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Jun 10, 2016 06:37 AM EDT

Authors Of Controversial “Student Sex Work Project” Say Universities Must Accept The Practice

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(U.K.) - Two academics of a controversial study titled "Student Sex Work Project" have called on universities to accept the practice of students posing as sex workers.

According to Swansea University Professor Tracey Sagar and fellow academic Debbie Jones, it was an outdated notion for universities to think all students who engage in prostitution or sexual services are automatically victims. They said while there some who indeed enter the sex industry to pay for their schooling, there are also those do it either for pure pleasure or to fund their extravagant lifestyle, The Telegraph reported.

The pair added that even if universities do their best to stamp out the practice, students would just find ways to continue working in the sex industry.

Sagar and Jones' controversial Student Sex Work Project, which involved almost 7,000 students taking part in a comprehensive survey last year, argued that at least one student out of 20 was a sex worker. This equates to roughly 100,000 students out of the total student population in the U.K.

The study also found that at least 22 percent of university students had considered entering the sex industry.

"Jobs" in the sex industry involved stripping dancing in bars, online and phone sex, and direct sexual intercourse. Even more surprising, the study revealed a higher number of men than women posing as sex workers.

While Sagar and Jones are advocating for universities to let student sex workers be, they also said schools should step in if the student was placing his/her welfare and academics at risk.

Ultimately, Sagar would like the results from the Student Sex Work Project to goad universities into providing support services, including health and counseling to students working in the sex industry, The Guardian reported. Now that everything is out in the open, she hopes universities-instead of shunning student sex workers-must arm themselves with the new knowledge in order for them to better cope with this phenomenon.

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