The topics of Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and Sexual Exploitation (SE) of male youth have gained international attention in recent years and more and more male youth are potentially “identified” in residential treatment facilities. Agencies are questioning their ability to identify and treat this population and are asking for resources. The issue of CSE and female youth seems to be more straightforward in that the victim is the usual focus of prevention and treatment services. Females as victims are more easily identifiable cultural and social constructs. However, discussion papers and research over the past two decades have estimated that high percentages of CSE victims are actually male youth but they are not easily identified, and when identified, intervention and treatment services are not adequate. With the case of male youth, there are two complex treatment subpopulations that require careful attention not only in their singular quality but in their intersection: CSE male youth may, in what is presumed more often than female youth, be a victim AND/OR an exploiter, which greatly complicates the issue. Male youth are also recruited into both roles at a younger age than girls.
Despite the aforementioned efforts and programming this far, awareness about this population is extremely limited not only in California but across the country. One cannot develop effective prevention and treatment intervention programming without thoroughly understanding the key areas of need and the complex issues this population presents.
This webinar will review various barriers to developing effective prevention and intervention curriculum specifically in areas of training, research, screening and assessment. Presenters will review a multitude of social and gender issues that may affect ability for residential staff to see males as victims, emphasizing societal views of masculinity as well as simultaneous identification and vilification of the male “exploiter”.
This webinar will focus on how staff perspectives at varying levels may affect ability to identify male CSE and SE youth as influenced by the media, social culture and the traditional views of masculinity. Presenters will emphasize the need to shift staff perspectives in being able to identify male youth as victims and struggle to see the need for programming for exploiters, partly due to how the legal system may define the concept. Presenters will emphasize how a greater knowledge of intersects such as LBGTQ and homelessness affects perceptions, identification and access to treatment.
Lastly, this presentation will offer suggestions and strategies to address the above-mentioned challenges such as proposed prevention and curriculum development which meet a great complexity of needs.
-Gina Peck-Sobolewski, MA, LMFT
– Nick Ryan, Psy.D, MA, LMFT, ATR-BC