Much needed funding secured for research into students who sell sex to pay for education

We paid little attention to the issue until Belle de Jour emerged as a doctoral student who supplemented her income by undertaking work as a London call girl.

Following these revelations the media storm took pace and the issue of students selling sex to fund studies became news. Since then we hear of rising trends each year.

Finally University research is being undertaken to ascertain exactly how many students are selling sex to help contribute to costs to their university education.

This might seem like a big investment into a piece of research, but if it’s done properly it will be robust enough to help tackle the problem and help those students who feel they have no other option than to take that route.

The research team say the project will include wider activities other than selling sex such as erotic dancing, web cam sex, chat lines, massage parlours and work in the porn industry.

Swansea University research leader Dr Tracey Sagar said: “Also our project emphasises that sex work is not associated only with women but also men and transgender workers.”

The Telegraph revealed that a survey published in 2010 found more than a quarter of 315 undergraduates at a London University knew of a student who had worked in the sex industry.

They listed pole or lap dancing as the most popular type of sex work, followed by stripping, but prostitution was the next most common.

About 10% knew of someone who had worked as a prostitute or escort, and when asked why they thought students undertook sex work, 93% gave the need for money as the main reason for doing so.

That anyone has to resort to this in order to pay for their education is wrong, but the figures outlined above are astonishingly high. This research is necessary in order to properly target the issue and help who those are most vulnerable.

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