Medical schools’ attitudes towards student prostitution
No precedent has been set despite increasing trends
Often dismissed as immoral or alternatively described as nothing more than sex between two consenting adults, the acceptability of prostitution sparks immense debate. Mounting evidence suggests that more university students are engaging in prostitution as a means to pay increasing tuition fees, growing debts, and high living costs. The BBC recently reported that “greater numbers of students in England are turning to prostitution to fund their education.”1 This report followed claims by Estelle Hart, National Women’s Officer for the National Union of Students, that: “In an economic climate where there are very few jobs, where student support has been massively cut, people are taking more work in the informal economy, such as sex work.”1
How accurate are these claims? If prostitution by students becomes more widespread and acceptable, what are the implications for medical students?
In a cross sectional study published in 2010, researchers surveyed 315 undergraduate students at a