late essay work

Law school staff at the University of Leicester have been told to support students who engage in sex work to fund their studies. 

The university has provided a ‘Student Sex Work Toolkit’ to all its staff which describes how students may be escorting, webcamming, stripping, appearing in porn, supplying phone sex or ‘sugaring’ (where they are "a paid companion for a sugar daddy").

The policy, which aims to reduce the stigma associated with sex work to help prevent students being bullied or harassed at university, instructs staff to be "non-judgmental" and to “ensure that any students who are sex workers are positively supported”.

In a list of tips, staff are advised not to “assume the student wants to leave sex work” and not to “listen to or perpetuate myths regarding sex work”. Instead, they should “offer practical solution focused guidance” to students such as "how to juggle their sex work and their study time/assignment deadlines”. 

“The university is firmly committed to sustaining an inclusive learning, working and research environment for all students, this includes students earning money or other commodities through sex work”, states the accompanying policy. It explains that students are motivated to work in the sex trade "by such practical reasons as being able to fund their studies".

A 2020 poll of 3,000 students by Save the Student found that 4% had undertaken some kind of sex work to fund themselves, ranging from selling intimate photos (the most common) to selling themselves for sex. A few have taken it further, such as Ella Hughes who quit her law degree to become a porn star, and a barrister who took up camming.

Critics on social media said that sex work was inherently abusive and dangerous and accused the university of "glorified pimping" for its non-judgemental approach. Barrister Charlotte Proudman said the university was "advertising prostitution as a 'job' for students to pay their fees. Never mind the high rates of rape, assault and PTSD".

Supporters of the toolkit countered that sex work was "valid work" and that "providing information on safety does not promote entry into an industry".

Asked whether Leicester University endorsed sex work as a means for undergraduates to pay for its courses, a spokesperson said, “If students are keen to leave the sex industry then we will assist and signpost to such support by experts".

They added, “Our policies have been put in place with student wellbeing at their core. If students are in an unsafe situation, they know they can ask for help and be offered assistance without judgement."

Tip Off ROF


Sir Woke XR Remainer FBPE MBE 19 March 21 08:32

Anonymous 19 March 21 08:35

I think it's great that our universities are taking the time to teach ambitious and enterprising young women how to be better sex workers.

That makes a lot more sense than increasing funding for the courses and the students.  We've spent billions over this pandemic and we need to tighten our belts.

Responsible employers should start to do this so that the state no longer has to supplement salaries with tax credits. 

It's a way of helping people to stand on their own two feet.

Anonymous 19 March 21 09:17

@ 08.35 - loosen our belts, surely?

Paul 19 March 21 09:46

TBF lawyers and prostitutes have a lot in common, they both charge by the hour and they both f*ck people for a living.

Anonymous 19 March 21 09:53

The world has gone mad. Seriously, this all needs to stop!

Sam 19 March 21 09:55

Ha ha ha - people struggling enough to engage in sex work getting support in an appropriate setting - what larks. I hear that schools are offering support for pupils with social problems too - totes hilar!

Tyranto 19 March 21 09:59

Bit OTT for 4%, isn't it? 

But then, I suppose various popular Twitter causes only really affect 1% (at most) of the population, and gov't policy seems to hasten to bend to that vocal, and bonkers, 1%, so I guess this is par for the course. 

Shooty 19 March 21 09:59

We've never heard that one before, Paul. 

Well done.

Toby Greenlord, Freeman on the Land 19 March 21 10:11

This is a shameful dereliction of leadership and moral authority.

Porn and sex work are major drivers of human trafficking, child abuse and abuse of women.  Pornhub actually had to gut their site because of the huge amount of non-consensual and child abuse content.

We should not be supporting people at college by encouraging them into prostitution - virtual or actual.  We should be providing suitable financial support and sufficient employment opportunities to enable people to complete their studies without having to sell their bodies.

This is not a sign of some great liberation.  It is a sign of a society that is in danger of falling apart.

What next?  Universities advising poorer students to burn their books to keep warm.

James Flash, Freeman on the Land 19 March 21 10:43

Toby!!!! What are you playing at? It was a cresent moon last night, the otter hasn’t left the shed and hear you are recklessly commenting online! I bet you are standing when writing your comment, thus agreeing to UK PLC terms and conditions. I bet you haven’t even stroked your herron. So now you’ll have to pay your council tax and buy car insurance while me and all the other free men walk our lonely road, the only one that we have ever known, don't know where it goes, but it's home to us, and we walk alone.


