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Hidden resilience in the lives of adolescents exposed to sexual exploitation

Grant number: 19/15248-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2019
Effective date (End): November 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Human Development Psychology
Principal Investigator:Alex Sandro Gomes Pessoa
Grantee:Carolina Serrati Moreno
Host Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Given the complexity of the phenomenon of sexual exploitation of adolescents, it is important for the scientists to understand the mechanism that corroborates to the perpetuation of this practice. Similarly, it is understood necessarily the investment of the scientific community regarding the identification of the protection factors and of the resilience process present in the lives of the victims submitted to the exploratory and degrading market of the sexual industry. The hypothesis of this research is that adolescents in situation of sexual exploitation, for not accessing efficient programs and for being prevenient of contexts extremely adverse, may to resort to sexual exploitation as a strategy to secure mental health and personal positivity. In other terms, for being in a condition of subalternity and social abandonment, they extract social and physiological resources from sexual exploitation to the activation of non-conventional resilience processes. Based on these arguments, the general objective of this study is to verify the manifestation of hidden resilience process with adolescents with a history of involvement in situations of sexual exploitation. The research will be qualitative, in transversal period and from the modality of multiple case studies. The fieldwork will be carried with a group of 4 to 8 teenagers, female, that were victims of sexual exploitation and who are in attendance in a CREAS (Reference Specialized Center of Social Assistance) from a medium-sized county from São Paulo state. For the collection of data, two instruments will be employed: Semi-Structured Individual Interview and Photography Production. The entire dialog that emerges in the fieldwork will be recorded in a digital device and, posteriorly, submitted to the transcription process in full. The interpretation of the data will be performed through content analysis. The obtained results in this investigation may bring relevant information about non-conventional protection factors present in the life of victims of sexual exploitation, as well contributing to a deepening of understanding of the hidden resilience processes that manifest in groups exposed to significant adversities.

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