Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2014


Virtually no academic or media attention has been dedicated to female traffickers, or female delinquency, in general. Human trafficking, like other crimes, has been myopically constructed, marketed, and viewed through news reports, cinema, literature, and criminal statutes as a heinous male-perpetrated offense against women and girls, rendering the female trafficker practically invisible. This essay questions the soundness and viability of continued reliance on the female victim-male culprit paradigm, used by many countries to prevent human trafficking. It confronts contemporary assumptions about femininity, violence, and aggression, calling particular attention to American cultural suppositions about femaleness that have detrimentally influenced our capacity to properly identify and quantify female human traffickers. In so doing, this essay attempts to take a first step in reducing the knowledge gap relative to female traffickers that remains so extant in human trafficking discourse.


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