Junior Doctors and Medical Students are Pushing for Sex Work Instead of Day Jobs to Finance their studies

We all are aware of the high tuition fee that doctors and medical students have to pay for their education. Although one of the most desired fields of study, it seems that studying Medicine is giving junior doctors and medical trainees a tough time.

High tuition fees and an enormous cost of living have left junior doctors with no other option but to enter prostitution to finance their studies. In such a scenario, the question that needs an immediate answer is should medical schools allow their students to take up part-time jobs as sex workers? Let’s take a closer look at the whole situation.

What Is the Actual Issue Raised by Medical Students?
Medical students have demanded the British Medical Association (BMA) to talk with universities to make sex work an option for them to finance their studies. The students’ demand is further supported by the trade union’s student wing. According to the student wing, the Covid-19 pandemic has worsened the situation for student sex workers. It further asked for support for students working in the sex industry to not be expelled from universities.

The whole debate makes us question if students are selling sex to finance their studies or is it related to something else? Considering that university students are charged £9,250 a year excluding the cost of living for 5 years, make us believe that it’s the only reason why students are turning to prostitution. Nonetheless, Professor Tracey Sagar and Debbie Jones, academicians at Swansea University, analyse the stats of students involved in prostitution to come up with a different conclusion.

According to them, only 5% of students are involved in sex work to fund their studies, while 22% of them simply sell sex in greed of money. Moreover, the survey conducted on 6,750 students revealed that more male students are involved in earning money from sex work than female students. Why more males are engaged in prostitution? Does it shed light on male sexual behaviour? The more we dive into these questions, the more complicated they get.

Nonetheless, it’s high time that sex should be seen as a stigma. Instead of penalising students involved in part-time sex work, universities should think of ways to help medical students finance their studies, especially in the wake of the pandemic. Moreover, there’s an urgent need to tackle the scarcity of part-time jobs for students.

How to Remove the Stigma Attached to Sex Work?
The roots of stigmatization attached to sex work go back to the societal perception about sex. We live in a world where sex is still taboo and something to be ashamed of. Although we talk about personal choices and democracy, these sophisticated ideas are glossed over when it comes to sex as a profession.
Nonetheless, there are a few things that can be done to remove the stigma attached to sex work.

• Stop Discrimination: Discrimination against sex workers should be stopped. Isolating and criticizing sex workers for their profession should strictly come to an end. This can be achieved by organizing campaigns to empower sex workers, generating awareness among the public to stop discrimination, and taking efforts to stop discrimination at both individual and community levels.

• Making Laws Inclusive: Laws should be made more inclusive to take care of the human rights of sex workers. Any discriminatory behaviour or act towards prostitutes should be punished and made illegal.

• Creating Alternative Means of Livelihood: There should be financial alternatives for sex workers. Creating more employment opportunities can help sex workers consider other means of sustaining their lives.


Is it alright to see prostitution as a stigma?
There’s a problem in seeing prostitution as a stigma. It should be based on individual preferences. As long as a person is willingly indulged in sex work for money or any other needs, it shouldn’t be a problem. Nonetheless, forced prostitution is definitely a matter of concern and must be taken seriously.

Why more male students are considering taking up sex work than female students?
The research doesn’t answer why more males students are involved in sex work for funding their studies. Nonetheless, it certainly raises one question: what could be the possible reason behind it? Moreover, it opens the doors for further research to find out why more male students consider taking up sex work.

Why sex workers are criticized?
It has to do with the stigma attached to sex. Unlike other professions, selling sex for money isn’t seen as a profession of dignity and respect. Moreover, it is not considered ethically and morally good by society. These are some of the reasons for which sex workers are criticized and treated as outsiders.

What can universities do to support medical students?
Universities can consider charging less from medical students. Moreover, they should have some form of employment for medical trainees to help them fund their studies. This way, students can focus on their careers without worrying about funding their studies.

Do men enjoy sex more than women?
It’s a common perception that men enjoy sex more than women. However, sex is a human need and both sexes enjoy it equally. These are just stereotypes that need to be put to an end. Nonetheless, different studies are done from time to time to understand the difference between the sexual behaviour of males and females.

How can universities support students financially during the pandemic?
The pandemic has made things difficult for everyone, both financially and mentally. In such times, universities can support students by organising free counselling sessions and reducing the tuition fees till things get back to normal.

Is it alright to penalise students who turn to sex work for money?
I don’t think it’s alright to penalise students who take up sex work. Universities shouldn’t relate the students’ choices to their moral behaviour. As long as students are adhering to universities’ guidelines and taking their responsibilities as students seriously, there’s no question of penalising them for what they do outside of their university schedule.