Violence Exposure Among Adolescent Boys and Young Men in Colombia With a Lifetime History of Transactional Sex

Published:September 07, 2022DOI:



      There is a paucity of research examining the contextual factors that shape the violence experienced by those engaged in transactional sex, particularly among adolescent boys and young men. Recognizing the acute vulnerability among youth engaged in transactional sex, this analysis examined the associations between lifetime transactional sex and experience of violence among 13- to 24-year-old males.


      Using data from two strata of the 2018 Violence Against Children and Youth Survey from Colombia, logistic regressions were used to estimate the association between engagement in transactional sex and violence exposure. Three groups of violence outcomes were examined: violence victimization, violence perpetration, and witnessing violence.


      Violence victimization and witnessing violence were widespread. Adolescent boys and young men with a lifetime history of transactional sex were significantly more likely to experience violence victimization than those without a lifetime history of transactional sex, particularly intimate partner violence (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 5.23 and 5.41) and caregiver emotional violence (aOR: 7.23 and 8.74). In the national and priority samples respectively, those with a lifetime history of transactional sex were also significantly more likely to witness violence within the home (aOR: 4.42 and 4.99) and outside of the home (aOR: 7.24 and 28.32).


      Although research is needed to determine causal pathways, our findings highlight the ubiquity of violence and the criticality of supporting this group of adolescent boys and young men. Interventions for those with a history of transactional sex should address factors that may contribute to drivers of violence and transactional sex.


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