Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Body Image and Sexuality in Female Survivors of Sexual Human Trafficking
by Perez, Elsa, Psy.D., The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, 2016, 107; 10007250
Abstract (Summary)

Human trafficking is a $31 billion dollars global industry that victimizes four to 27 million individuals through the process of labor or sexual exploitation. Although it is a large enterprise, sexual human trafficking and its impact has not been sufficiently recognized and investigated in research. This qualitative phenomenological study examines the impact of sexual human trafficking on the body image and sexuality of female survivors using objectification theory and a trauma lens. Four in-depth interviews of licensed mental health providers, experienced in working with female survivors of sexual human trafficking, were conducted.

The results provided detailed insight in specific forms of recruitment, the survivors’ experiences during trafficking, the level of abuse, their methods and difficulties of exiting, and the impact trafficking had on their body image and sexuality. Dissociation and denial of experiences, continued overemphasis on physical appearance, difficulties in future intimate relationships, and frequently confusion about their sexual orientation emerged as common themes. These findings will assist mental health professionals to better understand and therapeutically respond to clients who have experienced human trafficking.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Schmidt, Jens U.
Commitee: Jackson, Tenika
School: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Department: Applied Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-B 77/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mental health, Psychology, Sociology
Keywords: Adolescent, Development, Female, Objectification, Sex trafficking, Trauma
Publication Number: 10007250
ISBN: 9781339447551
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