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Young people who engage in child sexual exploitation behaviours: An exploratory study

Child sexual exploitation perpetrators research programme, report 1

Despite increasing awareness of child sexual exploitation (CSE) across the UK in recent years, there remain gaps in current knowledge and understanding – including in relation to young people who perpetrate acts of CSE. In contrast to the wider research base for harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) in childhood and adolescence, which has developed significantly in recent years, there is little in the literature specifically on the topic of young people who engage in sexually exploitative behaviours.

This report describes one of three research projects commissioned by the Centre of expertise on child sexual abuse to build an evidence base about perpetrators of CSE.

The project aimed to investigate:

  • the backgrounds of young people identifi ed for CSE concerns as perpetrators
  • the nature and range of their sexual behaviours
  • the range of victims targeted
  • other off ending behaviours displayed by the young people.