Anonymous_2 19 March 21 10:52

Has society forgotten why prostitutes are looked down?

Just watch the BBC documentary about the sex worker who are fiercely proud, dedicated to her career and anti-feminism. Those are a class of people who will do anything for money, lack integrity of any kind, they cannot be allowed to enter the legal profession categorically, even if they can pay for our pensions.

This madness of over-rationalising everything in the name of equality is absurd. Despite the fact certain famous city lawyers who bought law firms were originally from a criminal or prostitute class.

We can respect a reformed man or woman, but if they are fiercely proud of their dark past, we should be allowed to disagree when they think they are our equals. 

Leicester happens to be the only English town with a red light district. One obvious conclusion is perhaps more than just a few students have been found by the university working at these local businesses. The university need to explain their research and investigation process that justified their announcement. 

For a university to openly support student sex workers is against everything for which an education is aimed. 

Anonymous 19 March 21 10:53

@10:43 James Flash, Freeman


Your terrible banter is an annoyance every week.

Anonymous 19 March 21 10:57

From now on firms won't just be looking at the social media of applicants.  They'll be scouring Only Fans.

And can we honestly say that clients, newspapers, judges, the general public, the government and the rest of the profession will be non-judgmental when the video clips become a story in the Daily Mail?

This has got to be the worst idea I've ever heard.  Sell your body to fund a career that you'll find almost impossible to do once you sell your body.

The logical consequence of a free market in education. Students can't afford to study.  Universities can't afford to teach.  So universities help students to pay for their courses by encouraging them to sell their bodies.

Once upon a time sex work was regarded as a last resort, a life gone terribly wrong.  Now it's being sold to teenagers as a viable option.  What the hell have we become?

By all means have consensual sex with whomever you want however you want - but are we really going to encourage children (because whatever they might think, 18-21 year olds are really little more than children) that their bodies are not gifts to be treasured but commodities to be sold, that intimacy is just another way to make money?

Judge Mental 19 March 21 11:01

Anonymous-2 is clearly a bit swivel-eyed. Sex workers should not be looked down on. They are our equals. However it should surely be possible and preferable to create a policy where sex workers are supported, but sex work is not. This uni claims it is neutral and not supporting or condemning sex work by saying it is non-judgemental. But when you don’t criticise something (and don’t allow criticism of it, which this policy seems to do), ‘non-judgemental’ actually equates to a tacit endorsement. Eg if I see a man kicking someone’s head in and do nothing because I am being ‘non-judgemental’ about the violence, most normal people would perceive that I am judging it is ok. 

Anonymous 19 March 21 11:06

Really sad to hear this. Sex work is pushed as this great liberation of young women to take control of their bodies. In reality the institutions are invariably owned, run, managed by men for the benefit of men. A friend turned to sex work. On the outside she was this great inspiring feminist figure, self funding her education. She was actually a massively damaged individual who had her personal insecurities taken advantage of by her “clients” 

Anonymous 19 March 21 11:23

Currently the law schools are cash cows for their private equity owners, with the only barrier to starting a course being 'can you afford it?'. Even for those with a training contract in the bag and a firm paying your tuition, often the answer is still no - hence why some students turn to sex work. It's valid work for sure and potentially a good way to make money in relatively few hours, but surely financial hardship is almost always the driving force in making that decision (rather than it being a good career move).

Every year the law schools spit out thousands of no-hoper LPC grads all with mountains of debt (and apparently some with burgeoning careers in the sex industry). Surely the solution is to change the whole model, to increase academic entry standards but to lower the fees? That way students wouldn't waste time and money on a course that's not right for them, wouldn't feel the need to undertake sex work to support themselves during their studies, and those actually on the courses wouldn't still be paying off loans when they're senior associates.

Anonymous 19 March 21 11:47

This will disproportionately affect women and it's heart breaking that some will see it as an emancipation.  It might help to pay fees and living expenses but it will ruin careers, kill many before they even start.

Consider how difficult it is for women who have been filmed or shared without their consent to get those clips removed.  It's almost impossible.

The business model of most porn sites is based on the reality that they will host illegally shared videos.  They don't care about copyright.  Clips sold on Only Fans or Clips4Sale or I Want Fans are shared in that way all the time.  Web Cam shows are recorded and shared on the same sites.

Anyone funding their law studies by doing this is likely to find their prospects ruined before they get a trainee opportunity.  

