Tuesday, February 27, 2001

Mark Wilson

Young prostitutes priciest

The Province/John Turvey isn't surprised at the girl's age.
The Province/John Turvey isn't surprised at the girl's age.

Pre-teen prostitutes, while rare, are not unheard of in Vancouver.

"I am not surprised at the age of the girl from Portland," said John Turvey of the Downtown Eastside Youth Activities Society. "We have heard reports of prostitutes aged 11, and even 10.

"The younger a prostitute is, the greater their value," he said. "The johns pay more."

Vancouver sex-trade researcher Kimberly Dawn said increased demand for younger hookers by men who pay for sex with children has cut the average age of hookers to 13 from 15 a few years ago.

On any given day in the winter, about 50 young girls are working the streets, said Dawn. That number rises to 200 during the summer.

"Vancouver has a reputation for child prostitutes," said Turvey.

"You can find references to the Kiddie Stroll, where this girl was working, on the Internet.

"The johns come from all walks of life and all racial backgrounds. The one thing they have in common is money for this sort of thing. Some are fathers seeking out prostitutes who are the same age as their own daughters."

RCMP Cpl. Gerry Peters of the Provincial Prostitution Unit said an 11-year-old girl is an "extreme example and very disturbing." He said the youngest girl working the streets to his knowledge was 12.

Peters said he was not surprised the girl would attract customers.

"There seems to be a high demand for it," he said.

There is a fairly new term — hebophile — to describe men wanting sex from young girls, he said.

"I'm told by a psychologist that a pedophile will seek the youngest child they can get their hands on, while a hebophile prefers children in the early stages of puberty."

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Created: February 27, 2001
Last modified: February 27, 2001
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