Is Student Prostitution a problem of the lower classes?

The occupation of ‘Prostitute’ has long been assosciated with smut, disgrace and low class women. These helpless, often drug abusing women are looking to make a quick buck out of sleazy old rich men, but is this the case? Who is becoming involved in prostitution and why are they turning to such a sordid way of earning money?

The National Union of Students has claimed that the vast majority of students that are being forced to turn to prostitution according to their records have been those taking part in longer courses, such as Medical Science and Veterinary Science. They add that these are often students from a more advantaged background.

A study carried out in Canada by the Canadian Medical Asasociation suggested that students studying Medical Science tended to come from more advantaged background, their parents tended to have professional highly paid jobs and they tended to be from White, Chinese or Indian heritage.

This suggests that the students that are turning to prostitution to make ends meet have hailed from particularly well off families. Are they shocked by the transition to living on their own and struggling to maintain the lifestyle to which they have become acostom?

Has the desire to look after themselves driven them to sex work?

The image of the conventional sterotypical prostitute is definitely evolving but in to what?

A posh naive medical student with a taste for caviar and designer handbags?

What do you think? Let us know : @investigatesp

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Why should we care about student prostitutes?

Student prostitutes are definitely in existence within most universities throughout the world. Several reports have recently described it as a crisis that needs the governments urgent attention but why should we be concerned? What implications does it have? and should this ‘trend’ continue what is the future for students?

Prostitution maybe the oldest profession in the world but it may well also be one of the most dangerous. The Poppy Project‘s aim is to map commercial sex around London, they have found that 18% of women working as prostitutes in flats, parlours and saunas are originally from the UK, it is difficult to discover how many of these have been brought to the UK specifically for the sex industry.

Even scarier facts include: 87% of women in street-based prostitution use heroin (M. Hester and N. Westmarland, Tackling Street Prostitution: Towards an Holistic Approach, Home Office Research Study 279, London, 2004). Due to the massive percentage of the women involved with heroine it seems inevitable that students might be caught up in that 87%.

In the UK as many as 60 women involved in prostitution have been murdered in the last 10 years (Home Office, Paying the Price: A consultation paper on prostitution, 2004).

Several charities have been set up specifically to help prostitutes to attempt to help them operate as safely and carefully as possible and they stress it is essential that the plight of the nations prostitutes be recognised. Calling for decriminalisation as they feel it would better protect the workers within the sex industry for violence and abuse. Further information can be found around the pros and cons of prostitution here.