Prostitution of Underage Girls in France: The Hidden Supply Chain Dimensions
Gilles Paché

The prostitution of underage girls is a societal phenomenon that is gaining ground in many Western countries, including France. This fact has been studied for several years from various angles, most often using sociological or legal approaches. The contribution opts for another point of view: the analysis of hidden supply chains which can be considered as the marketing “back office” of prostitution. To do so, the author relies on secondary data on juvenile prostitution, collected through official reports and surveys published in the professional press in France. The analysis of supply chain mechanisms highlights two important aspects: the importance of service providers dealing with logistical facilities related to prostitutional activity of underage girls; the massive use of smartphones to manage operations. This is a sensitive topic for marketing research, which may offend the public opinion and the mass media, but it also raises a key question: should we refrain from tackling issues that are morally reprehensible, but which nevertheless refer to an indisputable societal reality? This research note successively specifies the roots of the phenomenon studied, the underlying logistical issues, and the scientific legitimacy of exploring sensitive topics. The objective is to propose an original framework to initiate a marketing research program on human trafficking, and thus offer the means to better fight it.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jmm.v10n1a1