University of Leicester launches toolkit for female students and sex workers

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The University of Leicester has launched a policy and toolkit for students and sex workers to ensure staff don’t “give moral judgments” – but the supportive approach has been criticized as “disturbing “.

Professor Teela Sanders, who teaches criminology at the college and is the woman behind the initiative, appeared on today’s episode of Woman’s Hour to speak to the host Jane Garvey on the importance of strategy.

“We are talking about inclusive learning, we are talking about not discriminating against someone, not passing judgment if you find out that your student is doing sex work, or if they have been exposed or blackmailed”, said she told the BBC Radio 4 show.

But feminist commentator Sarah Ditum argued that it was “inadequate” for universities to engage in the issue of student sex work from any angle other than being “hugely prejudicial to women and having a real influence. toxic on men as well ”.

Next week, the university will launch its Policy and Toolkit for Student Sex Workers, which was created with help from Student Support Services and the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion teams.

“The Leicester Policy and Toolkit will be used to show how these sensitive issues can be tackled with the well-being and inclusion of students at the heart of policy and practice development,” the website reads. of the event about the launch.

The University of Leicester has launched a policy and toolkit for female student sex workers (pictured, launch event) to ensure staff don’t “give moral judgment” – but the approach of support has been criticized as “disturbing”

“The well-being, health and safety of students is really essential, we have known that from this year and it is an area where it is often swept under the rug,” added Professor Sanders.

“Universities don’t like to talk about it very often, but it’s really important to think about the students who engage in sex work and who graduate from college.

“The point is really that sex work is generally legal, it is a legal activity between two consenting adults and universities are not there to give moral judgment on what people do.”

Professor Teela Sanders (pictured), who teaches criminology at the higher education institution and is the woman behind the initiative, appeared on today's episode of Woman's Hour to speak to host Jane Garvey on the importance of strategy

Professor Teela Sanders (pictured), who teaches criminology at the higher education institution and is the woman behind the initiative, appeared on today’s episode of Woman’s Hour to speak to host Jane Garvey on the importance of strategy

She continued: “Often [student sex workers] will come to the university staff [about their issues] and university staff don’t necessarily know what to do.

However, the supportive approach was criticized by journalist Sarah who urged higher education institutions to focus on helping students avoid turning to sex work in the first place.

“I think it’s very important that universities are able to take into account that students are involved in the sex industry,” she said.

But he then added: “I think it is totally inappropriate for universities to do this except from the point of view that the sex industry is extremely harmful to women and also has a really toxic influence on women. men.”

She continued, “I think the nature of the economy means that students are really going to turn to the sex industry more than ever. The service industry is under tremendous pressure and this has traditionally been where you would go for a part-time job.

“So things like the escort or the OnlyFans or Sugar Daddies websites are going to look more and more appealing.”

As such, Sarah suggested that universities should “get the message across that these are not a safe, empowering, and secure way to make money.” These are actually sites of exploitation of abuse and dangerous things that women can get involved in. ‘

But feminist commentator Sarah Ditum argued that it was

But feminist commentator Sarah Ditum argued that it was “inadequate” for universities to engage in the issue of student sex work from any angle other than being “hugely prejudicial to women and having a real influence. toxic on men as well ”. Pictured, the University of Leicester

The reporter noted that these are most likely women between the ages of 18 and 20 who are looking to use the sex industry to support themselves, and might not be at an age where they are fully equipped to make the decisions that need to be made. will have an impact on their adult. life.

“It’s so, so unsettling that things like OnlyFans or the webcam are seen as less harmful because they actually expose the women who practice them to potential blackmail and further trauma for life,” she said. added.

“If you can’t talk about the real consequences that this stuff can have, then universities are really letting their students down.”

But for Professor Sanders, she insisted that now is the time to take her approach in universities as a “duty of care”.

She said: “We have to remember that students have always looked for part-time work… [and] sex markets have changed.

“When we talk about sex work, people think of direct personal service, but the sex markets have changed rapidly over the past decade. A lot of people work online, a lot of people do non-direct sexual services. ‘

A spokesperson for the University of Leicester said: “Protecting our students is an integral part of our due diligence as a university. All students have the right to be protected during their studies and work.

“Our policies have been put in place with the well-being of students at their heart. If students are in a dangerous situation, they know they can ask for help and be offered help without judgment.

“Our University support and security services are available to all students who need them. ”


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