Narratives of compensated dating of girls in Hong Kong using routine activity theory: Results of a focus group study of guardians

Chi Mei Jessica Li, Chau Kiu Cheung, Cindy X.S. Jia, Yolanda M.Y. Yu, Ping Nguyen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents public discourses on compensated dating of adolescent girls in Chinese society. Data are obtained from eight focus groups comprising 50 guardians at private, parochial, and public levels (i.e., social workers, police officers, parents of students, and community representatives). Qualitative data are used to demonstrate how the guardians conceptualize and contextualize compensated dating as an outcome of the dynamics of societal features. Social features such as contemporary ideologies, Internet technology advancement, commercialization of human relationships, and ambiguity between “right” and “wrong” motivate the service providers and customers of compensated dating, and accelerate their convergence and weakened levels of guardianship in society. This study is the first to connect the features of compensated dating of adolescent girls with recent societal changes using the routine activity approach. The findings confirm the application of the routine activity approach in the phenomenon of girls’ compensated dating, and also offer theoretical and practical implications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-382
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent girls
  • Chinese
  • Commercial sex
  • Compensated dating
  • Guardians

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology

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