Daily Mail: Medical students demand right to use sex work to fund their studies and want to be protected from expulsion
- Trainee doctors have called for the British Medical Association to work with universities to recognise and support students working in the sex industry
- Pandemic has forced student sex workers into risky situations claim trade union
- More than 90 per cent of students believe money and living cost is a motivation
Medical students are demanding to be protected from expulsion if they engage in sex work to fund their studies.
The trainee doctors have called for the British Medical Association to work with universities to ‘recognise’ and ‘support’ students working in the sex industry.
In a motion to be debated at the BMA’s annual conference next month, the trade union’s student wing say the pandemic has ‘forced student sex workers into more risky situations’
Therefore they are calling on the body to ‘lobby the General Medical Council and Medical Schools Council to ensure medical students engaging with sex work, of whatever form, to support their studies are not penalised for this and are safe from expulsion and professional proceedings’.
In 2012, leading medical journal the BMJ published research that found one in ten students knew a fellow medic who had engaged in erotic dancing, prostitution or escort work to fund their course.
Some 93 per cent said they believed money was the prime motivation for it as fees, without living costs, are now £9,250 a year and the course is a minimum of five years.
The English Collective of Prostitutes said they had seen the number of students contacting them for support rise by a third in the last 12 months.
Spokesperson Laura Watson said they welcomed the BMA motion, adding: ‘We have experienced an increase in the number of students considering prostitution.
‘This is undoubtedly related to the costs of medical school, but also speaks to the scarcity of part-time jobs that students might, in the past, have used to supplement their income.
‘Student sex workers should be supported and helped with financial alternatives, not penalised or kicked off their course.’
However, a number of doctors and feminists say the motion risks ‘normalising’ prostitution.
Dr Angela Dixon, a GP who is a BMA member, said she would vote against it, adding: ‘Being a sex worker is more of an accepted thing in universities because of all the “wokery” that’s been pushing this.
‘Basically this motion seeks to normalise sex work and say this is an okay thing for women to do.
‘We should not be encouraging students to get involved in sex work at all.’
Feminist writer Julie Bindel, who authored the book The Pimping Of Prostitution: Abolishing The Sex Work Myth, said while the trainee medics might be well-intentioned, it sent out a worrying message.
‘The glamorous gloss and makeover prostitution has enjoyed in recent years has had an effect on middle-class students.
Whereas it used to be that the vast majority of women selling sex were poor, single mothers and those with abusive boyfriends, relatively privileged students are now being sold a lie that prostitution is merely work and a fun way to earn a living.
‘Surely students should be kept from harm and protected from exploitation rather than led into the lion’s mouth?’
A spokesman for Universities UK said that their institutions encouraged ‘legal, healthy and safe behaviours and support students to make the right choices’.
The BMA said it does not discuss motions before they are debated.