The New Goodnight Kiss

Photo by Becca Tapert

There’s a new book and documentary out called Oral Sex Is The New Goodnight Kiss
based on research by Sharlene Azam on teenage prostitution.  This isn’t the teen prostitution of the past that primarily involved girls from high-risk settings (I remember doing a report years ago in high school on teen runaways who get caught in prostitution)—it’s a new demographic.  Middle class white girls from “good families”, lured in often by friends.  Here’s the write-up from the website:

Attractive, white, high school girls—13, 14 and 15 years old—are having sex with up to 7 men a night, several times a week, so they can go shopping. Other girls are selling their virginity for $1000. These are not street prostitutes. “They are the prettiest girls from the most successful families,” explains one expert. “Your daughter’s best friend is recruiting her right out of your house, right under your nose” ... Oral Sex Is The New Goodnight Kiss is a wake up call for parents, showing them girls who have been recruited, their mothers, their “friends” who recruited them (the new pimps), and the vice cops and experts who are trying to make sense of this new middle-class phenomenon.

Beyond the title—which made me think this was going to be mostly about research on the prevalence of oral sex among high school kids—I’m fascinated with two things:

1. The shock in the media that middle class kids are at risk for something like this.  Last year Curtis Miller wrote an insightful piece based on research of affluent kids called The Way of Privilege, and I think this is a symptom of a similar set of problems.  It also reminds of Desiree’s post last week on sexting as a form of exploitation.  Obviously sexual exploitation is happening at all levels of society.

2. The focus on raising parents’ awareness.  I appreciate that this seems to be a primary goal of Azam’s agenda.  Take a look at this page on the book site, specifically geared toward parents, called “A Solution.”

I’m curious if anyone reading our blog has encountered “middle class white girl” prostitution in your own setting, and how you, their parents, your church, and the community have responded.