14:31 GMT15 April 2021
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    One study recently indicated that one in 20 students in the United Kingdom resort to sex work during their studies, including phone sex or selling their used underwear online.

    The University of Leicester in the UK has unveiled a guide to help students involved in various types of sex work, including stripping, adult entertainment, webcamming, and escorting.

    The guide, titled “Student Sex Work Toolkit,” is aimed at uni staffers in a bid to demonstrate that students working in the sex industry have the right to receive support without facing discrimination.

    “We recognise the social stigma associated with sex work and are supportive of students who earn a living through sex work,” the guide states.

    The manual cites recent research titled “The Student Sex Work Project” by the University of Swansea that highlights the fact some students resort to sex work to pay for rising uni costs and skyrocketing living expenses.

    The 2015 study published in the Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management concludes that one in 20 students in the UK turns to some form of sex work during their studies.

    The University of Leicester believes that staffers should not “assume the student wants to leave sex work” and do not need to “discipline” pupils for “being involved.”

    No students should be questioned about their potential involvement in the sex industry, the guide states, but the uni must still “ensure students are safe within their work.”

    Unsurprisingly, the response to the publication, which went viral after it was unearthed by British media, has been mixed. Some media users tagged the university on Twitter, shaming the institution for offering support to sex worker students.  

    But others praised Leicester Uni for backing students who use their bodies to pay for their education. 

    “The uni should first ensure monetary help for them so that students don't have to resort to this. Also hoping that the toolkit does not glorify sex work, especially,” one person wrote.

    The university indirectly responded to some of the backlash, saying on Twitter that it is still “firmly committed to creating an inclusive learning, working and research environment for all of our students, who have the right to be protected, kept safe and free from violence, whether they are studying or working.”

    This includes sex work, the university believes.

    Tags:
    sex workers, United Kingdom
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