"It's really hard to get a solid number. We've tried to survey national law enforcement departments, but the number of arrests doesn't reflect the real number of kids prostituting. It is an incredibly elusive population."
Wolak estimated that a small population, less than 10 percent of all children working the streets as prostitutes, were being pimped out by their parents.
"In a typical scenario, a parent is already involved in drugs or prostitution in one way or another. Parents prostitute their kids for drugs or money," she said.
Just last week James Colliton, a former tax attorney at the prestigious firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore and father of five, pleaded guilty to statutory rape after having sex with two underage girls numerous times between 2000 and 2005, who had been prostituted by their mother.
The 38-year-old mother pleaded guilty in April 2006 to endangering the welfare of a child and admitted she was paid in moeny and gifts for allowing Colliton to have sex with her children.