Using a sample of 1,625 homeless youth and young adults aged 10 to 25 from 28 different states in the United States, this study examines the correlates of having engaged in survival sex. Findings suggest that differences exist based on demographic variables (gender, age, race, and sexual orientation), lifetime drug use (inhalants, Valium, crack cocaine, alcohol, Coricidin, and morphine), recent drug use (alcohol, ecstasy, heroin, and methamphetamine), mental health variables (suicide attempts, familial history of substance use, and having been in substance abuse treatment), and health variables (sharing needles and having been tested for HIV). In addition to replicating previous findings, this study’s findings suggest that African American youth; gay, lesbian, or bisexual youth; and youth who had been tested for HIV were significantly more likely to have engaged in survival sex than White, heterosexual youth, and youth who had not been tested for HIV, respectively. Implications for interventions with youth and suggestions for future research are discussed.


September 7, 2010

155 words0.6 min read