First Advisor

Norma Cárdenas

Date of Award

Spring 5-30-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Child and Family Studies and University Honors


Social Work




Media, Children, Youth




Child sex trafficking is an increasing problem among Black, Indigenous, and girls of color and the media is ignoring them. Most child sex trafficking victims are girls and women of color. Minority women and children are being sold like they are property and used for sexual activities. Using content analysis, I analyzed three different forms of media, including Willamette Weekly article Portland Police's "Human Trafficking" Arrests Aren't What They Seem, the film Cuties (2020) and a young adult fiction book, The Life I'm in (2021). Through a critical race feminist lens, I analyzed the connections between race, gender, and child sex trafficking. My research reveals criminalization in the sex industry, victimization, and law enforcement. In conclusion, the media as well as the confluence of social structures are responsible for the sexualization of and conflicting expectations on young women, especially women of color.


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