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29 February 2012
One in 10 students resorting to prostitution
by George Atkinson

A report in the British Medical Journal claims that 10 percent of students studying medicine are resorting to prostitution to pay their tuition fees.

This figure, says the researcher who compiled the study, is two and a half times larger than 10 years ago when just 4 percent of students claimed to know a peer placing themselves in the sex trade. This figure rose to 6 percent in 2006 and now stands at just under 10 percent.

Study author Jodi Dixon notes the obvious correlation between rising tuition fees and the prevalence of prostitution among students. She argues that it is due to the rising costs of both tuition and living that students are finding themselves in huge amounts of debt.

She adds that the English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP) has noticed an increase in the number of calls from students considering sex work. A spokesperson for the ECP says that many medical students report "prostitution is the only means of financial survival. Jobs in shops and pubs that students usually take up are increasingly scarce and low paid."

Medical schools have no specific rule on prostitution but do suggest that medical students act within the General Medical Council's guidance for medical practice - Duties of a Doctor.

Of most concern to Dixon is when students report "they have no choice but to resort to prostitution," and she questions whether increasing tuition fees will lead to an increase in students entering the sex trade.

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Source: British Medical Journal

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