Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Student involvement in the UK sex industry: Motivations and experiences

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-01-28, 15:06 authored by Tracey Sagar, Debbie Jones, Katrien Symons, Jacky Tyrie, Ron Roberts
The Student Sex Work Project was set up in 2012 in the United Kingdom (UK) to locate students who are involved in the sex industry, to discover their motivations and needs, and in doing so provide an evidence base to consider the development of policy and practice within Higher Education. As part of this initiative, a large survey was undertaken comprising students from throughout the UK. Reporting on the findings from this survey, the article sheds some light on what occupations students take up in the sex industry, what motivates their participation and how they experience the work. The study also offers a much‐needed empirical input to the ongoing academic debates on the nature of sex work. The results suggest that there can be little doubt of a student presence within the sex industry in the UK. The motivations and experiences of student sex workers cover elements of agency and choice as well as of force and exploitation and it is suggested that student sex work is best understood from a polymorphous framework which leaves room for a wide variety of experiences and challenges.


Published in

British Journal of Sociology




  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)


Sagar, T., Jones, D., Symons, K., Tyrie, J. and Roberts, R. (2016) ‘Student involvement in the UK sex industry: Motivations and experiences’, The British Journal of Sociology, 67(4), pp.697-718. DOI: 10.1111/1468-4446.12216

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Education and Social Policy

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  • en

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