4% of students have tried some form of sex work
According to the survey, 4% of students have tried some form of sex work, compared to two percent in 2017. The survey, of more than 3,300 students, discovered that the most common form of sex work was selling naked or erotic photographs or used underwear. However, students have also been turning to sugar dating and prostitution in order to earn much-needed cash.
While 'Sugar Dating' appears to be an easy way of earning quick cash, it is often unsafe for young women
Sugar Dating is a recent trend, involving a 'Sugar Baby', and a 'Sugar Daddy'. The dynamic of the relationship is not like that of a ‘normal’ relationship: the 'Daddy' treats the 'Baby' to expensive gifts or large sums of money, in return for some form of relationship, and in some cases sexual favours. While 'Sugar Dating' appears to be an easy way of earning quick cash, it is often unsafe for young women.
It has been suggested that a total lack of financial support for students is to blame for the recent surge in student sex workers.
Save the Student reported that, on average, students spend an estimated £807 per month on living expenses, including rent, bills and food.
Students involved in the survey have stated that they resorted to sex work and 'Sugar Dating' in order to cover the costs of basic living essentials, as well as the cost of university essentials, like required textbooks.
According to The Independent, Jake Butler, who is the money expert for Save the Student, stated: “the doubling of students involved in adult and sex work over two years is alarming and very concerning, but it’s not all that unexpected, given the financial situation students are put in.”
It has been noted that the average student maintenance loan falls short of the average student’s living costs by around £260
It has been noted that the average student maintenance loan falls short of the average student’s living costs by around £260. There is an expectation, placed upon students by the Government, that parents or guardians will make up the shortfall, however this may not be feasible for some families. Butler has also stated that most parents are not aware of the desperate measures students are taking in order to cover their monthly living expenses.