I wonder if the University of Leicester is including that little nugget as part of their support package or if they're just happy to live off the earnings of their stable of sex workers.

Sir Woke XR Remainer FBPE MBE 19 March 21 11:54

At the end of the day, this seems incongruous, but the work is work and it’s not illegal so - awkward as it will be for some tutors - it should be treated the same way other part time work commitments are treated. If people don’t like that then they should lobby to make being an Onlyfans content provider illegal.

Anonymous 19 March 21 11:56

Sex work is not consequence free.

It is grossly irresponsible of the University of Leicester to support people (and let's be honest it will be women, if not exclusively then in a huge majority) to do something that will potentially cause PTSD, damage their career prospects, perhaps even put them in physical and psychological danger. 

And that's before we begin to look at human trafficking, consent, rape, drug use and even drugging of participants in porn and prostitution.

It brings the university and the profession into disrepute.

Anonymous 19 March 21 12:09

Sir Woke XR Remainer FBPE MBE 19 March 21 11:54

Laz.  Mate.

Clearing asbestos out of the London Underground is not illegal.  There are probably jobs available to do it right now.  No experience required.  Training from scratch.

Funny how you never see the sons and daughters of high income families doing it - not even on their gap yahs.  Just like sex work.

MT 19 March 21 12:31

"Why is the university doing it?"

Well you talking about it ain't you

Anonymous 19 March 21 12:38

@ MT 19 March 21 12:31

You make Mr Dunning and Mr Kruger proud.

On a personal note, I particularly like the way you've used quotation marks to draw attention to a question that no-one is asking and then provided an answer that doesn't make any sense.

Anonymous 19 March 21 12:51

Society in general and men in particular do not respect people (women) who do or who have done sex work.   Women who have done this work are viewed as being of lesser value, they will be treated as such by individuals they encounter and society at large will reinforce that view and that treatment.

That includes the customers and clients of sex workers.  People who pay for video clips frequently share the clips despite copyright and the affect that has on the content producer's income.  People who visit prostitutes or web cam sites frequently abuse those whose services they use.

It will be very difficult for someone actively working in the sex sector to keep their employment choices a secret.  They might even be lulled into a false sense of security by a university provided "toolkit" which emphasises a non-judgmental stance.

It's very easy to put stuff on the internet - clips or pages on an escort site or somesuch.  It's a lot harder to make it disappear again.

The money spent on this would be better spent joining with other institutions to lobby the government for better support for students so that they don't have to do this kind of work.

Anonymous 19 March 21 12:57

At least there's an app to help them now.

Anonymous 19 March 21 13:04

I wish the university staff had been "non-judgmental" when I explained I’m only going to law school so I can become a Sugar Daddy to their students in 20 years time... 

Mon 19 March 21 13:08

I watched the hour long sex worker webinar that the Uni of Leicester delivered to accompany the roll out of the policy/campaign. I wanted to be open minded and also to understand the issues. My main concern was that an institution that is accepting money from students is arguably promoting sex work as a "viable" (their word, not mine) source of income to pay for courses - this presents a conflict. I was hoping that they would address these issues but instead the speakers were dismissive when responding to questions about possible conflicts and the exploitation of students. They called it a "misnomer" that violence should be the first thing that they should talk to student sex workers about and that this "isn't everyone's experience" and "there are much safer ways to work online." They talked about "empowerment" and "informed choice" and equated sex work with working at a beautician's - a flawed comparison. They were asked why they didn't just exempt students who were engaging in sex work from paying fees if the reason for doing the work was to pay fees and the response was "we all pay, everyone pays" and "I can see every university's accountant raising their eyebrows" and "we don't ask beauticians not to pay." It was an interesting webinar but it was also infuriating as it lacked substance and there was no meaningful engagement with the issues that student teachers who are sex workers might face - the Head of the School of Education was a speaker.  For anyone who is interested, the questions start at around the 40 minute mark and it's easy to find the webinar online. 


Anonymous 19 March 21 13:18

How is sex work in line with the SRA Principles? Isn't there a danger of blackmail etc in years to come when pictures/videos come to light? I would have thought selling your body lacked integrity too, but clearly I'm just getting old! 

Uni fees reducing at UoL? 19 March 21 13:22

Is UoL one of those universities who jacked up tuition fees to the max as soon as it became possible a few years ago?

And continue to charge top whack over the last year even tho everything's gone virtual over the last year?

