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May 9, 2006

Voluntary teenage prostitution in Ohio?

Former Teen Prostitutes Talk About Central Ohio Trend
Women Say Stable Home Environment Is Key
POSTED: 5:41 pm EDT April 28, 2006; UPDATED: 6:26 pm EDT April 28, 2006

DELAWARE, Ohio -- Teenagers from rural, urban and suburban Ohio communities said most people would be shocked to learn how many young girls are taking part in prostitution.

[...] "I'm from a small place around Columbus, actually. And I'm from a really nice area, and there's girls doing it there, too," said Nicole, a former prostitute.

Another girl said the number of teens and young women participating in prostitution is shocking.

"Well, at my high school I know that almost every senior does it," said Joleen, a former prostitute.

Many people would assume that young men are taking advantage of the young women, but the former prostitutes said that's not true.

"Usually, the guys were between 40 and 70 (years old)," Joleen said.

One of the women said she would have sex for money at parties. Another girl said she brought the men into her family's home, but all the girls said they were very young when they started.

"I was probably about 12 or 13 (years old),"
Nicole said.

One of the women said she refused for a while, but a college student at a party kept offering her more money.

"It got to about $150 and I was just like, 'Sure, why not.' You know, $150 -- I'm not losing that opportunity," said Nia, a former prostitute. "I ended up giving him oral sex."

The Ohio Department of Youth Services said substance abuse almost always goes hand-in-hand with the prostitution. But the women insisted that staying away from paid sex could have been simple.

"A more structured home, like a parent there would actually talk to me and ask me and want to know what's going on and not someone that would just let me do what I want," Nicole said.

"I didn't have any friends that were like, 'Don't do that.' I had people who were always telling me, 'Go do it,'" Nia said.

The women said there aren't enough jobs and other positive activities to keep teenagers from becoming involved in alcohol, drugs and prostitution.

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