As the cost to attend universities rises, more and more college students turn to sex work to pay the exorbitant price to get an education and avoid graduating drowning in debt. What’s worse is, the institutions have ignored the issue.
According to a report from this site, experts, as well as students, believe that colleges are “burying their heads in the sand” when it comes to how widespread the situation is, especially since so much of it happens online through webcams and apps. As many as 10 percent of young people seeking a degree have turned to this type of job to pay. However, instead of attempting to provide support, in some cases, universities actually block groups that try to help students who’ve turned to prostitution to pay for college. In some instances, the institutions even threaten to take action against students working in this manner because of the moral implications involved in such professions.
The English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP), a group that wants to see prostitution decriminalized, revealed that in the past year, the number of students reaching out to it for help increased in 2018. ECP spokesperson Laura Watson said, “We have found that people are mostly working for everyday needs. But some people are definitely working to pay off the tuition fees.”
The ECP wants colleges to support students who are also sex workers instead of ostracizing them for their choice. The group found many instances where colleges threatened to kick out students who’ve opened up about prostitution instead of helping them as they attempt to leave the profession. Unfortunately, universities experience backlash by merely offering a support group for students involved in these jobs because some people feel it looks as if the institutions encourage sex work as a viable way to pay for an education.
Students want to avoid financial hardship, which is a big reason why so many have needed help lately. However, some people are turning to more than apps or other online activities, and are instead offering “full service” options for their clients.
Unfortunately, some students are not able to avoid taking out student loans, either. They have loans to pay for school but need additional income for rent, food, and other necessities during their studies. One student, who did not reveal her name, told this site that she started working as a prostitute when she was 18 because holding down a traditional job and attending classes did not work well for her due to difficulty learning.
She said, “The financial situation for students is getting more and more bleak and rent prices are really rising.”
Now she’s in a situation where she believes continuing her education will be the only way she can leave sex work, but ironically, she needs to keep working in the industry to afford the high costs associated with a master’s degree and Ph.D.
The student said, “I thought, you want me to escape sex work but then in order to punish me for doing sex work you are going to remove the only opportunity I have, my degree, to escape sex work.”
Ultimately, those who do advocate for sex workers believe that universities have an obligation to support people who attend without judgment. Until then, students have few resources for help if they get involved in this type of work.