Sophie Wilkinson | Contributing Editor | Friday, 27 March 2015

One In 20 Students Do Sex Work To Pay Fees

One In 20 Students Do Sex Work To Pay Fees

The Debrief: However, a quarter of them feel unsafe carrying out their work. Universities need to do more to support their sex workers, says researcher...

Students have always been very creative with their spare time, and after the hike in tuition fees, it seems like they’re being even more resourceful when it comes to money-making schemes – doing sex work.

We say this because a new report shows that one in 20 students have done sex work, reports The Mirror. However, this figure might have always been like this; but we will never know, as The Student Sex Work Project is the first report into student sex work.

‘There’s firm evidence that students are engaged in the sex industry across the UK,’ says Dr Tracey Sagar, who led Swansea University’s research: ‘The majority of these students keep their occupations secret and this is because of social stigma and fears of being judged by family and friends.’

The sex work ranges from prostitution to escort work and stripping to internet work. It turns out men are more likely to do it (5%) than women (3.5%). But then again, think how many boys at uni you knew who moonlighted as Butlers In The Buff?

Dr. Sagar’s study spoke to 6,750 students, and nearly two thirds of the student sex workers said they were motivated to fund their lifestyle, 56% felt motivated to pay basic living costs, and two in five wanted to reduce debt after their course.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, because there are other jobs available for students, it’s just for some, sex work is preferable. Three in five thought they would enjoy it, 54% say they were curious, and 44% said they did it because it gave them sexual pleasure.

But, of course, without the support to leave sex work should they so wish, there are problems: nearly one in four said they found it hard to leave the industry and a quarter said they didn’t feel safe while doing their work. While those undertaking sex work go through 21% more counselling than their non-sex worker peers, there are no official university policies put in place to support sex workers.

Dr Sager called upon universities to up their game: ‘[Student sex workers] need advice, support and sometimes assistance to step away from the industry.’

We wonder if they’ll follow suit. If there are 2.5 million UK students, and just 5% of them are sex workers, that’s 125,000 student sex workers, with 31,250 of them feeling unsafe in their work.

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Picture: Lukasz Wierzbowski 

Tags: Sex, Money worries, Education