Longitudinal Risk Factors of Selling and Buying Sexual Services Among Youths in Switzerland

  • Margit AverdijkEmail author
  • Denis Ribeaud
  • Manuel Eisner
Original Paper


The aim of this study was to examine the longitudinal predictors of buying and selling sexual services among youths in a high-income country. We used data from Switzerland (target sample: N = 1675 children, 52% male), where no prior studies have examined the trading of sexual services among representative samples of youths. Selling and buying sexual services were measured using novel, three-item measures at age 17. The predictors were measured at ages 13 and 15. In the regressions, multiple imputation was used to treat the missing values. Two-year point prevalence estimates of selling sexual services were 2.5% for females and 1.5% for males. Prevalence estimates of buying sexual services were 0.0% for females and 5.4% for males. Findings from logistic regressions revealed some support for prior findings from cross-sectional studies in high-income countries. New findings included evidence for prospective relations of having a disability, low generalized trust, and endorsing masculinity norms with trading sexual services. Follow-up models showed that the relations between pornography consumption and victimization with selling sexual services were gendered and stronger for females than for males.


Transactional sex Prostitution Compensated dating Sexuality 



The research reported in this manuscript was financially supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Jacobs Foundation, the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, the Canton of Zurich Ministry of Education, the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration, the Julius Baer Foundation, the Visana Plus Foundation, and the Foundation for Scientific Research of the University of Zurich. The authors would like to express their sincere thanks to the youths, parents, and teachers participating in the study. Moreover, the authors are grateful to the interviewers and undergraduate students for their help in data collection and coding.


This study is currently being funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (10FI14_170409).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jacobs Center for Productive Youth DevelopmentUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Institute of Criminology, Violence Research CenterUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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