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Our Boys are Vulnerable, Too: know the signs of sexual exploitation

Presented by the Kerengende Foundation and, part two of this four-part series entitled “Our Boys Are Vulnerable, Too,” will focus primarily on the vulnerability factors facing our young boys and men regarding sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. While the first panel of youth advocates, academics, and social workers opened and framed this discussion on the topic of sexual exploitation against boys, this second panel will bring together practitioners in social work, public health, education, and social activism to discuss specifically the signs and symptoms of sexual violence against our boys. Given the diverse backgrounds of the panelists, you do not want to miss such an informative, interdisciplinary dialogue! Panelists will offer their insights on a range of questions including “What are the social stressors that families and communities tend to miss, overlook, or underestimate?” and “How does online content, social media, and online pornography increase vulnerability?” Audiences will hopefully walk away with the ability to recognize some major and minor signs of grooming, coercion, and manipulation.

Reference Panel Questions

Context-Setting: Frameworks & Language

  • How can we use this framework of “intersectionality” to inform this discussion?

  • How can we ground this conversation in terms of support and love instead of shame and judgment?

Sites and Spaces of Vulnerability

  • What are some shared sites and spaces that we overlook or dismiss?

    • Where do adults have access to kids?

    • Where are students most vulnerable?

    • What happens in academic, religious, athletic, and any other extracurricular spaces?

  • Adult Supervision

    • What types of adults have access to the youth?

    • What are the signs of predatory and grooming behaviors?

  • Reception/Social Perception

    • In certain spaces, especially male-dominated spaces, how is male self-reporting received, seen, understood, and or dismissed?

    • How do spaces and communities respond to male emotional expression? Emotional awareness? Emotional sensitivities?

Intersectionality, Risk Factors, Power Dynamics

  • Power Dynamics

    • Can you describe the power dynamics in these relationships and situations?

    • How prior experience and abuse make someone further vulnerable and subject to grooming?

  • Media/Online Influences

    • How does online content, social media, and online pornography increase vulnerability?

    • How do media stereotypes of men of color, especially Black men, as pimps, criminals, and abusers contribute to our misunderstanding or neglect of boys as victims of sexual exploitation?

  • Queer-Identifying Youth

    • How do the hypersexualization and oversimplification of queer folx experience(s) contribute to the neglect or lack of care and support for LGBT+ youth?

    • How is economic and social power exercised against young boys, especially our queer youth?

    • How does the fear and or threat of blackmail or familial discrimination (family disowning) contribute to LGBT+ youth vulnerability?

Collaborators: Kerengende Foundation

This event is in collaboration with the Kerengende Foundation, a nonprofit that works with female survivors of sexual abuse and their families. Through educational workshops and community partnerships, the foundation empowers youth, families, and communities to better understand and prevent sexual abuse and trafficking.


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