Trainee doctors lobby for ‘leg up’ to moonlight as prostitutes to fund studies

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They have tabled a motion calling on universities and the British Medical Association (BMA) which says that the pandemic has “forced student sex workers into more risky situations”. If passed, it would ensure the General Medical Council and Medical Schools Council helped “medical students engaging with sex work, of whatever form, to support their studies”.

It would also guarantee that they “are not penalised for this and are safe from expulsion and professional proceedings”.

The motion is due to be debated at the BMA’s annual conference next month.

News of the debate emerged as it was claimed that the Covid pandemic has pushed an increasing number of students into sex work.

Laura Watson of the English Collective of Prostitutes told the Mail on Sunday: “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.”

A 2015 report by The Student Sex Work Project claimed that five percent of students, more than 100,000, are engaged in the sex industry.

Primarily this was to fund their education or enjoy a better lifestyle while at university.

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It also found that more than a fifth of students had considered providing sexual services for money.

And the temptation to work in the industry is even higher for medical students – who have to fund a five-year course over the conventional three which most students take.

And with tuition fees a whopping £9,250 a year plus the cost of living, many students have their heads turned by the high pay and relatively few hours sex work generally involves.

Professor Tracey Sagar and fellow Swansea University academic Debbie Jones told the Daily Telegraph that students selling sex was “not going anywhere”.

They also claimed it was outdated to automatically assume prostitutes and other sex workers are victims.

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.

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