities, food security, and gender-affirming health care.” The report makes several recommendations for improving services for those who engage in commercial sex to survive, including the design of police training curricula to improve relationships with LGBTQ youth and to “decrease profiling, harassment, and abuse.”

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