Registered Charity Number: 1099006

Students Turning to Prostitution to Fund Studies?

Posted by Beyond The Streets on 14/12/2011 at 10:30 AM

According to recent claims by the National Union of Students (NUS), greater numbers of students in England are turning to prostitution to fund their education.

Whilst the NUS has emphasised that there were no concrete figures to support the claims, it does raise an important issue that funding cuts may push people into prostitution and this has been raised on numerous occasions over the last year.

Some may claim that prostitution is a quick and easy way to make quick money. The emotional, psychological and physical impact on women’s lives however cannot be overlooked. It is dangerous to think that it’s a solution to difficulties in paying tuition fees or living costs whilst at university.

Certainly there are a few examples of some women in the west making vast amounts of money; however some researchers say it is short term and has many strings attached. For instance one study calculated that a prostituted woman received only 8% of her gross earnings after subtracting the substantial costs she was required to make.(1)

Research suggests that women in prostitution are 60-100 times more likely to be murdered that non-prostituted women. (2) There is an assumption that off street prostitution and escorting can be safe and the environment controlled. Experience shows that violence still occurs and that women still face other traumas and harm.

Any students who are considering prostitution as a way of raising money to study must realise that any assessment they make of the risks is likely to be limited and will include a wide range of assumptions. The hidden dangers and vulnerability that people in prostitution face make this far from an easy option and one which is likely to be regretted for life.


(1) DeRiviere, L. (2006) ‘A Human Capital Methodology for Estimating the Lifelong Personal Costs of Young Women Leaving the Sex Trade’. Feminist Economics, 12 (3), July, 367-402.
(2) Lowman and Fraiser, 1994 cited in Salfati et al, 2008


Return to the News Page