Student sex workers: What happens after university?

Authors: Jessica Simpson*,
Topics: Qualitative Methods, Higher Education, Gender
Keywords: Students, Sex Work, Exiting
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: Committee Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Academic research on the topic of student sex work remains in its infancy. Primarily, scholarly focus has been limited to trajectories into the sex industry for students creating a gap in the literature in regards to how/if students are able to leave on completion of their degree. Existing research suggests that students often continue working in the sex industry even when they have found jobs aligning with their future career aspirations. It is argued this is to boost income which students increasingly find to be insufficient due to the growing mismatch between graduate status and employability (Sanders and Hardy, 2014:97). While there has been recent academic interest in both student sex work (see Sagar et al, 2015a; Sanders and Hardy, 2013; Roberts et al, 2010) and the issue of ‘exiting’ sex work (see Oselin, 2014, Matthews et al, 2014), the two research areas are yet to meet. Based on a longitudinal, comparative study, this paper will discuss the experiences of 20 female students sex workers based in the UK and how/if they were able to leave the industry on completion of their degree.

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