Engaging adolescent girls in transactional sex through compensated dating

Chau kiu Cheung, Xinshan Jia, Chi Mei Jessica Li, Tak yan Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-134
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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