Answer: Yes

Maybe aligning your tuition fees to meet with course earning expectations is a better "policy", UoL, than pithy statements about not judging those who have turned to sex work ... 

Anonymous300 19 March 21 14:29

Is it because prostitutes or aspiring sex workers can afford the university fees, hence they became a large enough group the university's marketing cannot afford to ignore? 

Prostitutes are rich and proud of their actions. So I wonder what they can bring to the legal profession which should uphold a standard of trust as key players in the justice system.

I wonder why the police do not publish job adverts in brothels and on porn sites. 

Anonymous 19 March 21 14:58

@12:09 "Funny how you never see the sons and daughters of high income families doing it - not even on their gap yahs.  Just like sex work."


Absolute nonsense, you hear it all the time!

It's impossible to go to an Islington dinner party these days without hearing some variant of "Oh yes, Trinny got seven A-stars, we're terribly proud of her. She thinks she might want to grow up to be a sex worker, which we think would be just wonderful!"

Everyone is terribly modern and progressive you see, so they don't look down on sex work at all and they'd be totally comfortable with their friends and relatives engaging in it. Just like those people they read about in the Guardian. They're totally chill about it all, it's just random chance that they've never met such a person.

Anonymous 19 March 21 14:59

Do you think that Leicester might be a good place for a few billboard advertisements for Lawyr?

Not empowered enough 19 March 21 15:47

Women get murdered walking home at night along the South Circular, but UoL wants to "support" them into one of the most high risk professions there is?! Genius. 

Also - why is it that nearly everything that is deemed "empowering" to women only ever serves men's pleasure (porn, prostitution, stripping etc)?!?!


Anonymous 19 March 21 17:44

Toby and 11.56 and 15.47 - something can be 'supported' without it being encouraged or condoned. Ignoring it won't make it go away or mean it doesn't exist. I think UoL is right here.

Mon 19 March 21 19:00

@anonymous 17.44 - the online literature and policy is actually useful. There is a student tips section in the toolkit (available on UoL website) with advice that includes "don't wear anything around your neck" and "put a mirror in the room so you can watch them in the reflection". I think it's concerning that any worker should need to be on such a high level of alert - I fail to see how that is empowering. But as you say, if it exists which it does, they should have some support. I agree with all of that, but believe the uni should be signposting students to external services instead of taking on such an active role. The webinar made it clear that "this is just the beginning" and there was a real focus on sex work being empowering work for the students. There was a total disconnect between their acknowledgement of the violence and risk involved and their campaign. One of the speakers asked "who am I to say what's right or what's wrong?" But this isn't about her personal views, it's about the role of a service provider. She also said that perhaps a university's role is "just to educate", except that of course staff also have a loco parentis role. 

Toby Greenlord, Freeman on the Pimp Hand 19 March 21 20:03

@ Anonymous 19 March 21 17:44

I guess you think that UoL is discharging its duty of care towards its students.

I disagree for various reasons.

Firstly I don't believe they are considering the long-term psychological damage that sex workers suffer.  Many have reported suffering from PTSD.  This is not always apparent at the time but surfaces after the work has ended - sometimes years afterwards in flashbacks.

There is also reputational damage.  As posted above, sex workers (former or current) suffer prejudice and are regarded as low value in society.  A career in which character, integrity and personal reputation are significant - like law - will be jeopardised by sex work.  Helping someone into sex work so they pay for a law degree at your college only to discover that they are unable to qualify into the law because of the sex work seems to me like exploitation, not support.

Add to those all of the social problems associated with pornography and sex work, the increasing problems of misogyny and allegations of abuse on campuses associated with the commodification of women and their bodies and it starts to look like the opposite of care.

Anonymous 19 March 21 21:18

there was a real focus on sex work being empowering work for the students

It's nice that our educational institutions are helping women to empower themselves by taking their clothes off for men.

It's only a university after all.  I don't suppose it has much else to offer.

Anonymous 19 March 21 21:45

21.18 - it is empowering for some women, there's no denying that. And the university is hardly helping them.

Anonymous 19 March 21 22:19

No.  It's not empowering.  It might be lucrative, but selling access to your body is not empowering.

And if it's the best option available to a someone who has just left school for them to complete their education then it shows just how broken the system is.

Anonymous 19 March 21 22:40

22.19 - no, it is empowering for some women. There's no question of that. Its certainly not the case that no women find selling access to their body empowering.

