Students Turning to Sex Work to Pay Tuition?

With the rising costs of college, many students find themselves struggling to pay tuition. A UK-based journal made the bold claim that more and more med students are turning to prostitution to pay for school.

With the rising costs of college, many students find themselves struggling to pay tuition. A UK-based journal, Student BMJ, recently ran an editorial positing that more and more medical students in England are turning to prostitution and other jobs in the sex industry to pay for medical school — a bold claim.

The article “Medical schools’ attitudes toward student prostitution,” cited previous studies and surveys that revealed more than a quarter of students at a London university in 2010 said they knew a student who working in the sex industry. Ten percent knew someone who had worked specifically as a prostitute or escort, and 93% said money was the main reason.

According to the article, based on similar surveys in 2000 and 2007 there was a correlation between the proportion of students who knew of another turning to prostitution and the increase of tuition. As medical students are in school for longer and have less chances for paid employment,

this trend was extended to them, questioned whether or not it was okay for a physician to have once worked in prostitution.

"[These are] very unfortunate choices that go against the ethical standards that doctors are expected to uphold," Dr. Carole Lieberman, a psychiatrist, told ABC News. "Prostitution is worse and convictions for prostitution need to be acknowledged by medical students when they apply for a license, hospital positions, and so on."

There’s also a heavy amount of understandable skepticism regarding this claim. According to the editorial, “medical schools do not have any specific rules on the matter, and believe that prostitution is not widespread among students.”

And a professor at the Yale School of Management told ABC News that there was a lot of speculation with not a lot of evidence.

However, the publication also ran “Confessions of a student prostitute,” about a male medical student who started working as an escort to he wouldn’t have to drop out of medical school when he could no longer afford the high tuition. At the very least, the suggestion that students are turning to sex work to pay for college is true for some.

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