Applying Theoretical Models:
Gendered Pathways and General
Two criminological theories, gendered pathways theory (GPT) and general strain theory (GST), are reviewed in this chapter, and their application to the problem of victimization by child sex trafficking in prostitution is considered. GPT is a feminist theory centered on understanding the common contexts and causes of female delinquency (Miller & Mullins, 2009) and may be useful in explaining pathways into exploitation in child sex trafficking. Feminist theory has frequently offered explanations for the high rate of entrapment of women and girls in sex trafficking based on the devaluation of females and the global industrialization of prostitution (Clawson et al., 2009; Farr, 2005; Jeffreys, 2009, 2010; Morash, 2006). Focusing on detrimental sequences arising from familial abuse, GPT illuminates a pathway of stepping-stones leading from initial childhood victimization to successive and escalating victimizations, terminating with entrapment in prostitution (Giordano et al., 2006; Miller & Mullins, 2006, 2009).
Similarly aligned within the state dependence perspective, GST offers both a sound explanation of the probable origins of childhood strain and a useful construal of the potent evolution of individual strain in caregivers and their children that may facilitate a caustic continuum of victimizations, and ultimately lead to entrapment of maltreated minors in sex trafficking in prostitution.