Source: (2013) Child Abuse Review.22:161-181.

This study addresses a gap in the research literature concerning predictors of culpability attributions towards juvenile female prostitutes (JFPs). Three hundred undergraduate participants read a vignette describing a JFP and responded to a series of measures. Results supported a causal pathway whereby stronger perceiver sexism predicted stronger negative affective evaluations of, and weaker empathic reactions toward, the JFP. Stronger negative affective evaluations and weaker empathic reactions, in turn, predicted stronger culpability attributions toward the JFP. Also, participants who were provided information about the JFP’s extensive victimisation history and coercion into the trade, relative to participants who were not provided this information, attributed lesser culpability to the JFP. Finally, stronger culpability attributions toward the JFP related to weaker recommendations of restorative justice (i.e. counselling/mental health services for the JFP) and stronger recommendations of retributive justice (i.e. incarceration for the JFP). Study implications, limitations, and directions for future research are discussed. (author's abstract)