Helms School of Government
Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice (PhD)
Sharon Gordon Mullane
hegemonic masculinity, sex-demand buyer, sex trafficking, prostitution, hypermasculinity, triple-A engine, pornography, escalation dynamic, escalation continuum
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Wilkinson, Kevin Lee Jr., "The Breeding of Wolves: Understanding the Escalation Continuum & Escalation Dynamics of Contemporary Sex Trafficking Demand" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4600.
This quantitative, quasi-longitudinal research was conducted to empirically examine if sex-demand buyer behavior of heterosexual males is causational based on commonplace societal and transgenerational influences. These causational influences are termed “escalation dynamics,” which can lay on a ranged scale from adolescent development through adulthood, termed an “escalation continuum.” This research aimed to research how and why a heterosexual male becomes a sex buyer from different influences over a developmental time frame. Participants had to meet the criteria of being a heterosexual male, having been arrested for sex-demand buying, and currently participating or having completed the Sex Buyers Transformation and Restoration (STAR) Program. The 67-question My Sex Life Survey was completed online by 56 respondents. The results indicated a correlation between developmental influences, i.e., escalation dynamics, such as hegemonic masculinity, traditional male roles, internet pornography, strip clubs, and beliefs leading to the objectification of prostituted females. The research showed multiple significant inferences on sex-demand buyer behavior concerning negative heterosexual male influences from adolescents to adulthood. Furthermore, the results showed and exposed a range of sex-demand buyers as being more or less hegemonic in their masculinity traits, suggesting that men who suffer more significant strain suffer greater symptoms of hegemonic masculinity.