Sexual exploitation of children (SEC)
a broad term referring to the illegal use of minors (under 18 years
of age) for
sexual purposes. It is "an extension of child sexual abuse that
goes beyond the dynamics of an offender, a victim, and an act." (Lanning,
K. Child Sex Rings: A Behavioral Analysis. Washington DC: National
Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 1989).
SEC is a $5 billion international industry that affects both men
and women. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) estimates
least one million children are sexually exploited each year. SEC
takes on many forms:
• Child sexual abuse is the sexual use of minors, either
through direct sexual contact or by exposing children to inappropriate sexual
materials or activities.
• Child pornography involves the coercion of
children into sexual activity for the purpose of producing, distributing
or possessing print, visual, or electronic
media that portrays the minors in sexual activity.
• Child prostitution is sex with minors in exchange for money. Children
may be forced by their pimp to prostitute on the streets or through escort
services. Under the pimp's domineering watch, or even under the control of another
in the pimp's stable, they may solicit business in dance clubs, hotels, bars,
restaurants, and casinos, to name but a few likely locales. Male prostitution
is extremely common; Most boy prostitutes provide sexual services to other
• Child sex rings are the organized use of large numbers of children in
the pornography and prostitution industries. Children caught up in sex rings
are frequently trafficked across state lines and internationally for these
Who are the Exploiters?