The system is definitely broken, and people are exploited in many ways to fund their education. University should be free. But people also do things of their own free will  and we must accept that, even if we wouldn't choose to do the same.

Anonymous 19 March 21 22:56

It's interesting that young men are taught that empowerment comes from education and professional achievement while young women are taught that empowerment comes from taking their clothes off and performing sexually for men.

One might almost believe that the patriarchy is real.

Toby Greenlord, Freeman on the Land 19 March 21 23:29

I'm curious.  What is it that is empowering here?

Is it the act of having sex?  Or that the sex is without any kind of relationship or commitment?  Or that it is transactional and one party is being paid to have sex with someone they otherwise would not?

Because it seems to me that all we are saying to girls and women is that their greatest value and best asset is availability to their bodies.

I don't see how that is empowering.  If anything it is the opposite.

Anonymous 20 March 21 00:03

But people also do things of their own free will  

If you ever find out what "empowerment" and "free will" mean then get back to us.

Anonymous 20 March 21 00:13

But people also do things of their own free will  and we must accept that, even if we wouldn't choose to do the same.

How old are you?  Twelve?

AbsurdinessBrown 20 March 21 02:59

Oddly enough, this isn't new. 

Anonymous 20 March 21 07:17

You might not see it as empowering Toby, but a lot of women do. As to why, you'd have to ask them.

Anonymous 20 March 21 07:23

19th @ 22.56 - both young men and young women are taught that empowerment comes from education, professional achievement and a number of other things, too numerous to mention here. Women aren't 'taught' that empowerment comes from taking their clothes off and performing sexually for men - indeed much of the work the university is advising on has nothing to do with taking clothes off or performing sexually for men, and the women in this case are better educated than most men. So this would suggest the patriarchy isn't real.

Anonymous 20 March 21 07:46

19th @ 19.00 - I agree with quite a lot if what you say, especially in regards to support, but I don't agree that the solution is to ask an outside agency to provide that support as this is passing the 'problem' onto someone else and the university is best placed to ensure that the students can integrate and aren't judged. A politicised external agency wouldn't give appropriate support and most of the women would run a mile from them anyway.

As for the risks, it is right to highlight them, although of course different risks apply to different types of work, e.g. not wearing anything around the neck or having a mirror in the room isn't relevant to being paid for taking someone to dinner. So its important not to overstate violence and risk. And while you might not see this work as empowering, a lot of women do.

To me "who am I to say what's right or what's wrong?" is almost the definition of not being opinionated, and its very important not to be judgmental about these students (usually women).

While universities do more than just educate, their students are young adults, not children, and the concept of universities acting in loco parentis died out decades ago.

Anonymous 20 March 21 07:52

Most porn revolves around incest, racism and abuse.

I don't think it's something a university should be supporting students to get involved in.

Seems to me they're not fulfilling a duty of care so much as pimping students out to make sure they get their fees.

Anonymous 20 March 21 09:51

00.03 and 00.13: its not us that needs to explain empowerment and freewill to you, we'll leave that to the empowered women doing things of their own free will.

What age are you? Eleven?

Anonymous 20 March 21 10:28

The myth of choice and the term "sex worker" allows us to pretend that the person is not a victim but rather that she's sexually liberated and powerful and free.

In fact she's doing this work because it's the best or maybe the only way she can find to get a qualification so that she doesn't have to do this work.

Two thirds of women working in prostitution will at some point be raped.  Many of the others will later question how much of what they did was genuinely consensual.  This is not protecting women, it's informing and shaping a fantasy view of "sex work" as something neutral rather than presenting the dangerous and damaging reality.

And that danger is not just limited to the moments when the woman is working.  PTSD can affect people for years afterwards, often without them realising that symptoms they are experiencing were caused by their time as a sex worker.  Internet clips and pages can hang around for years and once they are out there the producers have no control over what happens to them or who views them.

You can pretend it's independent contractors making money the easy way in a job just like any other if you want.  That's what the UoL is promoting whether they accept it or not.

It's better than flipping burgers or stacking shelves.  Lots of people do jobs they don't really want to do.  That's just life.

Sadyl 30+ years of research proves that this is not a job like any other.  68% of sex workers will be raped at some point.  95% will be assaulted.  Over 60% suffer from PTSD.  A study of more than 2000 women published in the American Medical Journal found that women in prostitution had a mortality rate that was 200 times higher than that in the general population.  This is what the UoL is enabling.

