A new research conducted by Swansea University has revealed that one in 20 students are turning to the sex trade to pay for their University and basic living cost- that is more than 100,000 students across the country. These jobs include prostitution, exotic dancing and stripping. The research also suggests that men are more likely to do so than women.
Researchers have called on to universities to provide more support for the students who are involved in the trade.
The study involved 6,750 students. 5% of men and 3.5% of women revealed that they had worked in the sex industry, while approximately 22% overall said they had considered doing so.
Around 2/3 involved stated that their motivation to get into this trade was to fund a particular lifestyle. 56% said it was to pay basic living costs, while the remaining 2/5 wanted to reduce their debts at the end of their course.
However, what may come across as shocking is that 3/5 thought they would enjoy it; 54% mentioned that they were curious and 44% pointed out sexual pleasure as their motivation. Significantly, up to a quarter stated that they had found it difficult to leave the sex trade, while a further quarter did not feel safe doing sex work.
Dr Tracey Sagar, an associate professor of criminology led this research. She states,“Our research has not been about encouraging students into sex work, it has been about supporting students who are in sex work. And this is the reality, students are engaged in sex work occupations – this is a fact. Another fact is that some of them need advice, support and sometimes assistance to step away from the industry.
“At the moment, students feel so stigmatised and judged that they are afraid or at least very reluctant to disclose their occupations to staff and services at universities that could help them. Stereotyping is also a problem.
“Sex work is widely but wrongly perceived to be an occupation that is predominantly taken up by women and this means that males may fall through the student support net because they are not associated with sex work occupations.”
In the Asian culture, love and sex has been a very private matter- an intimate affair between two people who are in love. These statistics are not only shocking, but also give an indication to the changing trends within society.
People have become broadminded and have conversations on issues related to sex, but promiscuity is still frowned upon and is considered as a taboo subject.
Has the curiosity of sexual activities led many astray and led many into dangerous, inescapable territories? Are these the values we are instilling in our children? Yet, would you turn a blind eye if it comes to your knowledge that someone from your family, or someone who you may know was a part of the sex trade? Would you be willing to support them and help them get out of this trade, or would you turn away from them because of the stigma associated with the “profession”?