ON THE STREETS: The Lives of Adolescent Prostitutes by Elaine Landau

ON THE STREETS: The Lives of Adolescent Prostitutes

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An in-depth look at the reasons behind kids becoming prostitutes: being turned away from home because of homosexuality, physical/sexual abuse, abduction, or economic destitution. Landau, a frequent author on social issues, combines solid sociological and psychological information with touching profiles, wisely interspersing the two to build interest without overwhelming her audience with tragedy. But she doesn't hold back the ugliness: Lynn, 13, tells of the client who calls her Marcy, his daughter's name; Lynn devises a fantasy trip to India to block out her pain with this man. Nor does Landau withhold the frightening story of a 15-year-old abducted into slavery until her escape six months later, or the sadness of Samantha, 16, who is back home but has needed a hysterectomy. The worlds of male prostitution, child pornography, and pimps are discussed, and the nonglamour of escort services is exposed. The long American history of prostitution, particularly on the frontier, where suicide before the age of majority was frequent, is instructive, since it reveals that getting girls drug-addicted has long been a technique. The chapter on pimps' methods for getting teens into dependency and keeping them there may just save some lives. Health problems are also covered, including veneral disease, but, surprisingly, AIDS is not mentioned. An understanding look at teen prostitution. Without hysteria, it serves as a cogent warning.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1987
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: Messner