Sex Trafficking Prevention Grantee Spotlight: University of Minnesota School of Nursing



As part of the Foundation’s work to fund actionable research that aids in the prevention of sex trafficking, we’re supporting the University of Minnesota School of Nursing Minnesota Youth Sex Trading (MYST) team as they research sex trading by LGBTQ+ youth and cisgender boys.

There are substantial gaps in research and practice on prevention of sex trading among LGBTQ+ youth and cisgender boys. MYST has found that 5.9% of young people who are transgender and gender diverse report trading sex, making them four times more likely to trade sex than their cisgender peers. And cisgender boys are just as likely as cisgender girls to trade sex, yet we know less about their experiences, risk and protective factors.

A grant from Carlson Family Foundation will fund research that builds upon MYST’s previous research on the prevalence of sex trading among young people in Minnesota, which found that at least 1.4% of Minnesota high school students report trading sex.

Members of the MYST team have translated research findings into tangible actions for policy and program development for more than 15 years. MYST has the unique capacity to reach youth through its virtual engagement team, a group of young researchers and community leaders with a wide range of lived experiences in this research topic.

This deeper dive into LGBTQ+ youth and cisgender boys who trade sex will better equip Minnesota and the nation to address critical needs of these groups. It will also help inform the Carlson Family Foundation’s grantmaking as we focus on groups such as boys and LGBTQ+ youth who are susceptible to sex trafficking yet have fewer services available to them compared to other groups.