What other job do you know of where you have an almost 70% chance of being raped at work?

Anonymous 20 March 21 11:00

10.28 - I would question these statistics. In any case, much of the work described isn't prostitution and doesn't carry the same risk, in fact some of it carries a 0% chance of being raped. And the fact remains that some people find this work empowering or more appealing than other jobs.

Anonymous 20 March 21 11:53


"Most porn revolves around incest, racism and abuse" - I don't know who told you that, but it really doesn't.

And clearly the university isn't supporting students 'to' get involved in but supporting students 'who' get involved in. Its certainly not 'pimping.

Anonymous 20 March 21 12:23

I sAw A rEaLiTy sHoW wHerE BiLLiE pIpEr PrEteNdeD tO bE a pRoStiTutE fOr siX wEeKs aNd sHe dIdNt gEt kiLleD oNcE.

Anonymous 20 March 21 12:24

And clearly the university isn't supporting students 'to' get involved in but supporting students 'who' get involved in. Its certainly not 'pimping.

The just benefit from the money, that's all.

Anonymous 20 March 21 12:26

Wrong to say the UoL is 'enabling' sex work as it happens anyway. They're merely acknowledging that and trying to dispel some of the myths and stereotypes surrounding sex workers.

Anonymous 20 March 21 13:06

12.23 - not many do in 6 weeks. And not all sex workers are prostitutes.

Anonymous 20 March 21 14:07

There is a student tips section in the toolkit (available on UoL website) with advice that includes "don't wear anything around your neck" and "put a mirror in the room so you can watch them in the reflection". I think it's concerning that any worker should need to be on such a high level of alert - I fail to see how that is empowering. 

Nothing to see here.

Anonymous 20 March 21 14:25


As for the risks, it is right to highlight them, although of course different risks apply to different types of work, e.g. not wearing anything around the neck or having a mirror in the room isn't relevant to being paid for taking someone to dinner. So its important not to overstate violence and risk. And while you might not see this work as empowering, a lot of women do.

Anonymous 20 March 21 22:03

Six asian american women working in a massage parlour were killed this week.

But sex work is safe, right?

Anonymous 21 March 21 11:49

21st @ 22.03 - most of the work undertaken by UoL students is relatively safe, yes.

Anonymous 21 March 21 14:42

@07:52 - what the fuck are you watching?! Seek help.

@22:03 - is gun violence in America particularly instructive in relation to the risk profile of sex work in Leicester? Do 'massage parlours' in the UK frequently get shot up?

In other news, a lorry in a convy got bombed in Iraq last week, do you think we should let hauliers on the M4 know about it? Sounds like their trade is a really risky one...

ItsJackieWeaverBitch 21 March 21 14:54

Sex workers have a mortality rate 12 times higher than the National Average. In what world is that “relatively safe”?! Relative to what - soldiers? Gang members? Drug dealers?

Anonymous 21 March 21 17:54

The comments have become more about the rights and wrongs of the sex trade and the safety of it rather than whether or not UoL is right to produce this "toolkit".

Personally I don't think they should because whether they intend it or not, it comes across as tacit approval of a business that causes massive harm and it has the potential to encourage students into it who might otherwise not.  After all, if the university is producing a leaflet of advice how bad can it be?

I'm not going into the reasons why I think the sex trade is harmful, there are plenty of comments here that do that and there is a lot more material available for people who wish to find it.  I will say that increasing the size of the trade increases the harm.

Anonymous 21 March 21 18:50

14.54 - what is your source for "sex workers have a mortality rate 12 times higher than the National Average"? Because I doubt all the work described here does. Much of it is indeed relatively safe.

Anonymous 21 March 21 23:24

I believe UoL has good intentions but I think they're making a mistake.  The resources and support groups they point to in their leaflet are separate from them and accessible to anyone who wants them.  They don't need to get involved.

They may want to take a neutral stance on the rights and wrongs of sex work but by starting a dedicated programme to support sex workers they are giving a seal of approval to the work and the industry.  The only way to stay neutral is not to participate.

They're a university, not a local council or social services.  If the student union was doing this it would make more sense.  The welfare of students is one of the union's principal functions.  But when the university itself does this then there is a danger that students who otherwise wouldn't consider it will be persuaded into sex work and may suffer adverse consequences as a result.

Anonymous 22 March 21 07:50

[email protected] - while there have been some insightful comments, a lot of the input is from people who disapprove of any type of sex work and people who are misunderstanding or misinterpreting the risks involved.

