One of the jarring things about visiting less-well-off countries is the seemingly inexhaustible supply of girls and boys available for anyone with hard currency. These are someone’s kids. But apparently there’s not enough food in the rural village or urban slum to sustain them, so they end up living lives that are absolutely inconceivable for the typical middle-or-upper-class American.
Stuff like that happens here too, of course, but only in unique circumstances and on a very small scale. Right? Well, maybe not any more…
(Guardian) – Teenagers in America are resorting to sex work because they cannot afford food, according to a study that suggests widespread hunger in the world’s wealthiest country.
Focus groups in all 10 communities analysed by the Urban Institute, a Washington-based thinktank, described girls “selling their body” or “sex for money” as a strategy to make ends meet. Boys desperate for food were said to go to extremes such as shoplifting and selling drugs.
The findings raise questions over the legacy of Bill Clinton’s landmark welfare-reform legislation 20 years ago as well as the spending priorities of Congress and the impact of slow wage growth. Evidence of teenage girls turning to “transactional dating” with older men is likely to cause particular alarm.
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