The sexual exploitation of young boys is one of Saskatchewan’s dark secrets, suggests a new study into the province’s male sex trade.

“We like to talk about the sex trade in Cambodia and Argentina but not about what is happening in our own backyard,” Sue Delanoy, executive director of Saskatoon’s Communities for Children, told a news conference Monday.

The report is based on interviews conducted between April and December 2006 with 40 young men involved in the sex trade in Saskatoon and Regina. Ten of the 40 men were no longer working in the sex trade.

“It may be shocking for people to hear that there are young men who are working in Saskatchewan’s sex trade,” said Susan McIntyre, the report’s author, who has conducted similar studies in Alberta and British Columbia.

“Males enter the sexual-exploitation trade younger and also tend to stay and work longer in the trade than women. Males stay in the trade an average of nine years, while women tend to stay in the trade for three to four years.”

Eighty-three per cent of the young men surveyed began working in the sex trade as teenagers, and on average began turning tricks between the ages of 11 and 13, McIntyre said.

She said a sex-trade worker in Alberta sold his first sexual favour for a place to sleep at the age of eight.

“We are talking about sexual exploitation of kids,” she said.

Citing the findings in her report, McIntyre noted that 85 per cent of the study’s participants were aboriginal boys and men, and that they were catering mostly middle-to upper-class white men.


Information gathered from