Fears more students being lured into prostitution
A support group for people in the sex industry fears the high cost of further education will tempt more students into pole dancing, escort work and prostitution to make ends meet.
The warning comes from Beyond the Streets, formerly the National Christian Alliance on Prostitution, after research by the University of Kingston found that in 2010, a quarter of students knew someone who had worked in the sex industry to fund their studies, a staggering increase on 1990 when the figure was just 3%.
In a separate study by the University of Leeds, a quarter of lap dancers were found to have a degree and a third of the women interviewed were doing lap dancing work to fund training in other professions.
Beyond the Streets warned that "slick looking businesses" were offering students tuition fee money in return for sex with clients, and that "sponsors" were willing to pay thousands of pounds in return for sexual acts.
"It may look like easy money to the desperate eye, but what it really is, let's not be fooled, is luring students into prostitution," the group said.
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It is urging students to be aware of the dangers involved in such schemes and the regret that could stay with them for life.
Beyond the Streets said it was down to schools and colleges to award bursaries to those most in need of help to stop them from turning to prostitution.
"Universities need to be aware of the recruitment strategies designed to lure students into sexual exploitation and counter those by raising awareness of the dangers among their student base," it said.