Sexual Enslavement of Girls and Women Worldwide
by Andrea Parrot, Nina Cummings
August 2008, 200pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-275-99291-0
$75, £58, 66€, A103
Paperback: 978-1-4408-3636-7
$35, £27, 31€, A48
eBook Available: 978-0-313-08697-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Presents an inside look at sex slavery worldwide, which U.S. State Department officials estimate affects 800,000 victims each year – primarily women and children trafficked against their will across international borders.

They are in different countries but share the same hell. Maria is one of 14 women lured from Mexico to Seattle, Washington, with the promise of a job, then held by force in a brothel and required to sexually service men 12 hours a day. Anna is a young mother from the Ukraine who left her husband and children there to take a job as a housecleaner in Italy, where she was put in a barred, guarded house and forced into prostitution. Nadia is an 11-year-old girl in Africa, kidnapped and forced to have sex with a militiaman daily, with a machete ever ready nearby should she refuse. All three women are part of horrific sex slavery that has drawn the attention of officials in countries around the globe. It is not rare; officials say it is increasing, at least partly due to the billions of dollars it brings in for organized crime. The U.S. State Department estimates 800,000 victims, mostly women and children, are trafficked for sex trade across nations each year and millions more are trafficked within countries – including the U.S., Britain, Spain, and the Netherlands. As a Seattle Times reporter explained when Maria’s case hit the news there, the reality is that sex slaves for the most part are young women and teenaged girls who come from almost every one of the world’s poorer countries and end up in almost every country where there is a combination of sexual demand and money. But they are also in undeveloped Africa, in prisons internationally, locked in forced marriages, or sold to men by parents.

In this book, Parrot and Cummings outline the scope and growth of the sex slave market today and explain the history with various elements – including economic, political, cultural, and religious – that make this trade difficult to fully expose, quell, combat, and shut down. We hear from girls and women around the world describing how sexual enslavement has tortured them physically, emotionally, and spiritually, whether they suffer at the hands of prison guards in Turkey, criminals in Washington, or buyers dealing with parents who sell their daughters for the sex slave trade in Greece, Belgium, or France. The authors also describe national and international efforts and legislation passed or in design to stop sex slavery. Successful countries and regions are spotlighted. Then Parrot and Cummings point out actions still needed to stop the sex slavery trade.

Andrea Parrot is a Professor of Human Ecology at Cornell University and a board certified Sex Educator. She has received more than $1.5 million in funding for 15 studies focused on sexuality (including sexual violence/assault and sex education) since 1990. Parrot has authored, co-authored, or edited five books. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Foundation for the Scientific Study of Sexuality and a current member/past officer of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex. She has been interviewed widely for radio, television, and newspapers, including two appearances on Oprah as well as Larry King Live, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, The Learning Channel and on NPR with Diane Rehm.

Nina Cummings is a PhD candidate at Cornell and an Adjunct Faculty member at Ithaca College. She is also a University Victim Advocate and a Cornell Advocate for Rape Education, as well as a Certified Health Educator. She coauthored with Parrot the book Forsaken Females: The Brutalization of Women. Cummings and Parrot also coauthored articles that have been published in the Journal of American College Health, Vital Signs, and RESPONSE: Journal of the Center for Women's Policy Studies. In 2001, Cummings won the Cornell University Presidential Advisory Committee on the Status of Women Award.


"In a book that is at once both enlightening and disturbing, Parrot (Cornell) and Cummings (Ithaca College) present a brief but powerful view of the 'global social epidemic' of female sexual enslavement, primarily through the use of multiple specific case examples. The authors do a thorough job of documenting the problem, highlighting its many faces, offering a broad stroke contextual portrait of conditions that allow and exacerbate it, and illuminating potential remedies...An important, timely read for any adult audience...Highly recommended. All levels/libraries."—Choice, July 1, 2009
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