Engaging adolescent girls in transactional sex through compensated dating

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

8 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-134
Journal / PublicationJournal of Adolescence
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


Transactional sex through so-called compensated dating in adolescent girls is a problem in need of public concern. Compensated dating typically involves the use of information communication technology to advertise, search, bargain, and eventually arrange for transactional sex. The technology enables the sexual partners to maintain privacy and secrecy in transactional sex. Such secrecy necessitates the girls’ disclosure about their life experiences in order to address the concern. The disclosure is the focus of the present qualitative study of 27 girls practicing the dating in Hong Kong, China. Based on the disclosure, the study presents a grounded theory that epitomizes engagement in compensated dating by referential choice. Such a referential choice theory unravels that choice with reference to the family push and social norms sustains the engagement. Meanwhile, the choice rests on expectancy and reinforcement from experiential learning about compensated dating. The theory thus implies ways to undercut the engagement through diverting the referential choice of the dating.

Research Area(s)

  • Compensated dating, Grounded theory, Referential choice, Sex work, Transactional sex