I think the UoL is right to provide the advice - they are being careful to be non-judgmental and not buy into  myths associated with sex work, so it doesn't come across as in anyway condoning it. There is nothing to support the theory that it might encourage students who would otherwise not into sex work, in the same way as there is nothing to support the idea that it would discourage students who otherwise would. Pretending that something doesn't exist doesn't make it go away.

None of the comments so far have explained why 'the sex trade' is harmful, especially given the range of activities covered, and there is a lack of objective material on the subject. And none of the UoL's initiative is 'increasing' the sex trade, it is merely acknowledging that it exists.

Anonymous 22 March 21 10:48

Neckbeard wants to buy woman to have sex with.

Slow news day?

It’sJackieWeaverBitch 22 March 21 11:29

Does it need an explanation of how the sex trade is harmful? Do you need us to explain that buying and selling human beings (women usually), is gross and immoral and contributes to the view of women as objects? 

Sure - somewhere out there is a free range, organic, artisanal Prostitute (the Waitrose of sex workers, if you will), who is doing it because she absolutely loves the work, is “empowered”, has no history of drug or alcohol addiction, no childhood sexual abuse, never suffered from domestic violence or abuse, or mental health issues, and wasn’t trafficked or coerced into it. But let’s not for a minute pretend that this unicorn represents the reality for the majority of sex workers. 

Anonymous 22 March 21 12:04

Oi oi lads.

It's Freshers' Week.

Anonymous 22 March 21 12:46

11.29 - the 'sex trade' doesn't contribute to a view of women as objects. We must be careful not to lump all 'sex workers' together or fall into stereotypes of women who engage in 'sex work'.

For a lot of 'sex work', many of the people involved enter into it if their own free will, feel empowered by it, and have experienced no more if the social problems you refer to than the general population.

No 22 March 21 13:19

If sex work is work, why is the uni not including it in the curriculum?  

While a tiny minority are “willing” participants, the porn industry is 99% comprised of rape culture, exploitation, drug abuse and child trafficking. I’ve seen it working in children’s law. Sexual assaults in schools are rising as boys are watching porn online and expecting their girlfriends to do what porn stars do. 

This is not work and it’s not right that women feel this is their only option. 

Anonymous 22 March 21 13:25

@Neckbeard - usually when people resort to gender based name-calling it means they've lost the argument. You need to grow up a bit.

Anonymous 24 March 21 07:24

@No - probably for the same reason that bar work and other work isn't in the curriculum.

It is simply not the case that the porn industry (however defined) is "99% comprised of rape culture, exploitation, drug abuse and child trafficking", and it is unclear how working in children's law gives one an expert knowledge of porn. Likewise, the claim that sexual assets in schools are rising due to porn. This is a common myth perpetuated by people who disapprove of porn.

And these students are mostly choosing the work they do, it isn't their only option.

Anonymous 25 March 21 00:58

I watched Belle De Jour.

I know what goes on.  It's all glamour these days.

Not like back in my day when we did it in a bus shelter for a bag of chips.

Now it's all condoms and fluffy sheets and cocaine.

And nothing bad ever happens because they do a training course and they get handouts of the slides so they know what to do.

Anonymous 25 March 21 12:27

@00.58 - nobody says nothing bad ever happens, the problem is people who disapprove of sex work making out there is more chance of something bad happening than there actually is. That's why the UoL initiative is important, as it can help stop women being placed in a state of fear.

Dawn 25 March 21 15:54

How about we give women opportunities where they don’t have to exploit themselves and face extreme abuse and lifelong physical, emotional, and psychological trauma?! 

Anonymous 25 March 21 22:06

We do Dawn, and of course not all women in 'sex work' 'exploit themselves and face extreme abuse and lifelong physical, emotional, and psychological trauma'. In fact for many of them its the opposite.

Pedant 26 March 21 06:57

Is there an issue with the university accepting the proceeds of crime here? If unis are promoting sex work among their students and happily taking their fees, isn't there a very real chance that those fees are the proceeds of crime?

Anonymous 26 March 21 07:19

Some good comments on this, but too much overstating of risks and portrayal of 'sex work' myths from people who disapprove of any such work ideologically. The whole point of the initiative is to accept the reality that some students undertake this type of work and to support them in a non-judgmental fashion. The lack of understanding about these types of work and the people who choose to engage in it shows that such an initiative is needed and the UoL is right.

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